The Top 3 Candidates to Face Conor McGregor at UFC 196

Unfortunately, red panty night at the Dos Anjos household has been cancelled after UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos was forced out of his fight against UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor at UFC 196. The card itself is far from dead, since Conor is the straw that stirs the drink and would likely sell over a million pay-per-views against any fighter on the UFC roster. In order to preserve the PPV buy rates and the importance of the card, it is very likely Dana White will keep McGregor on the card and bring in a last minute replacement for the fight and put an interim lightweight title on the line. Here are the top 3 candidates to share the marquee with the Mystic One at UFC 196.

Eddie Alvarez: Owns a 31-4 pro record and is the former Bellator lightweight champion. He is coming off an impressive January 17th split-decision victory over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. Like McGregor, Pettis is a dynamic striker with the ability to finish opponents with a single punch or kick. Alvarez was able to smother and control Pettis in order to secure the close win. Alvarez has stated that he has the perfect game plan for Conor and he shares the same trainers as Frankie Edgar, who have likely been cooking up a game plan for the inevitable Conor showdown. Will 12 days be enough time for Alvarez to condition himself for a grinding, wrestling heavy fight with Conor? It wasn’t enough time for Chad Mendes, but if offered, Alvarez will definitely accept the challenge.

Eddie Alvarez


Khabib Nurmagomedov: Khabib is already set for an April 17th fight against Tony Ferguson. He holds a perfect 22-0 record and is the last man defeat current UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos. He has been out for nearly two years due to knee injuries, which might work against him. Khabib comes from an elite level sambo and grappling background which could create a very bad match up for Conor. Additionally, he is also a very large lightweight, walking around at 190 lbs. while Conor is coming up from featherweight.

Khabib Nurmagomedov


Nate Diaz: “The real money fight.” Diaz called out Conor in a profanity laced tyrade after his win over Michael Johnson. Even though Nate is only 18-10 and ranked sixth in the lightweight division, he has a strong fan base and will bring the fireworks and smack talk to the main event. Despite his wild antics, Nate Diaz is always in great shape and is a very durable fighter. Also, the pre-fight press conference and post weigh-ins stare downs are sure to be hostile and will help sell a few hundred thousand extra PPVs.



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