The head of the UFC confirmed stripping Conor McGregor of his lightweight championship belt.
UFC President Dana White confirmed that he will strip McGregor of the belt so that a new lightweight champion can be determined at UFC 223. He made the announcement at a press conference on April 4, via MMA Fighting. The winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Max Holloway will walk away with that title.
“There’s no stripping. We’re not stripping Tony Ferguson. Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped. The only person here who is losing a belt is Conor. Conor’s losing the belt, these two are fighting for the belt,” said White, via MMA Fighting.
McGregor responded to the news via Twitter.
“You’s’ll strip me of nothing you’s do nothing [expletive].”
Tony Ferguson was replaced by Holloway after an injury. Ferguson was the interim lightweight champion and will naturally lose that title if the Nurmagomedov/Holloway fight ends in a win.
White was asked whether McGregor would show up to watch the fight that could determine who his next opponent is, if he wants the title back.
“It would be awesome if Conor came. This is a fight that is obviously very important to him and his future. It would be awesome if Conor was here, but no, I don’t think he has any plans to be here,” said White at the conference, via MMA Fighting.
McGregor hasn’t fought in the UFC since November 2016. White confirmed he is 100 percent sure McGregor would fight this year in the UFC, though he didn’t specify when, according to MMA Fighting.
Hawaiian Max Holloway was able to get the title fight only after Tony Ferguson backed out with an injury. If Ferguson had stayed healthy, Nurmagomedov would have fought for the interim title. White upped the stakes of UFC 223 by stripping McGregor of his lightweight title so that Nurmagomedov and Holloway could fight for the official title.
Earlier White also said that McGregor wants the rumored rematch with Floyd Mayweather in the UFC, TMZ reported. White did not say if that fight would happen before McGregor would attempt to recapture the lightweight title.
UFC 223 on April 7 will also feature Rose Namajunas in a rematch, hoping to take back the women’s strawweight title belt from Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
UFC 223 will be in Brooklyn, New York, at the Barclay Center. Matches on the main card will start at 7 p.m. local time, according to UFC.com.