Conor McGregor will fight Diego Brandao -- not Cole Miller -- in the main event of UFC Fight Night 46, which takes place at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, on July 19, 2014.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made the announcement earlier this afternoon on its official website, citing that "Magrinho" was forced out of the Featherweight grudge match because of torn ligaments in his thumb.
"After a heated war of words ... fight fans have surely been looking forward to the clash between young Irish prospect Conor McGregor and Cole Miller in the main event of Fight Night Dublin on July 19. But ... Miller tore ligaments in his thumb during training and is now in a full cast. The 30-year-old Georgia native has been forced out of the highly-anticipated match up against McGregor, giving way to No. 15-ranked lightweight Diego Brandao, who will step in to challenge McGregor."
McGregor is poised to make his long-awaited return to the Octagon after undergoing knee surgery to repair a bum knee. "Notorious" boasts back-to-back wins over Marcus Brimage at UFC on FUEL TV 9 (technical knockout) and Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 26 (unanimous decision).
Despite the opponent switch, McGregor is confident more than ever that the match up will still attract throngs of mixed martial arts (MMA) fans.
His bold prediction:
"It's going to be a phenomenal experience.... I'm not sure how many people the O2 Arena holds, but I'm sure it's going to sound like 10 times that amount are in there. I believe the roof is going to blow off the place.... I'm here to take over. This is going to be the fastest sell-out in UFC history. This is perfect for me. This is what I wanted. These are the ingredients that are going to shoot me to where I'm looking to go, and that is right to the top."
Brandao, meanwhile, is eager to return from the win column after an awful experience against Dustin Poirier at UFC 168, where he came into the match overweight and then lost via first-round technical knockout. The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 winner was supposed to return action against Will Chope at UFC Fight Night 38 two months ago, but the bout was scrapped when "The Kill" destroyed the scale at weigh ins.
The Brazilian has uncanny amounts of potential, and when honed, can be an explosive 145-pound wrecking machine.
It should be quite a scrap.