Conor McGregor stripped of UFC lightweight title, Dana White confirms

By @saihoops on
Conor McGregor, Conor McGregor's next fight
Aug 26, 2017; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor reacts following his loss in the tenth round by TKO to Floyd Mayweather Jr. at T-Mobile Arena. USA TODAY Sports / Mark J. Rebilas

Conor McGregor, the reigning UFC Lightweight Champion, will be stripped of his title in the coming weeks, according to UFC President Dana White. McGregor hasn't stepped foot into the Octagon since winning the lightweight title courtesy a TKO victory over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 on Nov. 12, 2016.

After the win over Alvarez, McGregor turned his attention to his boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather, which reportedly netted him over US$100 million (AU$125 million) in revenue. In the aftermath of his record-breaking debut in the squared circle, there was chatter that McGregor would likely never return to the UFC.

In November, the UFC and McGregor (21-13) negotiated a new contract, with the Irishman potentially defending his title at UFC 219 on Dec. 30. However, the two parties couldn't come to terms on a deal. Since then, White maintained that McGregor would be stripped of the title if he continued his extended leave of absence.

Conor McGregor's next fight still up in the air

In January, White hinted at a press conference that the highly-anticipated Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson bout at UFC 223 will be for "the real title." On Wednesday (Thursday AEDT), White confirmed that McGregor will be stripped of his belt.

“I said in the last press conference, that fight will be for the title. It’s not for the interim title, that fight (Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson) is for the title," White told TMZ Sports.

When asked if McGregor would lose his title, White confirmed, "Right. Conor understands. Listen, Conor made a lot of money, you know? He wants some time off, but the division has to go on. And the business goes on.”

UFC 223 will be staged at the Barclays Center in New York City on Apr. 23. Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been the top contenders for the lightweight title since the end of 2016. There is still a ton of uncertainty surrounding Conor McGregor's next fight. There were some reports that McGregor could return to the octagon to face either Max Holloway or old foe Nate Diaz. McGregor and Diaz are 1-1 in their previous two bouts.