On April 7, in the main event of UFC 223, Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov will battle for the UFC lightweight title. What exactly that means for Conor McGregor, and the UFC lightweight title he still technically owns, remains to be seen… Speaking to TMZ this week, UFC President Dana White reaffirmed that when Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov step into the cage at UFC 223 in April, they’ll be fighting for the “real title.”
“I said in the last press conference [in Boston]: That fight will be for the title,” White said (h/t MMAJunkie.com). “It’s not for the interim title. That fight is for the real title.”
When prodded about the McGregor situation, and whether or not the current champ will be stripped ahead of UFC 223, however, White was extremely evasive. All he’d say is that the Irish star “understands” the situation.
“Is [McGregor] upset?” White queried. “Conor understands. Listen, Conor made a lot of money and he wants some time off, but the division has to go on and the business has to go on.”
Whatever the case, White is hoping McGregor will fight the Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov winner.
“I’d like to see Conor fight the winner. It was August, then September – I don’t know. I say it all the time: With that kind of money, Conor might never come back. It’s a lot of money.”
Conor McGregor has not competed in the UFC since he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to win the lightweight title in November of 2016. That said, he’s kept plenty busy since then, battling Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring in August of 2017. McGregor lost this fight by 10th-round stoppage.
What do you think of the latest update on the UFC lightweight title situation from Dana White? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/22/2018.