UFC President Dana White announced yesterday that Conor McGregor will be stripped of his lightweight championship, a move that has been expected considering the Irish superstar has not fought for UFC since he won the 155-pound title at UFC 205 in November 2016.
Speaking at a press conference in New York yesterday ahead of the UFC 223 PPV event at Barclays Center, White said he fully expects McGregor to fight this year but the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Max Holloway headliner on Saturday night will be for the lightweight championship.
“We’re not stripping Tony Ferguson,” White said. “Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped. The only one that’s losing a belt here is Conor. Conor is losing the belt. These two are fighting for the belt.”
“Conor McGregor is 100 percent coming back this year,” White said.
McGregor had some strong words for White and co. in wake of the UFC 223 press conference. “You’s’ll strip me of nothing you’s do nothing cunts.”
You’s’ll strip me of nothing you’s do nothing cunts.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 5, 2018
Tony Ferguson, the 155-pound interim champion in McGregor’s absence, was originally scheduled to fight Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 but he had to withdraw after he suffered a torn knee ligament. It marks the fourth different time that the UFC has tried, and failed, to book Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov.
The winner of Nurmagomedov vs Holloway will be now crowned the true 155-pound champ. Holloway, 19-3, has not lost a fight since 2013 when McGregor beat him by decision. Nurmagomedov has an unblemished record of 25-0, and has opened as a minus-505 betting favorite against Holloway (plus-365), according to MMAOddsBreaker.com.