The UFC officially announced who will be headlining UFC 196, and to say it will be huge is quite the understatement. Dos Anjos. McGregor. Holm. Tate. Is the world ready for this? Absolutely.
Dos Anjos vs. McGregor
UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor will be moving up a weight class to take on lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos in an attempt to become the third multi-divisional champion. You read that correctly. McGregor will grace the lightweight division with his presence.
After winning the belt at UFC 194, McGregor mentioned how the lightweight division is struggling big time. It needs him, but he doesn’t need the division. Is it the truth? Maybe so. The 155ers have been struggling lately with Pettis and Nurmagomedov fighting to stay healthy and Cerrone moving up to the welterweight division. It makes sense for McGregor to get an immediate shot against champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Currently, McGregor sits as the underdog, which really comes as no surprise because dos Anjos is the best lightweight in the world and an incredibly well-rounded fighter. Dos Anjos has kept a pretty low profile, especially compared to McGregor, but a win for him would definitely escalate him to the level he rightfully deserves. He’s a fearless fighter with powerful punches, exceptional kicks, solid takedowns and a whole lot of stamina. His current five-fight win-streak is impressive, with a dominant five-round performance against Pettis last year that made him the champion.
Enter McGregor. There’s no denying he’s good. After all, he took out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. Call it luck or skill, but McGregor did what he said he would do and he now holds the featherweight title. But the question is, does he really have what it takes to become the new lightweight champion? That’s debatable.
And what about Frankie Edgar? He deserves the next featherweight title shot, no doubt. Now, of course, this has been halted for now, but who knows, McGregor could turn around and defend the belt against him at UFC 200. Anything can happen at this point.
Holm vs. Tate
A Holm-Rousey rematch has been the center of many people’s focus since UFC 193, but before we even look that far ahead, we must focus on what’s in front of us. Holm is first getting the fight she wished for, and rightfully so, as she will defend her bantamweight title for the first time against Miesha Tate.
This fight has its risks and rewards for Holly Holm. We know Tate is no joke and consistently shows improvement, and if Holm loses, we could see a Tate-Rousey 3 at UFC 200. However, this fight could serve as a huge benefit to Holm. It will keep her active and sharp before she potentially rematches Rousey, and a win will increase her popularity even more.
The odds are in Holm’s favor with this classic matchup of striker versus grappler. Holm will try to use her elite kickboxing skills while Tate will try to wrestle. Tate has shown much improvement in power on the feet, but Holm’s precise technique and takedown defense will most likely give her the edge.
Be There at UFC® 196
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