On Saturday, November 12th, Conor McGregor made history by becoming the first man to ever simultaneously possess UFC titles in multiple weight classes. As of Saturday, November 26th, he apparently is now only a one-division champion again.
During tonight’s UFC Melbourne broadcast on FS1, the UFC officially confirmed that Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis is the new headliner for December 10th’s UFC 206 card in Toronto. At stake for those two is the interim featherweight title, which is now freed up because Jose Aldo has been promoted to full champion status, and you know what that means for a certain Mr. McGregor. Here’s the wording from the UFC’s official press release:
“Jose Aldo is the promotion’s new undisputed featherweight champion after two-division titleholder Conor McGregor relinquished the 145-pound belt and decided to focus on the title he holds in the 155-pound lightweight division. The winner of Holloway vs. Pettis will face Aldo in 2017.”
Note the word “relinquished” here. According to MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, he’s been told that McGregor never agreed to it.
UFC says McGregor has “relinquished” the 145 title. I’m told he never agreed to that, as we reported earlier, but UFC w/i rights to strip.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 27, 2016
McGregor won the featherweight title from Aldo with a 13-second KO at UFC 194 back in December 2015. He’s since fought Nate Diaz twice at 170 pounds, and most recently stopped Eddie Alvarez in emphatic fashion to become the UFC’s lightweight champion. He’s expected to be out of action until at least May, which would make it 17 months without a defense of the featherweight belt.
So to recap, Holloway-Pettis is now for an interim title, which is the 3rd one the UFC has created for this division since 2015, Aldo has been promoted from interim champ to full champ, and McGregor is strictly the lightweight champion. McGregor has not responded publicly to the news, but when he does, it will surely produce a big reaction, regardless of what he says.