UFC president Dana White draws the line in the sand…
Scoring the biggest win of his career at UFC 205, Conor McGregor put himself in a very powerful position. Claiming the second belt in a record-setting simultaneous championship reign, McGregor’s victory over Eddie Alvarez was absolutely huge. Defeating ‘The Silent Assassin’ was much more than a championship fight, it was a major win in the Irishman’s battle outside the octagon. For some time now we’d been discussing the possibility of ‘The Notorious’ becoming bigger than the promotion. During UFC 205 and in the time since, that’s now unequivocal.
Obvious fights against Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson were discussed, but there was more at play. Now the lightweight/featherweight champion had all the marbles, and he doesn’t plan on sharing. Taking 10 months off of fighting didn’t keep McGregor from making his next moves. After the UFC stripped his 145-pound title, McGregor fired his own shots back. Enter the talk of a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, and the rift with the UFC is apparent.
One Of These Guys Became Featherweight Champ In 2016
Excuse the heading, but the point is illustrated well. In a blatant attempt to save UFC 206, the promotion stripped McGregor’s belt and promoted Jose Aldo to full champion. Putting the interim belt on the line for Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis, the UFC had shown their cards. McGregor’s response was to reveal he won’t be coming back to the UFC next, whether they like it or not. Referencing the Ali Act in MMA, ‘The Notorious’ said there’s nothing the UFC can do to stop him from boxing Floyd Mayweather. Unsurprisingly, UFC president Dana White is not amused:
White: If McGregor wants to go down that road with us, it’ll be an epic fall.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 29, 2017
New Owners, Star Power
WME-IMG, who took hold of the UFC in 2016 for $4 billion, have walked in to a storm. With a very big loan to pay back, they’ll need every ounce of star power to get the ball rolling in 2017. Unfortunately for the promotion, McGregor was more of a draw in one year on his own than the entire UFC roster in 2014. As the now undeniable stand-off between the UFC and McGregor ramps up, who will be the victor in this war of dollars?