UFC President Dana White has confirmed that he will strip Conor McGregor of the UFC lightweight title.
Also, it will happen before UFC 223, which is important to note. McGregor has not been seen in the Octagon since at UFC 205 when he won the lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez. McGregor then fought in a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
It appears that the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov – interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 223 will be the actual lightweight champion.
UFC 222 is set to take place on March 3, 2018 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The main card will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET while the preliminary card will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET and the promotion’s streaming service, UFC Fight Pass.
The UFC President stated in a recent interview that he had already the addressed the title issue last month at the UFC 223 press conference in Boston.
He noted that he would strip his biggest draw on pay-per-view in order to make the lightweight title showdown between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov legitimate for the strap.
“I said in the last press conference that fight will be for the title. It’s not for the interim title, that fight will be for the title,” White told TMZ Sports (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting).
When pressed about if McGregor would be stripped of his title, White responded by saying “Right.”
“Is he upset? No, Conor understands. Conor made a lot of money, he wants some time off, but the division has to go on, and the business has to go on.”
White went on to say he would like McGregor to fight the winner of the UFC 223 main event. However, just like has stated in the past, there is a chance that McGregor may never compete again.
“It was August, and now it’s September. I say it all the time when you get that kind of money…Conor might never come back. It’s a lot of money.”