Cape Town - UFC Featherweight champion, Conor McGregor will now face Nate Diaz at UFC 196 after an injury to Rafael dos Anjos.
Dos Anjos, the current UFC lightweight champion and
19-fight veteran with the promotion, was scheduled to put his belt on the line
against McGregor on Saturday March 5, but due
to a broken foot the Brazilian has had to pull out of the fight.
The injury happened during dos Anjos’s last training session on Friday according to Nick Strickland from MMALatestNews.com.
“Unfortunately, an injury happened in his last training Friday,” Rafael Cordeiro, dos Anjos’s head coach, told mmafighting.com on Tuesday.
“We were sparring, and Rafael threw a kick at the knee of the kid that was training with him. He immediately stopped kicking, put his foot on the ground, and felt a little pain. He put some ice, and couldn’t walk normally.
He put more ice during the weekend to see if he would be able to train on Monday. On Monday, he contacted the UFC and said what happened. He asked to visit the UFC’s doctor, and they showed the fracture.”
With no immediate knowledge of how long it will take fro dos Anjos to fully recover, at least three weeks until he can train again, a replacement opponent has been found for the main event of UFC 196.
Nate Diaz will now be the man to stand opposite Conor McGregor on March 5 the UFC have now announced. The bout will take place in the welterweight class.
As soon as the news broke of McGregor needing a new dance partner, it seemed as the entire UFC roster took to their social media accounts to plead their case. The fighters considered were Donald Cerrone and Urijah Faber but unfortunately for them Diaz was chosen and a deal was made so that at such short notice (11 days), Diaz would not have to cut down to the 155-pound limit.
McGregor immediately agreed to fight at 170 pounds.
Diaz (18-10) is coming off a huge unanimous decision victory over Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17 in December. Immediately after his victory, the popular Californian took to the mic and called out the Irishman. With nearly the perfect mix between stand up and ground skills, Diaz has caused problems for his opponents in both areas in the past.
For McGregor this will mark his first fight at 170 pounds while his opponent Diaz has previously had a stint in the welterweight division.
Although not slated to be a championship bout, Diaz and McGregor will have 5-rounds, if needed, to get the job done.