White: Relinquished Title ‘Fixed Logjam’
On Nov. 12, Conor Mcgregor made history by becoming the first UFC fighter to hold two divisions’ titles at the same time. That historical feat lasted all of two weeks, as the UFC announced last Saturday night that McGregor had relinquished the UFC featherweight championship.
Recently, however, Conor McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, criticized the UFC for how they handled McGregor’s double-title reign and said the organization had stripped him of the belt. Kavanagh was especially critical of the fact this all came about because of the original UFC 206 main event — Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson for the UFC light heavyweight title — fell through and the pay-per-view needed a new headliner.
"They felt they had to make this for a title in order for it to sell so they brought in another interim title that Jose Aldo already has and then bumped Jose Aldo up to the current undisputed champion. Which just seems ridiculous to me," Kavanagh said. "Conor has only been (champ) 11 months since he won that title. There have been many, many examples of fighters waiting 15 months, 18 months before defending it. He’s 11 months and they stripped him of it. I thought it was very short-sighted by the UFC how they went about doing it."
UFC President Dana White reiterated that McGregor made the decision to give up the featherweight title. He added that since there has not been a featherweight title belt in 2016, he opted to move Jose Aldo up from interim champion to undisputed champion so Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway could fight for the interim title at UFC 206 in Toronto.
White also previously said McGregor would have to give up one of the titles if he was victorious at UFC 205.
"Look, I let Conor fight [Nate] Diaz and then I let him fight Diaz again," White told Yahoo Sports. "Then there was the whole 155-pound thing I let him do. But at the end of the day, him doing that tied up the division for a year. There’s a logjam there and a lot of guys were [angry].
"This was my way to fix the logjam. I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time. So I looked at it and I said, ‘Well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready — barring any crazy injuries — the winner can fight him."