UFC President Dana White will strip Conor McGregor his UFC Lightweight title, meaning the upcoming fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson at UFC 223 in April will be for the title McGregor currently holds.
“It’s not for interim title,” White told TMZ Sports. “That fight is for the title.”
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Speaking with TMZ Sports, White said that he expects McGregor to understand the decision to strip him his belt. The 29-year-old superstar has not fought in the UFC since November 2016 when he beat Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at UFC 205.
“Is he upset? No, Conor understands,” White said. “He made a lot money. He wants some time f, but the division has to go on, and the business has to go on.”
At this time it's unclear when McGregor will step into the octagon again. White mentioned that he could return to the sport in August or September, but also added, "Conor might never come back" because he has already made so much money. In the event that McGregor does fight again, the belief is that he'll challenge the winner Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson for the belt.
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McGregor's most recent fight came back in August when he made his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather. Despite speculation that the two could be on track for a sequel inside the UFC octagon, it remains unlikely that Mayweather will come out retirement.
McGregor is 21-3 with 18 victories by way knockout in his 24 career UFC fights.