MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: Nate Diaz to face Conor McGregor at UFC 196, Werdum vs. Miocic official for UFC 198

Nate Diaz replaces Rafael Dos Anjos against Conor McGregor at UFC 196 UFC President Dana White made the announcement Tuesday night on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” that former UFC title challenger Nate Diaz will replace Rafael Dos Anjos against Conor McGregor at UFC 196. Dos Anjos had to pull out of the matchup yesterday due to a broken foot.  This bout will be contested at welterweight due to short notice for both fighters. Here’s what White had to say. “We figured this would be the most exciting fight,“It’s the fight that Conor really wanted. A lot of people wanted to fight Conor McGregor, but Diaz wanted the fight and we figured this was the fight to make and the fight that the fans wanted to see. We called Jose Aldo, Jose Aldo turned the fight down. We called Frankie Edgar, Frankie Edgar turned the fight down. We called ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, (and he) absolutely accepted the fight – would love to take the fight. B.J. Penn said he wanted the fight. A lot of guys wanted this fight, but we ended up with Nate Diaz. We felt this was the fight to make and the fight the fans wanted to see.” McGregor (19-2) won the featherweight title at UFC 194 with a 13 second knockout of Jose Also. He’s remained undefeated in the UFC going a perfect 7-0. Diaz (18-10) is coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over Michael Johnson at UFC on FOX 17. UFC 196 takes place March 5 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Here’s an updated look at the card Main Card Conor McGregor (19-2) vs. Nate Diaz (18-10) – welterweight bout Holly Holm (10-0) vs. Miesha Tate (17-5) Gian Villante (14-6) vs. Ilir Latifi (11-4, 1NC) Corey Anderson (8-1) vs. Tom Lawlor (9-5, 1NC) Amanda Nunes (11-4) vs. Valentina Shevchenko (12-1) Preliminary Card Brandon Thatch (11-3) vs. Siyar Bahadurzada (21-6-1) Erick Silva (18-6, 1NC) vs. Nordine Taleb (10-3) Vitor Miranda (11-4) vs. Marcelo Guimaraes (9-1-1) Darren Elkins (19-5) vs. Chas Skelly (15-1) Preliminary Card Diego Sanchez (25-8) vs. Jim Miller (25-7, 1NC) Justin Salas (12-6) vs. Jason Saggo (10-2) Julian Erosa (15-2) vs. Teruto Ishihara (7-2-2)   Jose Aldo turned down offer to replace Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 196 With the injury news yesterday of UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos pulling out of UFC 196, Jose Aldo won’t be an option for a replacement. According to Combate,  Aldo’s coach and manager Andre Pederneiras explained why the former UFC featherweight champion turned down the offer. “Dana (White) called me, telling what happened and asking if Aldo was in shape to fight. I said he wasn’t and that there wasn’t enough time, and unfortunately he wouldn’t be able to fight next week. Last month Aldo posted on his Instagram that he would only accept a rematch against McGregor in his return bout. “For everything I have done, everything I have accepted and mostly how the fight ended, I will not accept any other fight other than a title shot,” Aldo wrote in January. “My only exception would be fighting (McGregor), at any time, anywhere, and once that he is afraid and knows that I’m gonna win… Doesn’t have to be title fight against him. Keep my belt, but I wanna whoop (your) ass anywhere.”   Stipe Miocic vs Fabricio Werdum set for UFC 198 in Brazil Tuesday Yahoo! Sports (first reported by reported that Stipe Miocic will be fighting heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum at UFC 198 on May 14th in Brazil. Miocic (14-2) was initially slated to replace an injured Cain Velasquez against Werdum at UFC 196 (renamed later to UFC Fight Night 82) on Feb. 6th, however the Brazilian champion would also have to withdraw due to injury. We spoke to Miocic in an exclusive interview about the title fight and a variety of other topics. If you haven’t had a chance, check out our EXCLUSIVE interview with Miocic following the news yesterday.   John Dodson vs. Manny Gamburyan set for UFC on FOX 19 The UFC announced Tuesday that flyweight title challenger John Dodson will be making his return to the bantamweight division against Manny Gamburyan.   Dodson (17-7) had an impressive 5-2 run in the UFC flyweight division with his only losses coming against champion Demetrious Johnson. This marks the first fight for Dodson in the bantamweight division since he knocked out T.J. Dillashaw to win The Ultimate Fighter 14. Gamburyan (15-8, 1NC) has gone 2-0 since dropping down to bantamweight in 2014. He’s coming off a unanimous decision over Scott Jorgensen at UFC Fight Night 71. UFC on FOX 19 will come from the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on April 16. Here’s an updated look at the card. Khabib Nurmagomedov (22-0) vs. Tony Ferguson (20-3) Rashad Evans (19-4, 1NC) vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (23-10) Beneil Dariush (12-1) vs. Michael Chiesa (13-2) Lyoto Machida (22-7) vs. Dan Henderson (31-14) Cub Swanson (21-7) vs. Hacran Dias (23-3-1) Bethe Correia (9-1) vs. Raquel Pennington (6-5) Court McGee (17-4) vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio (21-3) Cezar Ferreira (8-5) vs. Caio Magalhaes (9-2) Drew Dober (16-7, 1NC) vs. Islam Makhachev (12-1) John Dodson (17-7) vs. Manny Gamburyan (15-8, 1NC)   UFC Fight Night 84 Embedded: Episode 1

Written by James Lynch

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