Blockbuster UFC event will see Conor McGregor, Holly Holm in huge title matches
Spurred on by the massively successful series of events that rounded off 2015, the UFC is looking to make 2016 follow the trend. A couple of huge title fights involving the Welterweight and Bantamweight Championships will be followed by an even bigger card.
UFC 197 will have two of the promotion’s biggest names, Conor McGregor and Holly Holm, defend their Championship belts. This will be Holm’s first fight since her monumental win over UFC mainstay Ronda Rousey at UFC 193.
Holm will face perennial contender Miesha Tate. The latter has challenged Ronda Rousey unsuccessfully for the Women’s Bantamweight belt once before, in a contest that won “Fight of the Night”.
Holm became the first fighter to defeat Rousey when she knocked her out with a surgical head kick in the second round of their tie on November 15th 2015. Holm had a very successful boxing and kickboxing career before wading into MMA.
While this match in itself has MMA fans squirming in pleasure, the main event is sure to send them into convulsions. The UFC’s hottest star right now, Featherweight champion Conor McGregor, will go back to his old stomping ground the Lightweight division, to challenge Rafael Dos Anjos for the belt.
“The Notorious One” set the UFC ablaze with his entry into the promotion, winning all his fights before earning a shot at the Featherweight belt. An untimely injury to longtime king of the hill, Jose Aldo, forced a match for the Interim belt, which McGregor won by knocking out Chad Mendes.
At UFC 194, in what is arguably the biggest fight in the UFC’s history, McGregor dethroned Jose Aldo with an astonishing 13-second knockout. He became the first man to defeat Aldo in a decade with the fastest KO in a UFC title match.
His opponent, Brazilian veteran Rafael Dos Anjos, dominated Anthony Pettis for 5 rounds to win the Lightweight belt at UFC 185. He made a statement in his first title defense by stopping streaking American, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in just 66 seconds. The event held in Orlando, Florida, was UFC’s curtain call in 2015.
If successful, McGregor will become just the third fighter in UFC history to win belts in two different divisions, after legends Randy Couture and BJ Penn. The marquee event will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on March 5th .