Conor McGregor Holly Holm
UFC superstar Conor McGregor to headline UFC 197 with new bantamweight champion Holly Holm as the co-main event.


In Mixed Martial Arts by ERIC GOMES

Bona fide Irish UFC superstar Conor McGregor (19-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) will return to the Octagon March 05, 2016 for UFC 197 alongside newly crowned bantamweight champion Holly Holm (10-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC).

Initial reports suggested this fight card was to be staged in Rio de Janeiro, however it is looking more likely that UFC 197 will in fact happen in Las Vegas, NV instead. Although the main event and co-main event opponents have not yet been announced officially, many industry sources point to a clash between Conor McGregor and champion Rafael dos Anjos with Holly Holm vs. Miesha Tate on the card. Dana White has yet to give an official release on both matches.

The Irish-bred McGregor is coming off a career defining spectacular win over the very skilled Jose Aldo at UFC 194.  McGregor defined the odds makers by defeating the experienced Brazilian in just 0:13 seconds of Round 1 via knockout. This win proved many doubters wrong as the brash McGregor made good with his pre-fight trash talk and showed up on fight night.

As for Holm her last cage performance was nothing short of spectacular when she dominated UFC favorite “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey en route to a devastating 2nd Round knockout (Head Kick). Rousey vs. Holm was one of 2015’s biggest fight upsets and certainly a breakout year for the 34-year-old former pro-boxer.

Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm at UFC 193
Female bantamweight champion Holly Holm defeated UFC superstar Ronda Rousey via 2nd Round KO at UFC 193.

If McGregor fights dos Anjos he will be moving up from the featherweight division to fight the Champion dos Anjos at 155 pounds. Rafael dos Anjos too looked magnificent in his last fight, a rematch with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone; where he dominated Cerrone from start to finish. This was a huge statement fight for dos Anjos who proved his previous win over Cowboy Cerrone was no fluke. Up to that point Donald Cerrone was riding an eight fight win streak and was nominated for ESPN’s 2015 “Fighter of the Year” awards (The award went to Ronda Rousey). Rafael dos Anjos solidified his championship status  by defending his belt and stopping Cerrone in 66 seconds of the first round.

Conor McGregor deserves some credit after Jose Aldo initially pulled out of the first scheduled fight, he faced skilled Wrestler Chad Mendes as a last-minute replacement. Once Aldo recovered, he faced him, destroying the Jiu-Jitsu legend in 13 seconds. So moving up to fight a guy with the pedigree of lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos is certainly a big risk for the “Notorious” one Conor McGregor.

“Conor McGregor he’s been saying that he wants to come to my division, and I think it will not be a smart decision for him, but if wants to come I will be happy to welcome him.” -Rafael dos Anjos

The UFC 197 card is certainly shaping up, if these rumored fights turn out to be true. If these matches do indeed happen, Dana White is wasting no time delivering the goods. The timing is perfect for both matches considering 3 of the four top billed fighters are coming off first or second round impressive knockouts against top-level opposition. UFC 197 looks to be a meaningful card that fans can look forward to this March.

Written By: EGO