Conor McGregor will have to wait if his dream to become the UFC champ in two weight divisions simultaneously is to come true, as his scheduled opponent, Rafael dos Anjos, broke his foot training for the fight.
To paraphrase McGregor, he will not take part, so he cannot take over.
The McGregor/dos Anjos bout was setting up to be the main attraction at UFC 196, partly because of both men’s prowess and partly because McGregor, who has been known to tout himself as the Irish Muhammad Ali, attracts media attention that boosts ratings and attracts viewers who would otherwise shun mixed martial arts contests.
UFC organisers are scrambling to find a replacement, but with under two weeks’ notice, it is highly doubtful that they can find a relevant substitute.
Dos Anjos broke the foot while sparring as he prepared for UFC 196. As is the case with many foot injuries, and more so in the case of athletes who are accustomed to pain, he continued the sparring session unaware that there was a problem until his foot was badly swollen.
This is the second time that a Brazilian opponent has failed to answer the bell for a fight with McGregor. Jose Aldo deferred from meeting McGregor earlier, delaying until December, and then lasting only 13 seconds into the first round.