Lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos has reportedly pulled out of UFC 196.
Rafael Dos Anjos has heartbreakingly pulled out of UFC 196 due to an alleged broken foot. According to multiple sources, the Brazilian suffered his injury last week in the lead up to the highly anticipated fight.
Ariel Helwani of MMAfighting was one of the first to report the news, which has left a chasm of massive proportions for the main event at UFC 196.
With the fight date so close, the UFC will now have a scramble on their hands to find a replacement. It's highly unlikely that McGregor would make the draining cut to 145lbs in such a short space of time, and many are now looking towards other lightweight opponents.
Many fans have pointed towards Frankie Edgar as a possible replacement, but Ariel Helwani was quick to lay waste to the idea. The reporter claimed that Edgar is also battling an injury.
Unfortunately for McGregor, this situation will be nothing new. It's become a bit of a habit for fighters to drop out due to injury so close to fighting him. Most recently 'The Notorious' one was forced to fight Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight belt as Jose Aldo dropped out on the lead up to facing him.
As Ariel Helwani incredibly points out, this will the fourth time in eight UFC fights that McGregor has had to change opponent.
Although many are now looking towards Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone as a possible replacement, that fight seems unlikely. Cerrone would have to cut 25lbs in just 11 days, unless the pair agreed to fight at catchweight or as Cathal Pendred ponders, 170lbs.
The most likely fighter to step up could be Nate Diaz. Most of the top 10 lightweight fighters are already tied up with other fights, so this bout seems to make the most sense. Diaz stated days ago that he wanted to fight soon, and has previously called out Conor McGregor from inside the octagon.
Of course, UFC 196 still has Holly Holm v Meisha Tate on the card, and although it was overshadowed by the McGregor bout it could now in theory be pushed to main event.
As you would expect, fighters all over twitter are now throwing themselves at the UFC for a shot at the trash talking featherweight champion. As McGregor previously stated, he is undeniably the big money fight in any division of the UFC. Chuck Mindenhall hit the nail on the head with this tweet, evoking one of many now iconic lines from Mystic Mac.
It certainly does... But who will be breaking out the red panties is the question on everyone's lips.
The UFC promotion has yet to make a statement. We'll keep you updated!