When UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor beat lightweight champ Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, he said he was going to take time off until May, for the birth of his first child. The only fight he has expressed real interest in is vs. Floyd Mayweather, in boxing. ‘Notorious’ was silent about featherweight, and dismissed the #1 lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov as a “pull out merchant.” The only MMA fight he expressed interest in is vs. welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, or the winner of the Woodley vs. Wonderboy rematch.
In the meantime, McGregor has gone back and forth about holding two belts at once, sometimes asking that he be allowed to hold them both but only briefly, and other times arguing he should be able to defend both, as he fights more than anyone in the UFC, every two weeks in fact.
However, UFC president Dana White has been steadfast that McGregor has to give up one belt or the other. Ariel Helwani broke the news that decision has now been made.
Given that the UFC already had an interim featherweight champion in Jose Aldo, it feels like a contrivance to make another interim champion, and bump Aldo’s interim belt up to the full one without a fight. Still, UFC 206 was in desperate need of a main event with a title on the line, and now they have it. Now, if Anthony Pettis beats Holloway, that make him only the fourth fighter in UFC history to have held belts in two divisions, after Randy Couture, BJ Penn, and of course Conor McGregor.