In December of 2015, brash Irish superstar Conor McGregor shocked the world with a 13 second knockout of the long-time featherweight champion, Jose Aldo. Since that time, MMA fans have eagerly awaited what is next for the 27-year-old Dublin native. It appears that wait is now over, and fans of McGregor have reason to be excited.
Jeremy Botter of Bleacher Report was the first to break the news, that Conor McGregor will move up in weight to challenge for the lightweight title against Brazilian champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. This marks only the second time in UFC history that a fighter will attempt to hold two belts at the same time.
Since his UFC debut in April of 2013, McGregor has captured the attention and ire of MMA fans around the world. After an injury sustained during a 3-round battle against top-contender Max Holloway, the Irishman has blasted through his competition, with five knockout victories in five fights, none of which went past the second round.
McGregor’s nearly flawless performances inside the cage have risen him up the ranks and gained him the respect he deserves, but it is his nearly prophetic ability to call his round and method of victory that has transformed him from a promising young fighter to a global superstar. On March 5th, in Las Vegas, he has a chance to break new ground and make history.
Capturing the lightweight title will be no easy task. In a weight class long considered to be the most competitive in MMA, Rafael Dos Anjos has solidified his standing as the king, most recently with a first round mauling of perennial contender, Donald Cerrone. In the words of UFC president Dana White, however, “if anybody can do it, Conor McGregor can.”
The March 5th event will also showcase the first woman to beat Ronda Rousey, Holly Holm, attempting to defend her title against veteran fighter Miesha Tate.
UFC 197 will be a historic event, and an opportunity for Conor McGregor to make history as the first fighter to hold two belts at the same time. Only time will tell if “Mystic Mac” can continue his reign of dominance.