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Conor McGregor

UFC Statement: Conor McGregor Vacates Featherweight Title, Jose Aldo New Champion

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Conor McGregor two belts

As had been rumoured yesterday, in light of Daniel Cormier being forced to withdraw from his UFC 206 title defence with Anthony Johnson, Max Holloway vs Anthony Pettis has been installed as the main event for the Toronto card with the UFC interim featherweight title on the line. This means that Conor McGregor will vacate the featherweight title and the man he dethroned, Jose Aldo, will take over as new 145 pound champion.

The UFC statement reads as follows:

UFC announced on Saturday that world lightweight champion Conor McGregor has vacated his featherweight title and opted to keep the 155-pound title he won by defeating Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on Nov. 12.

Interim featherweight title holder Jose Aldo has now been elevated to undisputed champion, and following these developments, the interim UFC featherweight title will be on the line on Saturday, Dec. 10, as Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis battle for championship gold in the new main event of UFC 206.

The winner of the five-round bout, which will be held at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, will face Aldo in 2017 for the unified belt.

The assertion that McGregor has opted to keep the lightweight title and vacate his featherweight belt, despite the UFC’s first ‘double champion’ remaining adamant that he would keep hold of both titles, is the part of the above statement that stands out most. All indications were that McGregor fully intended on defending both belts, but it appears as if that will now not be happening. The “Notorious” one is yet to comment on the situation, and all eyes will be firmly on the Irishman in the coming hours and days for his take. If it does turn out that McGregor did not voluntarily relinquish his 145 pound title, then the language used by the UFC describing Aldo as the new “undisputed champion” is unlikely to be something that McGregor will be in agreement with.

UFC 206: Holloway vs Pettis will take place on December 10 from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. The UFC will be hoping that the new main event now being for an interim title will soften the blow that the Pay-Per-View has taken with the loss of the blockbuster Cormier vs Johnson rematch.

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Who will Conor McGregor fight next in the UFC?

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Conor McGregor has announced via Instagram that he intends to return to fighting and he even revealed that he had offered to replace the injured Max Holloway in the main event of UFC 222.

He did say however that the UFC rejected the opportunity to have him headline against Frankie Edgar as he was told “there wasn’t enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need”.

With his return seemingly imminent and an already proposed fight with Frankie Edgar falling through here’s a look at the men who could be standing across the cage from the “Notorious One” upon his return to the octagon.

Frankie Edgar

Let’s start with the man McGregor claims he was ready to fight next month, Frankie Edgar.

It’s a fight that has been rumoured and talked about for years now, but has always failed to become a reality and right now I believe each mans future lies elsewhere.

Although I believe Edgar would choose a fight with McGregor over a title fight with Holloway, his next bout should finally be for the real featherweight title, providing he beats Ortega at UFC 222. McGregor on the other hand, is unlikely to want the Edgar fight now given the much more lucrative options at his disposal.

If you’re a fan still clinging to hope that you will one day see this match up, I hate to break it to you but the only place you’ll be seeing this match up anytime soon is on UFC 3.

Likelihood: 2/10

The winner of Ferguson vs Khabib

If UFC 223 goes as planned then we will see a new UFC Lightweight champion. It means Conor McGregor will be without a belt for the first time since December 2015 and it would be no surprise to see him want his belt back instantly.

As a competitor the winner of this fight represents the best the division has to offer. As a businessman the winner of this fight represents the best the division has to offer.

It is the fight that makes sense, but as we know, sense doesn’t always prevail in the UFC. But, the winner of this bout being the next to face McGregor, is a real possibility.

Likelihood: 9/10

Max Holloway

Conor McGregor is no longer the man at featherweight, Max Holloway is.

Does that hurt McGregor’s ego? Maybe. There has been a lot more activity on McGregor’s social media channels about his fight with Holloway. Most notably the “I miss those sunglasses” post. Which certainly has a hint of jealousy to it. Perhaps McGrgeor wants to remind fans of what he can do at featherweight?

Although I think McGregor’s days at featherweight are pretty much over, I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of possibility that we see this fight at lightweight. But I don’t believe this fight is next for either man.

Likelihood: 4/10

Nate Diaz

Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor have both announced their comebacks in quick succession of each other. Could it mean they’re coming back for a fight this summer? Who knows.

But one things for sure, the trilogy fight will happen. It has the potential to be even bigger than the first two fights and will surely bring in a boat load of cash. Enough to motivate the two rivals to meet in the octagon again.

The fight seems inevitable and it has every chance of being the next fight for McGregor.

Likelihood: 9/10

Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather UFC

Mayweather Jr. in the octagon has been teased since before his boxing match with Conor McGregor and the ongoing speculation seems never ending.

But it’s wishful thinking to believe that Mayweather Jr. will repay the favour to McGrgeor by competing in his sport.

This sport has taught us to never say never and many of us would have never envisioned McGregor competing in boxing, but here we are. But this is just a whole new level of unlikely.

Likelihood: 0/10

 

 

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Dana White gives an update on the lightweight title picture

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When it comes to the lightweight division there is always a lot of talk with very little clarification. But now it seems Dana White has had enough of waiting for champion Conor McGregor and plans to move on in his absence.

“The Notorious” Conor McGregor won the UFC lightweight title back in November 2016 at UFC 205 where he became the first fighter to hold two belts simultaneously, however, he has not competed in MMA since.

Speaking on Sunday night’s after UFC Fight Night St. Louis UFC President Dana White said “Conor has said he is thinking about coming back in September if he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen. It’s not fair to everybody else. Love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he’s done for this company, everybody knows that I say it all the time. The belt would have to move on.”

White also spoke about the two men that would fight for the lightweight belt saying “You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now and if and when Conor comes back he would get the first crack at the title.”

Then when presenter Karyn Bryant pushed for clarification and asked: “So you’re saying that Conor could possibly be stripped of his title?” Dana responded without hesitation “absolutely”.

The news will excite UFC fans across the globe who have been clamoring for the Ferguson vs Khabib matchup which they have been denied on three separate occasions. No date was confirmed for the potential matchup but rumors have been circulating that the UFC is targeting UFC 223 in April.

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Conor McGregor reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win at UFC 219

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On Saturday night the world watched as Khabib Nurmagomedov dismantled the striking expert Edson Barboza at UFC 219. The reactions were filled with praise for the undefeated Russian fighter. Media members and fans alike were calling Nurmagomedov one of the best lightweights in the world, but there is one man the world was waiting to hear from, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor was silent following the fight between Nurmagomedov and Barboza, that is until Monday morning when he took to Twitter to state his opinion about the Number one contender.

“Truly truly truly get on your fucking knees and beg me,” McGregor wrote on Twitter.  “Otherwise, I don’t give a bollox.  My whiskey is out this year and that’s Diddy bread.” The whiskey that McGregor is referring to is his very own grand that he announced would be coming out following his loss to Floyd Mayweather this past August.

Rumors about McGregor’s return have ranged from him retiring from fighting to live a life of wealth with his family, to expect his return to the UFC this summer. No one really knows if McGregor will ever defend his UFC lightweight belt, but if he is to do so UFC President Dana White has said that it will be against interim champion Tony Ferguson.

Ferguson was also seeking a fight with Nurmagomedov prior to winning the interim belt against Kevin Lee. It is entirely possible that we will see these two battle for the interim title in the octagon before we see the return of Conor McGregor. Of course, these days there are no guarantees in regards to title contention, McGregor and his camp have publically stated that they would like to face Nurmagomedov in his home country of Russia. 

 

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