In perhaps the worst possible news for UFC 196, Rafael dos Anjos has suffered a broken foot, taking him out of his planned title defense against Conor McGregor, according to multiple confirmed reports.
The injury occurred in training late last week, and did not get better over the weekend, forcing him to pull out of next week’s pay-per-view event.
McGregor was hoping to take his second title in as many weight classes in this fight after capturing the UFC Featherweight Championship in December. Now, the UFC is searching for someone to fight him on short notice. Though there is no shortage of willing participants – Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone, and Nate Diaz are all campaigning currently – it’s unlikely there will be any title on the line.
UFC 196 still has a title fight between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate, and will air live on pay-per-view on March 5.
Penick’s Analysis: It would have been different had McGregor been the one injured, because while that’s a pay-per-view hit, the UFC could have found a replacement title challenger, or just scrapped things. Given McGregor’s willingness to fight anyone anywhere, what we’re left with is two divisions held up even longer, as he still has his goal to capture two titles. It also screws up the plan for UFC 200, because now he won’t be able to be a two division champion challenging Robbie Lawler for a third. This is disastrous for the McGregor plan in 2016.
[Photo (c) Joe Camporeale via USA Today Sports]
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