The unthinkable has happened: a highly anticipated opponent for Conor McGregor has dropped out of a fight with the Irish star due to injury. Oh wait, that’s not unthinkable — it’s par for the course.

No disrespect to Rafael dos Anjos. No one expects him to fight with a broken foot. However, McGregor seems to be cursed when it comes to opponents, and despite always being game to fight, he seems to have a hard time finding healthy, durable opponents.

The loss of dos Anjos opened a door for other fighters. Jose Aldo said no, even after proclaiming he’d fight McGregor any time, anywhere, even if it were not for the featherweight title. Frankie Edgar was injured, so that ruled him out, and if you have to feel bad for anyone, it’s actually Edgar who you should feel for, as he continually seems to find another title shot just out of grasp — or worse, slipping through his fingers. Cowboy Cerrone, who would probably agree to a fight the day after his own death, and Nate Diaz, of course, said yes, and with Cowboy having just fought, the UFC went with Diaz (there were other interested parties, to be sure, but these were the money fights).

So UFC 196 has a new main event of McGregor vs. Diaz, at welterweight no less, as Diaz couldn’t make the lightweight limit in time. Fair enough, it’s a short notice fight. It’s also a lesson on why fighters shouldn’t be allowed to hold two belts at once.

Note the word hold. I didn’t say fighters shouldn’t be allowed to fight for a second belt. However, should one ever manage the feat, they should be forced to drop their existing belt upon winning the new one, lest one or the other divisions be left with a logjam.

Now, in this case, it’s not McGregor causing the logjam. Consider this, however. McGregor will no doubt get another crack at Dos Anjos, win or lose at UFC 196. A loss doesn’t hurt him much, as he is now fighting up not one but two weight classes. Sure, it would take some of the shine of his mystique, but it doesn’t completely derail his campaign to snag the lightweight title as well. A win? Well that would ramp up the hype even more, if such a thing is possible.

In fact, a Summer fight — say, at UFC 200 — against Dos Anjos would become even bigger under such circumstances. McGregor would have fought a legit, tough opponent who normally stalks the lightweight division.

On the downside, you have Edgar, riding the pine. Edgar is a man who, like BJ Penn and Randy Couture, could be a two weight class champion, if only he could get another shot at the featerweight belt.

Yet while all this mess plays out, the featherweight division, which had become one of the most popular in the UFC while Mystic Mac rampaged his way through it, is in limbo. And that’s exactly why a fighter shouldn’t hold two belts at once — no matter how good his or her intentions, it’s two likely that one or both divisions get held up.

So McGregot, sure, give him another crack at squaring off against RDA. You shouldn’t punish the man for his opponent tripping on the way to the dance. Just don’t let him hold both titles for long.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.