Conor McGregor may end up with a new opponent at short notice
News of Rafael dos Anjos' foot injury on Tuesday afternoon has dramatically changed the plans for UFC 196 on March 5th.
The Brazilian was due to fight Conor McGregor for the UFC Lightweight Title but that fight is now off. There has been no confirmation from the UFC about the fight being cancelled, as McGregor may be kept on the card with a new opponent.
The situation bears a striking resemblance to what happened last summer when Jose Aldo pulled out of his Featherweight title with McGregor with less than two weeks notice. McGregor went on to fight and defeat Chad Mendes.
Should McGregor want to fight next month, and more importantly if the UFC deems fit to allow it, two fighters seem the most logical to step in at short notice. The Dubliner may end up fighting either Donald Cerrone of Nate Diaz.
Both men have publicly stated their interests in fighting McGregor. Cerrone is famous for taking fights on short notice. He defeated Alex Oliveira last weekend inside three minutes. "Cowboy" is a workhorse and has fought five times since the start of 2015. He lost to dos Anjos in December in a Lightweight title fight.
If Cerrone and McGregor was not to happen, Nate Diaz may be the one to step in. Diaz has only fought twice in the last two years including a loss to dos Anjos. His last fight came in December when he defeated Michael Johnson on the same night Cerrone fought dos Anjos.
Ariel Helwani, one of the most respected journalists in MMA has stated that both fighters are in the frame to replace the Brazilian.
Spoke to Cerrone’s mgmt team this morning. They are interested in taking the fight. He’s on the shortlist, for sure.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 23, 2016
Discussed, as well. https://t.co/qgZVBAvwKI— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 23, 2016