Fight fans are still waiting to see UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor defend his title belt. His arch rival is also waiting and has sounded off on the situation.
That fighter is former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who is slated to challenge for the title once again when he steps inside the Octagon to fight Max Holloway in a rematch at next Saturday’s UFC 218 PPV (pay-per-view) event.
Tony Ferguson won the interim title at UFC 216 by scoring a submission win over Kevin Lee with a triangle choke in the third round. The reason for the interim bout was due to McGregor being unable to fight in the Octagon as he spent this year celebrating the birth of his child and pursuing a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.
Keep in mind that the UFC lightweight champion has gone on record by stating that “legitimizing the title” is more important to him than money fights in the current state of his career.
UFC President Dana White has already confirmed that Ferguson would be McGregor’s next opponent.
Aldo believes it’s time for the UFC to make a decision about the future of the lightweight division. He stated to reporters during a media day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil that the promotion needs to make the lightweight champion defend or vacate the title.
“Thank God my division is moving. It would be bad if it was stuck, but my division is moving,” Aldo said. “It’s hard, right? Every athlete dreams of becoming champion, fighting for the title, and the guy is holding up the division. But it’s up to the UFC to make the decisions.
“The UFC needs to do what has to be done: you take the belt away or make him defend it. I think everyone is waiting for that.”
Make no mistake about it, the chances of seeing McGregor fight this year is highly unlikely. Aldo believes that even if McGregor competes in a unification bout versus Ferguson next, there’s a chance he loses the UFC belt.
“Yes, this time is coming,” Aldo said (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting), “He has to defend it, has to put his belt on the line in order to become champion. He only won the title. For me, Ferguson has great possibilities of becoming champion in the future.”