The entire week we’ve been tracking the news of what will decide the fate of the UFC lightweight title. Khabib Nurmagomedov is slated to fight Tony Ferguson at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, supposedly for the undisputed belt. This is news to Conor McGregor and his camp, but despite the possibility of it happening, they don’t seem to be too phased by the idea at all. In a recent Facebook Live session, Straight Blast Gym coach John Kavanagh said it doesn’t matter who wins or what belt is on the line, McGregor is still the Champ Champ.
“I’m hearing this [fight news] at the same time as everyone else. I see there is a press conference that will happen tomorrow. I think Tony [Ferguson] and Khabib [Nurmagomedov], or else just Khabib, is being interviewed about the fight that Dana [White] announced in April, which was news to me as well. Maybe they’re going to say it at that. Is it an interim title fight or is it a belt fight? I don’t know.”
That Dagestani was dog shit the other night you’s are all nuts. Game full of sloppy bums asking to be slept. Pay me my worth and Kings back.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 1, 2018
“I think regardless of what way it’s sold, I think it’s still going to be known who the champion is. I know that’s going to upset a lot of people, but there you go, that’s my opinion on it. If it happens that those guys fight each other, and if it happens for the belt, they’re both going to think to themselves, ‘I’ve got to beat Conor [McGregor] to be really seen as the champion.” — Coach John Kavanagh speaking on a Facebook Live Q&A transcribed by MMA Fighting.
Despite how passionate fans may be about Conor McGregor being stripped or not defending hist title, it’s just doesn’t seem that important to him. If he is stripped and Khabib Nurmagomedov or Tony Ferguson fight for the “true” title in April, McGregor could come back and immediately try to snag it back whenever he wants. Or he could just shrug and try to fight for the welterweight title. Worst case scenario, he tweets “thanks for the cheese” again and leaves MMA to make money in other endeavors. Either way, it will be an interesting year seeing how everything pans out. We may find out some answers tomorrow when the UFC 222 and UFC 223 press conference goes down.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/18/2018.