Dos Anjos pulls out of UFC 196 fight vs. McGregor

Nate Diaz might be in line to catch the big payday he's longed for by facing Conor McGregor on short notice at UFC 196.

Nate Diaz might be in line to catch the big payday he’s longed for by facing Conor McGregor on short notice at UFC 196.

Published on Tuesday, 2/23/16, at 11:11 a.m. Eastern.

What a bummer! According to a report from’s Ariel Helwani early this morning, lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos has withdrawn from UFC 196 after breaking his foot late last week.

Dos Anjos was scheduled to face featherweight kingpin Conor McGregor next Saturday night in Las Vegas. McGregor was a -150 favorite at most betting shops.

McGregor is 8-0 in the UFC and will now have to face a replacement opponent for the fourth time. Per a tweet from Helwani, No. 1 featherweight contender Frankie Edgar is not an option because of an injury he’s coping with.

There aren’t many options, but the two most obvious ones appear to be Nate Diaz and Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Diaz is off one of his best performances in years when he captured a unanimous-decision win over Michael Johnson at UFC Orlando this past December.

Diaz famously called out ‘The Notorious’ in this epic postfight interview with Joe Rogan in the Octagon.

Cerrone made his welterweight debut this past Sunday night in Pittsburgh, submitting Alex Oliveira in the first round. After winning for the ninth time in his last 10 fights, Cerrone volunteered to UFC officials to catch a plane to London or Las Vegas next.

There’s UFC London this Saturday headlined by Anderson Silva versus Michael Bisping in a long-awaited middleweight showdown. Cerrone would have been eager to fill in for an injured fighter at that event or next week at UFC 196 in Vegas.

Cerrone and Diaz are known to stay in great shape and have both competed at 155 pounds and 170. Both also have a history of talking shit with McGregor, who brings it verbally better than anyone in MMA history including Chael Sonnen. Unlike RDA or any Brazilian with limited English, Cerrone and Diaz can hold their own with McGregor in the verbal hype game. In fact, Diaz might take it to another level.

One issue might be if Diaz or Cerrone could compete at a catchweight. I would think either could get down to 160, but 155 might be a stretch on this short of notice. We shall see.

Cerrone has already expressed interest in the fight this morning.

Stay tuned to for updates on this fluid story.

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