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Rafael Dos Anjos Withdraws From UFC Fight Against Conor McGregor

UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos has pulled out of his upcoming title defense against featherweight champion Conor McGregor.

The fight was scheduled to take place March 5 at UFC 196.

Dana White, the UFC president, is probably on the phone with dozens (literally) of fighters jumping at the chance to hand McGregor his first UFC loss.

The most likely replacements are Donald Cerrone and Nate Diaz.

Cerrone was recently defeated by dos Anjos via first round TKO but won his first welterweight (170-pound) fight on Sunday.

Diaz spent nearly a year away from the octagon before giving a shockingly superb performance against highly-touted lightweight contender Michael Johnson in December.

Both Cerrone and Diaz previously expressed desire -- as well as immense personal disgust for McGregor -- to fight the Irishman.

Other candidates include dominant grappler Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has a fight booked for mid-April, and Eddie Alvarez, who wrestled his way to a split-decision victory over former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis January 17.

Nurmagomedov, however, is arguably the only one of these candidates with a solid chance of beating McGregor.

McGregor is used to having his big night spoiled by injury, since former featherweight champion José Aldo pulled out of their first fight only to get knocked out about five months later.

Dos Anjos will likely face a similar fate due to the psychological effects of being injured so close to the fight, having to sit out and the media onslaught that will ensue.