Many people were shocked when the UFC announced that Irish superstar Conor McGregor “relinquished” the UFC featherweight title over the weekend.
Coming just two weeks after winning the UFC lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, “The Notorious” is now just the UFC lightweight champion of the world. McGregor was the first fighter in history to concurrently hold two UFC division’s titles, even if it was for a short period.
All this stems from a domino effect starting with Daniel Cormier pulling out of his light heavyweight title defense, which was scheduled against Anthony Johnson at UFC 206, which Ariel Helwani explained and criticized heavily on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour.
“I believe the UFC was well within their rights to strip Conor McGregor,” Helwani stated.
“The problem is the why and the how. The why is a big issue. If Daniel Cormier did not get injured, Monday morning we’re sitting here talking about Conor McGregor as the featherweight champion. Daniel Cormier’s injury led to Conor McGregor getting stripped. That alone just tells you all you need to know about the scenario. That alone tells you that this doesn’t make sense. Daniel Cormier’s injury should have nothing to do with the featherweight division. So that’s the why. They stripped Conor McGregor because Daniel Cormier got injured, and they needed something to headline this pay-per-view in Toronto on December 10th.”
Helwani went on to say that the UFC is doing their best to deceive the fans into getting excited about a title fight between Holloway and Pettis, which he states is already a great fight that should already have the fan’s attention without any “prop” title belt on the line.
“So they say, we need to make it for a belt but we can’t make it for the real belt because Conor is the real champion and Jose just won this interim belt. So let’s make Jose from interim to real so we can make this fight, at least for a belt that will then trick the audience to thinking that this is a big deal. That is part two here. They don’t have enough confidence in your [the fans] ability to recognize that this interim belt they are instituting now, the second one, is nothing more than just a fugazi belt. It’s not a real belt. It’s just a promotional prop that they’re putting in there to hope that it will increase the pay-per-view buys.”
What are your thoughts on what Ariel Helwani has to say about the entire situation surrounding UFC 206 and Conor McGregor no longer being the UFC featherweight champion? Sound off in the comments!