Nothing like a Conor McGregor post to wreak havoc on a fight week. He said he was going to step in and fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, then the dominoes fell and continue to fall. In the midst of this wild back-and-forth between Conor McGregor and Frankie Edgar’s camp, information is coming out from many different places and the truth probably rests somewhere in the middle of this chaos. In between the rants of Edgar’s manager in the media, he said something very interesting in a reply to Ariel Helwani. That McGregor requested a 165-pound title.
— Ali Abdelaziz (@AliAbdelaziz00) February 22, 2018
As with a lot of the info that has been released in the past couple of days, we must take this with a grain of salt. However, if we entertain the claim, it does seem to make sense in context. Flashback to the UFC 222 and 223 joint press conference when Dana White was grilled by the media to clarify exactly what he was meaning when he talked about the UFC lightweight title. He was adamant that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson would fight for the real belt, but would never — and still hasn’t really — said that McGregor is being stripped. Sure, they could be waiting to see what McGregor’s plans are, or stalling until they can come to an agreement, but was another title really mentioned? …It would be a nice consolation prize if they really are stripping McGregor.
Conor McGregor has demanded a piece of the company since the post-fight press conference at UFC 205. After boxing Floyd Mayweather, the price along with the list of demands went up. He constantly has said it’d take something big to bring him back. Coming back and just defending a title against a list just doesn’t interest McGregor, but a brand new title without having to go up to welterweight while creating a completely different division sounds exactly like something he’d try. While it sounds crazy to take away McGregor’s 155-pound title just to present him with or have him fight for a vacant inaugural 165-pound belt, it also sounds just crazy enough to be something the UFC would do.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/23/2018.