Irish featherweight prospect Conor McGregor is slated to challenge Diego Brandao in the main event of UFC Fight Night 46, as McGregor's initial opponent, Cole Miller, was forced to withdraw from the contest after suffering torn ligaments in his right thumb, UFC officials announced on Tuesday.
McGregor (14-2) and Miller (21-8) were expected to settle their long-standing grudge match at the summer event, which marks the UFC's first trip to Dublin, Ireland since 2009.
The feud between the two featherweights originated in late-2013, when Miller publicly chided McGregor and referred to the Irishman as "Colin McGoober." Of late, the pair engaged in a memorable trash-talk exchange on The MMA Hour, during which McGregor labeled Miller as a "jobber" and insisted the American thank him for elevating him into a main event.
Miller told MMAFighting.com that he'll be out of action for at least another four weeks due to the injury, which is the same hand he injured in January, although he believes both injuries aren't related.
"Cardio is my only option," he said. "Can not make a closed fist. Can not strike, and I'm not allowed to squeeze anything.
"Of course I want to still fight him, but that's up to the brass."
Now, however, Brandao (18-9) will be the man on the receiving end of McGregor's venom.
The former winner of The Ultimate Fighter 14, Brandao carries a 4-2 record under the UFC banner. He most recently saw an impressive three-fight win streak come to an end at the hands of Dustin Poirier, who knocked the Brazilian out with six seconds remaining in the first round at UFC 168.
UFC Fight Night 46 takes place on July 19, 2014 at The O2 in Dublin. An updated fight card can be seen below.
- Conor McGregor vs. Diego Brandao
- Gunnar Nelson vs. Zak Cummings
- Brad Pickett vs. Ian McCall
- Tom Lawlor vs. Ilir Latifi
- Neil Seery vs. Phil Harris
- Norman Parke vs. Naoyuki Kotani
- Tor Troeng vs. Trevor Smith
- Cody Donovan vs. Nikita Krylov