Conor McGregor will no longer have a chance at making UFC history on March 5 after opponent and lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos pulled out due to a broken foot. McGregor was trying to become the first fighter ever to hold titles in multiple weight classes at the same time.
The narrative feels all too familiar for McGregor. Last year, he was scheduled to fight featherweight champion Jose Aldo on July 11, 2015, but a rib injury forced the Brazilian to withdraw. Featherweight contender Chad Mendes accepted the fight on two weeks notice, but would eventually lose to McGregor in the second round via TKO. McGregor held the interim featherweight belt for five months before defeating Aldo on December 12, 2015 in 13 seconds via KO.
Now, with dos Anjos’ unexpected injury, the Irishman will once again be fighting for an interim belt. While a replacement for the lightweight champion hasn’t been announced yet, McGregor’s opponent will be put in the difficult position of only having two weeks to prepare for an extremely unorthodox fighter.
Many might view this as a disadvantage, but it hasn’t stopped lightweight contenders from begging for the opportunity to take on the Irishman. Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz have publicly expressed interest in fighting McGregor in the past, and that desire has only intensified since dos Anjos’ withdrawal.
Cerrone is rumored to have already told the UFC that he wants the fight, and Diaz posted this not-so-subtle message on Twitter:
The UFC is disappointed McGregor-dos Anjos won’t be taking place at UFC 196 in Las Vegas, but a McGregor win would guarantee that this showdown still takes place in the near future.
If that’s the case, hopefully dos Anjos can last more than 13 seconds.