UFC 196: Dos Anjos Out; Scramble To Find A New Opponent

If you checked Twitter this morning, you probably found out that the biggest fight of 2016 was scrapped as Rafael dos Anjos is out of the bout with Conor McGregor due to a broken foot.

The lightweight champion reportedly suffered the injury in sparring on Friday and notified the UFC.  While the Brazilian considered going through with the fight at first, a doctor sent by the UFC revealed the extent with the injury.

The card suffers a huge blow as the fight was set to be only the second bout in UFC history between to current champions.

In the aftermath this morning, the search to find a replacement against McGregor turned into a spectacle.  With so many fighters vying to face McGregor in recent months, the status of their availability was called into question.

To break it down:

Jose Aldo: The former featherweight champion was offered a rematch the Irishman.  When the UFC contacted his coach Andre Pederneiras, he stated that Aldo was not in fight shape and would not be able to compete with McGregor in two weeks time.

Frankie Edgar: Top featherweight contender Edgar was contacted earlier this morning and stated that he was injured and would not be able to step in.

Donald Cerrone: “Cowboy” is less than 48 hours removed from winning his first fight at welterweight on Sunday night.  The former lightweight title challenger took to Twitter to say that he was prepared to step in and was ready if the UFC called.

Now, there are other names that have jumped out this morning.

Notably, Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis have been mentioned and both fighters have said they are ready to step in to fight on short notice.

Urijah Faber, who coached against McGregor on The Ultimate Fighter, also posted a photo on social media showing that he was at 158 pounds and in condition to make the fight on short notice.

Of the names mentioned, Donald Cerrone is the most exciting match-up.  The two exchanged words at the now infamous press conference and “Cowboy” is the highest ranked fighter coming off a victory.

From a promotional standpoint, Nate Diaz is likely the safest opponent.  The Stockton native has only competed three times in the last few years.  Stylistically, he’s not known for fighting a tactical battle which would play into the hands of McGregor.  Diaz also fanned the flames slightly this morning with this message:

While McGregor hasn’t made an official statement, he reportedly ripped dos Anjos for pulling out of the fight on short notice.  Dana White claims that the Irishman will remain on the card and that he is prepared to face any opponent.

The news, while unfortunate, is not unfamiliar to McGregor as this is the fourth time in eight fights that he has had an opponent pull out of a fight.

At this time, the co-main event between Holly Holm and Miesha Tate is still scheduled to take place.  Despite the fact that McGregor will no longer be fighting for the undisputed title, the plan is still to keep him as the main event.

More news to come when a replacement for the bout is announced.

 

 

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