If the rumor mill holds true, UFC 197 > UFC 200. According to Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report, the March 5 event will be headlined by a lightweight shootout between champion Rafael Dos Anjos (pictured) and featherweight champ Conor McGregor.
As if that weren’t enough, women’s bantamweight title holder Holly Holm will put her freshly-minted hardware up for grabs against former top contender Miesha Tate.
UFC officials have yet to confirm the matchups.
Obviously, what makes this news of the blockbuster variety is that McGregor has the chance to capture his second UFC title in as many fights. It is unknown if McGregor will be forced to vacate the featherweight belt he captured just last month when he put Jose Aldo to sleep in merely 13 seconds, but it’s highly unlikely considering the UFC’s newest cash cow could become the promotion’s first two-way champion.
Dos Anjos is just 19 days removed from plastering Donald Cerrone in just 66 seconds his first title defense. The Brazilian will be riding a five-fight winning streak into the tango.
Holm was expected to grant Ronda Rousey an immediate rematch at UFC 200 after shocking the MMA world at UFC 193, but UFC president Dana White revealed Wednesday Holm would defend her belt at least once before facing Rousey again. Rousey has two movies to film in the first-half of 2016, so her schedule is pretty jammed.
That was music to Tate’s ears. She has been contemplating retirement after unexpectedly getting passed over by Holm for a third shot at Rousey. Tate has rattled off four straight wins, with July’s victory over Jessica Eye momentarily cementing her spot as the division’s top contender.
Holm has compiled a perfect 10-0 MMA record since leaving boxing behind in 2011. She utterly destroyed Rousey in what some are considering the biggest upset in MMA history.
It is unknown if UFC 197 will take place at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, or the larger MGM Grand down the street.