After a slight delay in an official announcement, the UFC has confirmed the big news regarding UFC 197. Rafael dos Anjos will defend his lightweight title against featherweight champion Conor McGregor, and new women's bantamweight title-holder Holly Holm will make her first defense against Miesha Tate, and not Ronda Rousey.
The UFC was reportedly going to make the announcement during the NFL on FOX playoff broadcast between Green Bay and Washington, but Brazilian media reported on Monday that McGregor was demanding more money, a claim which McGregor's manager denied. However, according to Dave Meltzer, it was actually dos Anjos who was making those demands for more guaranteed money, and that's what prompted the delay.
There's a lot of history riding on the line for McGregor, who is seeking to become the first simultaneous two-division beltholder in UFC history. In Cage Warriors, McGregor pulled off the feat before signing with the UFC. The last UFC champion to go for two belts was B.J. Penn, who was the lightweight champion who moved up to 170 to face Georges St-Pierre at UFC 94. GSP won by TKO, and Penn went back to lightweight to defend his belt.
Tickets for this event, which airs live on PPV on March 5th at Las Vegas' MGM Grand, go on sale on Friday, January 22nd. There will be an official news conference, with the top four fighters all involved, on Wednesday, January 20th.