Earlier this month, in a shocking move, it was revealed that Conor McGregor had relinquished the featherweight championship just weeks after winning the lightweight championship at UFC 205, where he became the first simultaneous two-division UFC champion.
The move came after it was revealed that Daniel Cormier had been forced out of his main event scrap with Anthony Johnson due to a groin tear. As a result, the UFC promoted the co-main event scrap between Max Holloway & former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis to the main event, and made the bout an interim featherweight title fight, with interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo subsequently being promoted to the undisputed featherweight champion.
While there has been quite a bit of speculation as to whether or not the UFC stripped McGregor of the belt, rather than him voluntarily relinquishing the title, UFC President Dana White cleared the air on UFC Unfiltered this week, saying:
“Everybody always thinks there’s some type of animosity between me and Conor and there’s always something bad brewing,”
“Listen, I don’t know how much more I can say it publicly how much I respect the guy, how different and special he is and everything else.”
“And then all this stuff going on with that title that I ‘stripped him of the title.’ I didn’t strip him of anything, do you know what I mean?
“I said every day leading up to that fight he had to give up one of those belts. What do you think that I just went ‘eeney meeney miny mo, I pick the 145lb belt.’ No, he gave up the 145lb title. It doesn’t take away from (his achievement).”
It was also revealed this week that McGregor would be out an estimated 10 months due to the upcoming birth of his child. When he returns, there are certainly no shortage of potential lightweight contenders, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, and Nate Diaz, who all have been looking to fight McGregor for the lightweight belt.