Multiple reputable sources, including MMAFighting, are reporting that the highly-anticipated super-fight between UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos and featherweight king Conor McGregor is off, as the Brazilian has withdrawn due to a foot injury.
At this point the details of the situation remain sketchy, and it is unclear as to whether McGregor will remain on the UFC 196 card.
Rumours that the super-fight, scheduled for March 5th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, had been scrapped began to swirl this morning. Ana Hissa of Brazilian media outlet Canal Combate, later responded to a fan query regarding those rumours with this tweet.
Sadly true https://t.co/ClllshElrt
— Ana Hissa (@AnaHissa) February 23, 2016
Not long after that, the news began to filter through.
This unfortunate story mirrors almost exactly that which occurred in the lead-up to UFC 189 back in July of last year, when Jose Aldo was forced to withdraw from a featherweight title fight with the Irishman on short-notice. On that occasion McGregor remained on the card, taking on Chad Mendes for the interim-featherweight belt.
Though the timelines of the two withdrawals are the exact same, both occurring 11 days prior to the scheduled fight-date, Aldo’s injury was known about for a week or so before he officially pulled-out. Chad Mendes was put on standby as a replacement from the time the UFC learned of the featherweight champion’s busted rib and thus he had a little more time to prepare than anyone who might be considering this short-notice assignment.
More information will follow as it becomes available.