UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor was recently named Sports Person of the Year by RTE, the national public service broadcaster of Ireland. McGregor spoke with Clare McNamara and argued vehemently that he is still the UFC lightweight and featherweight champion, and that the league never contacted him about relinquishing one belt.
McGregor won the featherweight title on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194. He next planned to fight next for the lightweight title, but then champion Rafael dos Anjos got hurt so he fought Nate Diaz and lost. Then he fought Diaz again and won. Then he finally got his lightweight title shot on November 12, 2016, at UFC 205 and won that too, becoming the first fighter to hold two UFC belts at once.
Then he announced that he and long-time partner Dee Devlin were expecting a baby in May, and he was taking time off until then. McGregor expressed no interest what so ever in defending the featherweight belt, no interest in defending the lightweight belt, a little interest in challenging for the welterweight belt, and a lot of interest in boxing Floyd Mayweather.
UFC president Dana White had long maintained that McGregor would have to give up one belt or the other, and it was announced that Jose Aldo, who had won the interim title, was now the full champion. Then because Aldo wasn’t immediately ready to defend it and because UFC 206 needed some polishing, Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis for the interim title. Pettis missed weight and took himself out of the running, but Holloway won in any case, and will be fighting Aldo next in a unification fight.
In the mean time, McGregor says he’s still the champion.
“All I know is they’re tying to type onto keyboard and say, we’re taking this belt, we’re taking that belt, we’re doing this, we’re doing that,” said McGregor, as trabscribed byMarc Raimondi for MMA Fighting. “You ain’t doing nothing without contacting me first.”
“As far as a break, I don’t know. know Dana has been on record, being like, ’10 months — he’s taking 10 months off.’ Where did you [get] 10 months?”
When Conor announced he was taking a break until May, he also said he wasn’t returning until he got equity.
“I just don’t know,” said McGregor. “I’m weighing up my options. But again, I expect that conversation. I expect them to fly that jet to me. Ari, Patrick, the new owners from WME-IMG, the guys that bought the UFC for $4 billion, I want to speak to them. I want to see what their plan is. Because right now I don’t know what nobody’s plan is.”
“I’m still the two-weight world champion,” said McGregor. “Make no mistake about that. They can say what they want, they can try and get phony belts and hand them out to people I’ve already destroyed. I mean, the current champion is a guy I KO’d in 13 seconds. The current interim champion is a guy I destroyed as well. … Officially, I don’t care what nobody says. I am the two-weight world champion and that is that.”