Conor McGregor made history at UFC 205 when he beat Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter to be a simultaneous two-division UFC champion. However, his tenure as the UFC’s double champion did not last very long as it was announced over the weekend that the Irish superstar “relinquished” the featherweight title.
McGregor has not released any statement regarding the featherweight title or even if he had a conversation with the UFC about it. However, McGregor’s long time head coach John Kavanagh commented on the situation and said he was not happy with how the UFC went about it.
Ariel Helwani took the MMA Hour on Monday to give his criticizing thoughts on the reasons behind stripping Conor McGregor of the featherweight title. Helwani also went on to give his opinion on how the UFC made “The Notorious” even more powerful with their questionable actions.
“He never agreed to that,” Helwani said of McGregor “relinquishing” the featherweight title (at 00:12:10 of the video). “And all that it has done is it has empowered him even more so than ever before. Now he has turned into a sympathetic figure. Now he has been turned into someone that has been disrespected by his employer. Now he has been turned into someone that has been wronged by his employer and he has only become more powerful and more popular as a result.
“Conor McGregor has proven in 2016 above all that he doesn’t need a belt to be a big draw, to be the biggest star in the sport. In the end, this doesn’t really matter to him. He’s still gonna walk around with those two titles. He’s still gonna say, ‘Look I beat this guy in 13 seconds, I beat this guy in 15 minutes back in 2014, Max Holloway. I would beat this guy and this guy. I’m still the champ. I’m the people’s champion.’
“It really does nothing to him and I can understand if he’s upset the way this went down. The way in which they did it was a complete botch job because they needed to convince him to do it on his own. Because if he told the public, ‘Look, I’m going to relinquish this title. We’re on the same page. I’m gonna come back, I’m gonna fight at lightweight. I might go back at 145.’ People would have got behind it. But, the way in which they did it and the fact that he hasn’t said anything since is a perfect move in my opinion because his silence is deafening right now. He is telling you by not saying anything that he is very upset, that he is not on board with this. He didn’t put out a statement.
“They needed to get Conor on board. They needed to fly to Dublin and get him on board with this. They needed to give him the respect of saying, ‘Look, we’re gonna put on a press conference. We’re gonna do something to make this seem like a big deal.’”
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