McGregor Loses Championship on April 7
After the announcement of next month’s UFC 223 event, and endless weeks of confusion and criticism, Conor McGregor’s status as a lame duck champion has been sealed.
UFC President Dana White tells the Los Angeles Times that the written contract for the UFC 223 main event — interim UFC Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson vs. No. 1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov — states that the winner will be the full-time, official UFC lightweight champion.
“As soon as one punch is thrown, it’s on for the full title and it’s only fair,” White said. “They’ve both worked their way up to No. 1 and No. 2. They deserve a shot.”
McGregor last competed in the UFC at UFC 205 in November 2016, defeating Eddie Alvarez to win the UFC Lightweight Title and become the first UFC fighter in history to hold two titles at the same time (McGregor was featherweight champion at the time as well). A couple of weeks following this win, McGregor was stripped of the featherweight title due to inactivity — not making one defense in nearly a year.
Since UFC 205, McGregor pursued the “Money Fight” boxing match with Floyd Mayweather for this past summer, getting finished in the 10th round and reportedly making over $100 million in the process. McGregor has promised a return to the UFC Octagon, but he has not committed to a return date yet.
“This is good news for the fans,” White added. “I always hear about, ‘What will you do if this guy leaves …’ This is a sport first. People leave, they’ve made money and moved on. It happens.”
Conor does want the belt, he does want to be the champion, but he doesn’t want to defend it. I’d love to see him fight the winner of Ferguson-Khabib next.
White added that he did not want to announce the full situation of the lightweight title as soon as possible, including at the UFC 223 press conference back in January, because of the injury and withdrawal pasts of Ferguson and Nurmgoamedov. The two were scheduled to compete in an interim title fight at UFC 209 in March 2017, but Nurmagomedov withdrew in the days leading up to the fight due to illness from a bad weight cut.
Original Story: Los Angeles Times