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27th Nov 2016

Conor McGregor “relinquishes” featherweight belt, say UFC… his camp say otherwise

Two sides to this massive story

Patrick McCarry

Conor McGregor said the UFC would need an army. In the end, all they needed to do was announce it during a live broadcast.

McGregor is now the former UFC featherweight champion. That is the new reality.

His reign as featherweight champion lasted 350 days and included no title defences but transformed a forgotten division into the most talked about in UFC history. The Notorious fought twice at welterweight and won the lightweight belt during that 350 days and became the promotion’s first ever fighter to consecutively hold two divisional titles.

McGregor got to hold the two belts aloft at Madison Square Garden and was only too happy to pose for the cameras and soak in his achievement.

McGregor posing

All that he sought, he conquered.

Now it is time to move on and to move the story on. At least that is what the UFC are thinking.

The promotion announced, late on Saturday night and during Fight night 101, that McGregor had “relinquished” his featherweight belt. Interim title holder Jose Aldo has now been installed as outright champion but, oddly, Anthony Pettis will now headline UFC 206 against Max Holloway for the interim strap.

If that all sounds too simple, that’s because it is.

McGregor’s camp has told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that they ‘never agreed’ to his losing the belt. It is two different takes on one massive story.

The UFC are within their rights to strip McGregor of his belt and the Irishman himself stated, after UFC 205, that he would be taking time out of the fight game until the middle of 2017 at the earliest.

For those of us waiting McGregor’s personal take on matters, his social media activity is giving nothing away. Last night, he retweeted an ode from training partner Dillon Danis and that was it.

When he does respond, expect something seismic.

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