UFC 197 is shaping up to be an event to remember.
Multiple outlets are reporting that the March pay-per-view event will feature a pair of blockbuster title bouts, as Rafael dos Anjos will defend the lightweight strap against Conor McGregor, while Holly Holm will face Miesha Tate for bantamweight gold. UFC 197 is expected to take place in Las Vegas on March 5 after originally being announced for Rio de Janeiro. Bleacher Report on Thursday first brought word of the card, although the UFC has yet to confirm the bookings.
After capturing the lightweight strap with a lopsided five-round verdict over Anthony Pettis at UFC 185, dos Anjos made his first defense in emphatic fashion, as he stopped Donald Cerrone in just 66 seconds in the UFC on Fox 17 headliner on Dec. 19. The Kings MMA product has won 10 of his last 11 bouts in the Octagon.
McGregor capped off a memorable 2015 at UFC 194 with a 13-second knockout of reigning featherweight king Jose Aldo. The “Notorious” Irishman, who is arguably the Las Vegas-based promotion’s fastest rising star, expressed a desire to become a two-division champion following his win over Aldo while adding that he has no plans to vacate the 145-pound belt.
Holm pulled off a shocking upset at UFC 193 when she scored a technical knockout triumph over Ronda Rousey 59 seconds into round two of their headlining clash in Melbourne on Nov. 14. The Jackson-Wink MMA member was initially expected to defend the belt in a rematch with Rousey, but UFC President Dana White on Wednesday revealed that Holm would fight a different opponent before facing Rousey again.
Tate, who came up short in her first bid for the bantamweight strap against Rousey at UFC 168, has won four straight fights since that defeat. Most recently, “Cupcake” took a unanimous decision triumph over Jessica Eye at UFC on Fox 16 in July.