At the start of the year UFC President Dana White indicated that he would strip Conor McGregor of his lightweight title if he didn’t fight soon, and last night he doubled down on that claim.
“Conor is saying he’s thinking about coming back in September and that’s almost two years — that can’t happen,” White said on FOX Sports 1 last night after UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis.
“It’s just not fair to everyone else. I love Conor, respect Conor, and love everything he has done for this company [but] the belt would have to move on, absolutely.”
McGregor last fought in the Octagon at UFC 205 in November of 2016, defeating Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight belt.
At the time McGregor was also the featherweight champion of the world, but afterwards he was forced to vacate that belt due to inactivity, having failed to defend that title since taking it from Jose Aldo a year earlier.
Now McGregor looks set to lose another title if he goes through with his extended hiatus and White is already working on what would happen next.
“You do Khabib [Nurmagomedov] versus Tony [Ferguson],” White said. “We’re working on that fight now. If and when Conor comes back, he will get the first crack at the title.”
It all sounds fairly straightforward in theory, but it will be interesting to see how McGregor responds if the UFC actually does go ahead and take the title from him.