Multiple sources have confirmed that the UFC will soon announce the card for UFC 197, scheduled for March 5th.
Expected to be announced is a headliner featuring newly-minted, undisputed featherweight champion indeed moving up to 155lbs to challenge Rafael dos Anjos for his lightweight title.
Also expected, after UFC officials stated Holly Holm would likely fight before a rematch with former champ Ronda Rousey, is a Bantamweight title fight between Holm and #1 contender, Meisha Tate, taking the co-main event slot.
Dos Anjos is fresh off his 66-second finish of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone last month and, having emerged unscathed from that title defense, should be fit to fight in March.
McGregor is coming off his record-breaking 13-second KO of longtime featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo last month. After his victory, the new champ was not without options at featherweight and, according to him and the promotion, 155 lbs as well, leaving the MMA world to speculate the Notorious one’s next move.
After shocking the world with her dominant win and scintillating headkick KO of the seemingly unbeatable Rousey, Holm was also in a state of speculation as to her next challenge. Recently, however, UFC president, Dana White, alluded to Holm possibly fighting at least once before an inevitable rematch with Rousey.
Riding a 4-fight winning streak, many were shocked to see Tate passed by for a third shot at Rousey when the fight between “Rowdy” and Holm was announced. Tate was none too pleased herself, even stating that she would contemplate retirement after the snub. With Ronda momentarily out of the way, however, it seems the path is clear for “Cupcake” to again vie for the belt, this time against a new champion.
Images provided by MMA Fight Night Live, Shawn James
By Cory Santos, mmawreckage.com