Written by @NickRiznerMMA
Two blockbuster title fights have been announced for UFC 197 in March.
First, Conor McGregor will attempt to make history by becoming the first UFC champion to simultaneously hold titles in two different weight classes. After becoming the UFC Featherweight Champion with a 13 second knockout of P4P champ, Jose Aldo, McGregor expressed interest in moving up to lightweight to take on the winner of Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone.
RDA starched Cerrone, firmly securing his position as the 155 pound king and creating for a very compelling matchup with the streaking Irishman. The victory over Cerrone marked dos Anjos’ fifth consecutive win and his first title defense after taking the belt from Anthony Pettis last
As if this wasn’t enough, after being teased by UFC President Dana White during last night’s episode of UFC Tonight, Holly Holm will indeed fight once more before a potential rematch with Ronda Rousey. Her opponent? Longtime contender and fan favorite Miesha Tate.
Tate has been on a warpath since falling to Rousey at UFC 168. After running through Liz Carmouche, Rin Nakai, Sara McMann, and Jessica Eye, Miesha’s been screaming for a title shot for some time now. Many were surprised when Holly Holm was picked over Tate for a December title shot, but it looks as if that oversight will be corrected by March.
In all likelihood, this is setting up for some big matchups at UFC 200. Assuming Ronda will be back by July, she’ll have a grudge match with Holly Holm, the only fighter to defeat her, or Miesha Tate, her longtime rival, waiting for her with a belt on the line. If McGregor wins, the UFC has any number of options at featherweight or lightweight for a title defense. Perhaps the winner of Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez makes the most sense, as the two square off in just over a week for #1 contender status.
Keeping these stars on the shelf until July would be a mistake, and by placing them on a card in early March, this leaves ample time for recovery from injury, ensuring that they’ll be good to go for the big show in July. Smart strategy by the boys upstairs.
The news was initially reported by Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report, confirming that multiple sources corroborate the news.
BREAKING: Multiple sources confirm UFC will soon announce UFC 197 for March 5 in Vegas with Dos Anjos/McGregor and Holm/Tate.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) January 8, 2016
If this is UFC 197, what the heck do they have in store for UFC 200?!Check out our latest podcast episode featuring a conversation with Cortney Casey.