With just 11 days left until UFC 196, UFC lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos has pulled out of the main event fight against Conor McGregor. MMAFighting.com reported that dos Anjos removed himself from the fight due to a foot injury.
The UFC will look to replace dos Anjos with another fighter in order to keep McGregor on the PPV card. It is the fourth time that McGregor has dealt with an opponent change, the most notable time being at UFC 189 when Chad Mendes stepped in for an injured Jose Aldo.
Aldo is 'not ready' to fight Conor on short notice
Andre Pederneiras says that Jose Aldo is not in shape to take a five round fight on short notice, even though Aldo himself said in the past he would be willing to rematch Conor McGregor anytime and anywhere.
As far as a replacement, Ariel Helwani has confirmed that UFC featherweight Contender Frankie Edgar won't be able to take the fight on short notice.
If you’re clamoring for Edgar, he’s unavailable, I’m told. Dealing w/ an injury. There aren’t a ton of options. You can probably guess em.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 23, 2016
One possible replacement option that would both save the main event and build on a current rivalry would be a match-up with Donald Cerrone. Although Cerrone is coming off of a fight this past weekend,he has spoken to the UFC about coming back quickly to fight on the UFC 196 card.
Just spoke to @Cowboycerrone. He said he's happy to fly to London or Vegas next. Best part? He's serious...— Dave Sholler (@Sholler_UFC) February 22, 2016
Ariel Helwani confirmed that Cerrone's team is interested in stepping in for the injured dos Anjos.
Spoke to Cerrone’s mgmt team this morning. They are interested in taking the fight. He’s on the shortlist, for sure.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 23, 2016