As the rumor mill had suggested last week, UFC 197 will in fact be of the box office variety. On Tuesday, it was confirmed featherweight champion Conor McGregor (pictured) will jump to lightweight and challenge champ Rafael Dos Anjos for his crown in the March 5 event.
As if that weren’t enough, women’s bantamweight title holder Holly Holm will break in her brand new hardware against Miesha Tate in the show’s co-featured attraction.
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas hosts the festivities.
McGregor has the chance to capture his second UFC title in as many fights. It appears the UFC’s latest cash cow will not be forced to vacate the featherweight belt he captured just last month when he put Jose Aldo to sleep in merely 13 seconds, giving him the chance to become the promotion’s first two-way champion.
Dos Anjos just 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 last week 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.
Tate 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.
No other bouts have been reported for the lineup at this time.