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23rd Feb 2016

REVEALED: Conor McGregor’s reaction to finding out Rafael dos Anjos pulled out of UFC 196

Major disappointment

Evan Fanning

Well now we know.

The MMA world and the media, ourselves included, spent much of today keeping a close eye on Conor McGregor’s social media accounts waiting for his reaction to the news that Rafael dos Anjos had withdrawn from UFC 196.

It’s hard to imagine the disappointment McGregor must be feeling, especially as this is the second time in three fights – and the sixth time overall in his career – that his opponent has withdrawn at short notice before a fight.

McGregor has yet to break his social media silence but renowned MMA scribe Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports has been speaking with UFC head honcho Dana White.

White confirmed that McGregor will stay in the co-main event slot at UFC 196 and will fight at 155lb, with the UFC scrambling to find a replacement for Dos Anjos.

Frankie Edgar turned down the fight due to injury, according to White. As did Jose Aldo.

But it was White’s description of McGregor’s reaction to the news that was perhaps the most revealing aspect of his conversation with Iole.

“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***.

“People talk about this strained relationship between us and Conor, and he has a different style than I’ve ever seen, but I have never seen anyone like Conor. The closest was Chuck Liddell, but we’ve never had one like Conor. You think he’s not hurt? But when he says he’s going to fight, he’s going to fight no matter what.”

Dos Anjos’s camp have confirmed that the Brazilian will be out for six weeks with a broke foot.

However there seems to be some discrepancy about whether or not Dos Anjos wanted to carry on with the fight.

Ali Abdelaziz, Dos Anjos’ manager, says that he wanted to fight on with a pain killing injection but was blocked by the UFC.

White claims, however, that Dos Anjos pulled out once medics confirmed that the foot was broken.