The UFC’s initial plan to run in Brazil on March 5 for UFC 197 may instead make way for a massive event in Las Vegas, as Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter reports that the organization is expected to announce Conor McGregor vs. Rafael dos Anjos and Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate for the event.
The McGregor-dos Anjos fight would be for dos Anjos’ UFC Lightweight Championship, with McGregor hoping to become a dual champion in the organization. It’s a role he relished in the Cage Warriors Fighting Championships organization prior to entering the UFC, and after capturing the Featherweight Title at UFC 194 he made clear it was a goal of his in the UFC. Dos Anjos will look to prove himself superior after the first round demolition of Donald Cerrone at UFC on Fox 17.
As for Holm vs. Tate, it was the expected matchup with the UFC acquiescing to Holm’s desire to fight before Ronda Rousey was able to return. A victory for Holm keeps that big money rematch in play, while Tate gets the title fight that was taken from her and given to Holm last fall.
The fights have not yet been officially announced, but if the report is sound it makes for a fourth straight pay-per-view event for the UFC in their home base of Las Vegas, following UFC 194, UFC 195, and next month’s UFC 196 event.
Penick’s Analysis: If this is the top two for this card it does not matter one bit what else is added. If McGregor manages to do what he’s said he would do and beats dos Anjos, he’ll set up a massive title defense of one of those belts for UFC 200 in July. That has to be the plan. For Holm, if she beats Tate, she could still defend that title at UFC 200 herself, though it’s getting murkier as to whether or not Ronda Rousey will be ready by then. Regardless, this makes for an absolutely massive March event, probably the UFC’s biggest ever in the history of that month of the year, and puts things in motion to bring both of those champions to what may be the biggest event in company history this July.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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