Since last Saturday, the UFC world has been abuzz with the news that Conor McGregor was stripped of his UFC Featherweight championship. McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh along with many fight sports fans called the move short-sighted. Some cited the loss of the Cormier/Johnson fight at UFC 206 as the reasoning behind it.
On Thursday, UFC President Dana White came out in an interview on Yahoo! Sports to clear the air and address some of what he referred to as “misinformation” regarding the situation. White said that the decision to vacate the featherweight championship was McGregor’s, not the company’s. White had told McGregor that he would have to surrender one of his belts if he won the Lightweight Championship at UFC 205.
“He’s misinformed,” White said about Kavanagh’s comments on Red FM. “Yeah, he doesn’t know all that has gone on, I guess. Do you think I just did this? This was Conor’s decision.”
McGregor defeated Jose Aldo in 13 seconds in December of 2015 to win the featherweight championship. Since that time, McGregor fought Nate Diaz twice, then faced Alvarez and won the lightweight title. The featherweight title has not been defended since that December bout eleven months ago. McGregor recently said that he would take some time away from the octagon while he waited for the birth of his first child in May of 2017.
White noted that it would be eighteen months before the title would be defended, at a minimum, and it created a logjam in the division that upset some of the fighters.
“I let Conor fight (Nate) Diaz and then I let him fight Diaz again. Then there was the whole 155-pound thing I let him do. But at the end of the day, him doing that tied up the division for a year. There’s a logjam there and a lot of guys were (angry).”
“This was my way to fix the logjam. I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time. So I looked at it and I said, well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready, barring any crazy injuries, the winner can fight him.”
White also addressed the speculation that McGregor was looking to set up a super fight with Floyd Mayweather by getting his California boxing license. White isn’t buying that the fight will happen.
“I have no idea what Conor is doing. Conor’s Conor. He does his thing. But he’s under contract to me. Who knows with this guy? Who knows what he is up to. I just let Conor be Conor. nd the other thing is, it’s fun to talk about this fight and what might happen, but what commission would let that fight happen? Really, think about that.”