Look out, ma, because on Tuesday afternoon UFC announced its card for UFC 197 and it is a thing of glory. The headline bout will be UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor moving up in weight to face lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos for the lightweight strap. It will be McGregor's first bout since knocking out Jose Aldo at UFC 194, and Dos Anjos' first fight since absolutely pummeling Cowboy Cerrone at UFC on Fox 17. Should McGregor win, he would be the first UFC fighter ever to simultaneously hold titles from different divisions.
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Also on the card is women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm in her first title defense since shocking the world and knocking out Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. The champ will take on Meisha Tate. For UFC this booking is absolutely perfect, given that the winner of the bout will likely face Ronda Rousey, probably at UFC 200. A Rousey-Holm rematch is palatable for obvious reasons, but Tate-Rousey III would also hold great appeal. Prior to Holm's dismantling of Rousey, Tate was the only fighter ever to take the former champion out of the first round. The potential third bout would not only showcase a difficult opponent for Rousey, but one with a great deal of confidence and a turn of the tides between who enters as champion/challenger. Either way, it's a promoter's dream.
Below is the official press release from the UFC.
UFC® featherweight champion Conor McGregor will look to make history on Saturday, March 5 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas when he moves up to challenge UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos for the 155-pound title.
McGregor will look to become the first fighter in history to hold UFC world titles in two different weight classes simultaneously when he challenges the red-hot Brazilian champion.
Plus, women's bantamweight champion Holly Holm puts her world title on the line for the first time against second-ranked Miesha Tate in the co-main event. The undefeated Holm became a household name at UFC® 193 when she knocked out previously unbeaten Ronda Rousey. The former boxing champion looks to keep her perfect record intact when she meets Tate, who is riding a dominant four-fight win streak.
Tickets for UFC® 197: DOS ANJOS vs. McGREGOR, presented by EA SPORTS UFC® 2, go on sale to the general public on Friday, Jan. 22. Ticket information will be made available soon.
UFC® 197: DOS ANJOS vs. McGREGOR will air live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Saturday, March 5.
Get your popcorn ready, because March 3 at the MGM is Las Vegas is an event not to be missed.