White: McGregor to Take 10-Month Break
Conor McGregor’s victory over Eddie Alvarez in November marked his fourth fight in the span of a year. Incredibly active for a fighter of his star power, McGregor announced he would be taking some time away form the sport. Ahead of UFC 206, UFC President Dana White gave a specific time table on the lightweight champ’s hiatus.
McGregor became the first fighter to hold two belts at once at UFC 205, but that distinction did not last long: the UFC stripped McGregor of his 145 lb. title last week, promoting Jose Aldo to undisputed champ and making next weekend’s UFC 206 bout between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis an interim title fight.
Appearing on Fox Sports Live with Jay and Dan, White said he was surprised by the uproar over the UFC stripping McGregor, as he affirms that this was always the plan.
"I said it at the press conference (prior to UFC 205): he will have to give up one of these belts," White said. "I’ve never let anyone do this, but he’s special, he’s different. I’m gonna let him do this. That’s it. So he had to give up one of the belts…I understand he’s upset about giving it up after he won it, but that was always the deal."
As for McGregor’s public refusal to consider himself anything but a two-weight champion, White took no issue with his antics on social media. Staying in the public eye, even when he isn’t competing, is what makes McGregor who he is.
"Conor is the best,” White said. “He’s got no fights, he’s taking 10 months off, he’s having a baby, and everybody’s still talking about him. He’s the best at it, nobody’s better."
While McGregor’s hiatus is a cause of his first child being born next year, he has also spoken about a desire to have a business discussion with the UFC’s new owners. At the UFC 205 post-fight press conference, the superstar appeared frustrated that he had not established a relationship with WME-IMG after they purchased the company over the summer.
Still, White and McGregor appear to remain on good terms — at least publicly.
White also discussed the most tired question in combat sports today: is there any validity to the talks of McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring?