Dana White Hints at Conor McGregor Being Stripped of His Title with Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov in the Works
Conor McGregor may not return until September and that might just cost him the UFC lightweight title.
That’s the latest word from UFC president Dana White, who gave an update on McGregor on Sunday night following the first card of 2018 for the promotion from St. Louis.
“Conor has said he’s thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that’s almost two years. That can’t happen,” White said. “It’s not fair to everybody else.
“Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything that he’s done for this company. Everybody knows that. I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”
McGregor hasn’t said much about his return to action outside of asking for a new deal with the UFC that would get him back into the Octagon sooner rather than later. By all accounts it doesn’t seem White feels that deal will get done any time in the near future, which means McGregor won’t be fighting until far later into 2018.
"Conor has said he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that's almost two years…that can't happen." — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018
If McGregor is out that long, White says the UFC will “absolutely” strip him of the lightweight title.
Meanwhile, White added that the UFC is currently working on booking a fight between current interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and top ranked contender Khabib Nurmagomedov that would then solidify the winner as the king at 155 pounds.
In theory if that all happens, White then expects McGregor to return and challenge the winner for the title.
“You do Khabib versus Tony,” White said. “We’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back, he would get the first crack at the title.”
Unless something changes dramatically in the coming days it certainly appears that the UFC will end up stripping McGregor of his belt that he won in Nov. 2016 but still has never defended. That would be the second belt McGregor has had taken away after the featherweight belt was stripped following his win over Eddie Alvarez that eanred him the lightweight championship back at UFC 205.