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It’s official: Holm defends against Tate, dos Anjos and McGregor collide at UFC 197

The UFC confirmed today UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm (10-0-0) will defend her title against #2 challenger Miesha Tate (17-5-0) at UFC 197, while featherweight champ Conor McGregor (19-2-0) will challenge lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos (24-7-0) for his belt.

The exciting news means history will be once be made March 5th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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It’s likely former champion Ronda Rousey (12-1-0) will be waiting in the wings.  Rousey lost the belt at UFC 193 to Holm and has been focusing on recovery and movie projects since the loss.

She is doing another Sports Illustrated swimsuit photoshoot and will be the first MMA fighter to host Saturday Night Live January 23rd.

Holm will still have her hands full with Tate, a former Strikeforce bantamweight champion who before Holm gave Rousey her toughest fights.

Holm will have the height and reach advantages, but Tate has grappling, something that could bother the former boxing world champion.

UFC 193
Holly Holm celebrates her second round KO (headkick and punches) over Ronda Rousey (not pictured) in their UFC women’s bantamweight championship bout during the UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, McGregor will attempt to make history by becoming a concurrent lightweight and featherweight champion. Many of his traditional physical advantages are reduced at lightweight, such as reach (74 inches vs 71 inches for dos Anjos).

UFC 194
Courtesy UFC/Zuffa LLC.

As The Notorious One says however, precision beats power and timing beats speed.

McGregor rewrote  Rousey’s record for fastest title fight finish at UFC 194, defeating Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. Dos Anjos recently defeated Donald Cerrone in 66 seconds, and has grappling that could give McGregor trouble.

UFC on FOX 17
Courtesy UFC /Zuffa LLC.

UFC 197 takes place March 5th. More bouts are expected to be announced in the following weeks.




Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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