The MMA world is still reeling from the news of UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos pulling out of the highly-anticipated fight against Conor McGregor at UFC 196 on March 5.
Dos Anjos, esteemed for his top-notch conditioning and physical attributes, had never pulled out from a fight through his first 19 matches in the UFC. In fact, he battled through niggling injuries but never let them bother him enough to skip a fight.
So why won’t the Brazilian be fighting “The Notorious” at UFC 196? His coach, Rafael Cordeiro, explained the severity of the situation to MMAFighting.com. “Unfortunately, an injury happened in his last training Friday. We were sparring, and Rafael threw a kick at the knee of the kid that was training with him. He immediately stopped kicking, put his foot on the ground, and felt a little pain. He put some ice, and couldn’t walk normally,” Cordeiro revealed.
Anjos’ coach added: “He put more ice during the weekend to see if he would be able to train on Monday. On Monday, he contacted the UFC and said what happened. He asked to visit the UFC’s doctor, and they showed the fracture.”
According to UFC protocol, every fighter must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the injury could jeopardize his/her future. In the past, there have been instances of fighters pulling out of bouts for ‘lesser’ injuries. But Anjos isn’t one of them. “It (the injury) was meant to happen, it was a misfortune. Unfortunately, it’s a full contact sport and (injuries) happens. We have to think about what’s next, what will happen, and how long it will take for him to recover,” said Cordeiro.
McGregor’s notorious reaction…
Dana White, the UFC president, told Yahoo Sports of McGregor’s initial reaction to the news. “When we told Conor, he said, ‘Come on! This f****** guy! Oh my God! He’s pulling out?’” White said. “But when we went through the options, he said he’d fight any of them.”
“I swear to God, he said, ‘I’ll fight anyone.’ He just doesn’t give a f***.” Typical McGregor.
The UFC has yet to announce who will replace Rafael dos Anjos against McGregor at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) February 24, 2016