Conor McGregor Reveals He Would’ve Defended Featherweight Title If Asked

Conor McGregor

Less than two weeks after Conor Mcgregor won the UFC lightweight title after he finished Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden, the UFC stripped McGregor of his featherweight title belt in order to give Jose Aldo the title and put an interim strap on the line for Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis at UFC 206. While the UFC claimed that McGregor relinquish the title in its press release, McGregor made it clear at his live Q&A in Manchester, England on Saturday, which aired on internet pay-per-view, that there was nothing at all mutual about the decision.

“Before I even got the belt, they wanted to strip me,” McGregor said (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “That’s what I’m saying, before I even won the belt, it was like, ‘you’ve got to give up this one.’ It’s like, just let me go and get the thing first. Let me go make the history. Let me go do what’s never been done before. And there seemed to be a problem with that, for whatever reason. I don’t know what the problem was, but again, a lack of communication. All they had to do was ask. If they had actually came to me and said, ‘Conor, I know you’re prepared to have a baby, I know you’re chilling. If you want to fight for this featherweight belt in March,’ just a nice time, I would’ve went in and would’ve slapped Holloway or this guy he’s fighting, or Aldo, or whoever they wanted. No problem. All they had to do was ask. Instead, they created an interim belt. They gave back the unified belt to a guy I KO’d in 13 seconds. A guy I dominated is now the interim title (holder). Look, I was almost a little bit embarrassed for the way it was playing out,” McGregor added. “Like, is that really how bad it’s gone, that you guys need to kinda create all this fake stuff to sell some stuff? But it (UFC 206) still sold sh*t. It still sold nothing, so I don’t know.”

Regardless of what the UFC’s official stance is on the situation, McGregor, who is outspoken, sees the situation in a different light and still considers himself to a two-division champion. He also thinks that the fans see him the same way.

“Before (UFC 205), there were conversations (about what to do with the belt). Not after,” McGregor said. “After, they just kinda went silent, then it just happened. But keyboard warriors, they can type anything and people think (it’s real). That ain’t real. You said that they wrote out a press release. What did they do? Did they send that army? Did they physically take that belt from me? Has anyone laid a finger on me to take that second belt, or the first belt? No, I’m still a two-weight world champion, make no mistake about it. At the end of the day, my shadow looms large over all of that featherweight division, over all of the lightweight division, over all the entire the UFC. So they can try and fool the fans all they want, but the fans know. They know what’s what.”

Following UFC 205, McGregor noted that he would be taking time off from the sport in which he dominated because of his girlfriend being pregnant with their first child. The UFC expected him to sit out the first part of the new year. Originally, Daniel Cormier was set to defend his light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson in the main event of UFC 206. However, plans changed when Cormier pulled out of the fight with an injury, which led to the UFC scrambling for a new main event. Thus, the UFC put an interim title on the line between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis. According to McGregor, if the UFC were in such a bind about to what to do with the featherweight title then all they had to do would have to call him to clear everything up.

“Like I said, all they had to do was ask,” McGregor said. “All they had to do was ask. Right now, I’m walking around about 75 kilos. That’s like 160 pounds. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a heavy cut. It’s heavy weight cut, but tell me one time I’ve missed it. Tell me one time I’ve missed the featherweight limit. At the Aldo fight, there was no IV. We went without IVs at the Aldo fight. That was the first time I’d brought in a nutritionist, I did the best weight cut I’ve ever had, and I didn’t use an IV to rehydrate, and I went in and I knocked my opponent out in 13 seconds. So how can they claim I’m not the featherweight world champion? How can they claim I’m not a featherweight anymore? Sign on the dotted line and I’ll take a featherweight fight, no problem. But make no mistake about it, you sign me up against any of these featherweights, they’re not going to show up, and that’s fact. You sign me up against Jose Aldo, how confident are you that fight takes place? He ain’t showing again. You know that. Thirteen-second knockout, he pulled out before, two years traveling the world.

“The featherweights are praying, praying that I don’t come back down there. So whatever.”