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28th Jan 2016

BREAKING: Conor McGregor’s fight with Rafael dos Anjos switched to UFC 196

All change

Patrick McCarry

If you booked tickets to Las Vegas on or around March 5, don’t panic.

In the early hours of Thursday morning the UFC confirmed that Conor McGregor’s lightweight title shot against Rafael dos Anjos would now be under the UFC 196 banner.

The titular change arrives after the original UFC 196, having lost two main event fights in 24 hours, was being re-designated as a Fight Night showcase.

The withdrawal of heavyweight challenger Cain Velasquez, earlier this week, was swiftly followed by that of champion Fabricio Werdum. The UFC moved the event from pay-per-view to FOX Sports 1 and elevated Johnny Hendricks clash with Stephen Thompson to the main card.

This now means that UFC 197, which McGregor and RDA were set to headline, will now take place in April. UFC 196, featuring the much anticipated super-fight will still be in Las Vegas on March 5.

All the switches are ultimately good news for fight fans.

The promotion’s plans to hold UFC 200 in July have not changed. UFC 199 will remain in its planned June 2016 slot while there will be an extra event staged in May.

Artem Lobov is on the undercard for the February 6 ‘Fight Night’ event, which will be available on Fight Pass, so he will have to wait for his debut in a major UFC showcase.