5. It Ensured McGregor Wouldn’t Be Defending His Belt This Year
McGregor is still the UFC’s lightweight champion, even if he hasn’t defended it once since winning it at UFC 205 last year.
His foray into boxing all but ensured his absence from the UFC cage for all of 2017 to the point where the UFC was forced to create an interim title between Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee at UFC 216.
McGregor never defended the featherweight belt and was eventually forced to vacate it (although in his mind, he is still the two-division champ). That troubling trend has carried over to lightweight, and his boxing bout against Mayweather has just furthered the timeline for his next and first title defense.
Keeping your champion active is an absolute must, but random stints in a different combat sport does not meet that criteria. There is an entire division now waiting in the lurch over McGregor’s absence, which has not helped the UFC in the long run. If you enjoyed this story, please share it on social media!