The sport of MMA has been awaiting a response from Conor McGregor following the UFC’s decision to strip him of his featherweight title and promote Jose Aldo to full-time champ, making next weekend’s UFC 206 main event between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis now for Aldo’s briefly-held interim belt.
‘The Notorious’ made UFC history when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the main event of November 12’s UFC 205 to become the first-ever concurrent two-weight champion, so the decision to quickly take away his featherweight gold was harshly criticized by many. There were also a decent number of supporters for the decision, as the Irish dual-champ had not defended the belt since he won it from Aldo last December.
McGregor and his team had largely stayed silent despite getting a boxing license in California amid reports from Dana White that it was ‘Conor’s decision to relinquish his title,’ but not surprisingly, McGregor shared quite an opposite view during a recent interview at Belfast’s The Devenish Bar (via Snowden MMA):
“I also have something going on with the UFC, they’re trying to strip me and I was like, ‘Well, I ain’t stripped. I still got that belt, that belt is still at home right now’,” McGregor said. “I’m still the two-way world champion, someone has to come take that from me. I see articles, I see stuff online, but I don’t see the belt not in my presence. The belt is right there, there’s two world titles at my home.
“Eddie [Alvarez] is still unconscious, what do you mean? I only fought last week. Them belts are mine. Whatever they want to say, and they can say, ‘Oh we took the belt and now it’s this guy’s belt,’ you can play with those fake belts all you want. Jose was KO’ed, Eddie was KO’ed, you’re looking at the two-weight world champion and that’s it. I’ll say to the UFC, and I love their company, you’re fooling nobody, you’re fooling nobody with that.”
Following arguably the biggest year in MMA history where he put on four record-breaking fights in less than 12 calendar months, it’s difficult to argue with ‘The Notorious” results in the Octagon and at the box office. With that monstrous bit of leverage fully entrenched by his side, McGregor reaffirmed his previous statement that his bosses would have to come and take his belts from him, as talking about it would mean nothing:
“But best of luck to them, I still got them belts. Someone’s got to come take those belts from me, physically. Not online, not through a keyboard. The keyboard warriors trying to take them belts away from me, [but] you got to take them belts off me physically if you want to come get them.”
– quotes transcribed by MMAFighting.com