Just 11 days before the scheduled UFC 196 super fight, current Lightweight Champion Rafael Dos Anjos has pulled out of the bout against UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor.
According to sources close to the Dos Anjos camp, the Brazilian Champion injured his foot on Friday, the last day of his training camp. Dos Anjos had hoped it was a minor injury and waited over the weekend to see if he could recover, but on Monday, the fighter was forced to cancel his match as the foot was broken.
Conor McGregor, the Irish champion who recently won his Featherweight belt in spectacular fashion against former champion Jose Aldo is still prepared to fight at UFC 196 against a replacement fighter.
For the Irishman, this is not new territory.
Just last year McGregor was slated to face Aldo at UFC 189 where the Brazilian fighter pulled out, coincidentally, just 11 days before the event. McGregor faced replacement fighter, Chad Mendes, winning the interim belt, before unifying the belt at UFC 194.
The UFC is currently working on finding a replacement fighter for Conor McGregor, but no one has officially been announced yet.
According to various sources, Frankie Edgar, the current contender at Featherweight who has been vocal about fighting McGregor, is unable to fight as he is also injured.
Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated Russian fighter who was the last man to defeat Rafael Dos Anjos, reportedly asked to step in at UFC 196 as a replacement fighter but was denied by UFC brass.
One of the main frontrunners to fight in the main event at UFC 196 on March 5th in Las Vegas include Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone who fought only 3 days ago, quickly submitting Charles Oliveira. “Cowboy”, known for being one of the most active fighters on the UFC roster, lost a title defense against Rafael Dos Anjos in 1 minute on December 19th.
The other name being looked at to replace Rafael Dos Anjos now that he has pulled out is Nate Diaz. Diaz is coming off of an impressive and dominant win over Michael Johnson and has been enthusiastic about taking the fight with McGregor prior to UFC 196’s booking.
While the foot injury suffered by Rafael Dos Anjos has forced him to pull out of UFC 196, he will not require surgery, according to his coach Rafael Cordeiro, but he will not be able to put pressure on it for 3 weeks.