UFC president Dana White has revealed why Conor McGregor gave up his 145lb world championship belt.
Controversial Irishman McGregor made history at UFC 205 when he defeated Eddie Alvarez in the second round to become the new UFC lightweight champion and the first simultaneous two-weight champion in the promotion’s history.
White promised at the post-fight news conference that night that McGregor would be forced to make a decision which belt he wanted to keep and last Sunday it was announced he’d decided to keep the lightweight.
The announcement came during the UFC Fight Night 101 broadcast when it was also revealed that Jose Aldo would be promoted from interim to undisputed champion.
In addition, it was announced that Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis would fight for the new interim 145lb belt at UFC 206.
He said: “Look, I let Conor fight (Nate) Diaz and then, I let him fight Diaz again.
“Then, there was the whole 155lb thing I let him do. But at the end of the day, him doing that tied up the division for a year. There’s a logjam there and a lot of guys were (angry).
“This was my way to fix the logjam. I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time.
“So I looked at it and I said, well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready, barring any crazy injuries, the winner can fight him.”
Connor’s head coach at SBG Ireland, John Kavanagh, did speak out and refuted the UFC’s claim that the belt had been relinquished by McGregor and instead insinuated that it had actually been stripped in order to justify creating an interim title for the UFC 206 main event.
White denies Kavanagh’s claims and underlined the promotion’s initial comment on the situation, that McGregor was the one who made this choice.
“He’s misinformed,” White said. “Yeah, he doesn’t know all that has gone on, I guess. Do you think I just did this? This was Conor’s decision.”