November 12, 2016, was the last time we saw Conor McGregor fight in the Octagon. McGregor became the UFC lightweight champion that night, capturing the belt from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 and also became the first fighter in history to hold two UFC weight division’s titles simultaneously.
Over a year has passed since and McGregor has only competed once and it was outside of the Octagon in a highly lucrative boxing match against Floyd Mayweather, which was the second highest pay-per-view event of all time.
Current number 2 UFC ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov spoke with fans recently on social media and opened up on how he sees the UFC lightweight title picture with McGregor being out for so long and Tony Ferguson holding the interim title.
“If he doesn’t have injuries, and he doesn’t defend his belt for more than a year, then it’s very bad,” Nurmagomedov said (translated by Denis Geyko for RT Sport).
“But when you are the champion and you don’t have an injury, you have to defend it. I really liked how Georges St-Pierre acted in a similar situation. Once he understood, that he won’t be able to fight, he didn’t hold his division (in wait). And that’s the decision of a real champion.
“Conor doesn’t defend his belt. I don’t even know when he is going to do that. He has the name, it’s profitable for the UFC that he is the champion. They make money because of him and they won’t strip him off the belt. But in my opinion Conor had to be stripped off his belt a long time ago. And Tony Ferguson should be the real champion.”
What are your thoughts on the UFC lightweight championship picture? Chime in on what Khabib Nurmagomedov had to say in the comment section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/20/2017.