Just hours ago, news broke that light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier had been forced out of his UFC 206 bout with Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Given that this bout was expected to serve as the card’s headliner, the UFC will now have to scramble to produce a new main event for the fans attending the event live in Toronto, and those watching it live on screens around the world.
When weighing the options for a new main event for UFC 206, the most obvious course of action seems to be finding a replacement opponent for Rumble. The problem here is that Rumble has already defeated most eligible replacement opponents, from Alexander Gustafsson, to Jimi Manuwa, to Ryan Bader to Glover Teixeira. Furthermore, the top contender has suggested he’s not interested in fighting for an interim title, which makes securing a replacement bout for him an even more difficult task.
Luckily there seems to be another course of action when it comes to producing a new main event for UFC 206, and all it would take is a slight tweak of the card’s scheduled co-main event. That main event is a three-round featherweight battle between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis.
This option was actually suggested by Holloway himself, who took to Twitter shortly after news of Cormier’s withdrawal from UFC 206 broke.
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) November 25, 2016
Holloway’s suggestion, as you can see, is simply that his bout with Pettis be changed to a five-rounder, and boosted up to the main event spot. While this surely wouldn’t be quite the main event fans in Toronto were hoping for, the prospect of watching Pettis and Holloway battle for five rounds is an undeniably exciting one.
Whether it’s a three-rounder or five-rounder, Holloway will enter the bout with a whopping nine-straight wins behind him. The most recent of these wins have occured against top competition in Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens and Ricardo Lamas. Pettis, who is a former lightweight champion, will step onto the canvas having recently debuted in the featherweight division with a submission defeat of grappling specialist Charles Oliveira.
How do you feel about a five-round battle between Holloway and Pettis serving as UFC 206’s main event? Sound off, PENN Nation!