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03rd Mar 2018

Dana White finally confirms when Conor McGregor will be stripped

Huge development

Ben Kiely

Dana White has a real problem saying the words ‘Conor McGregor stripped’ in the same sentence.

When the UFC announced that Tony Ferguson would be fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the ‘real belt,’ he refused to give an update on Conor McGregor.

McGregor won the lightweight title by knocking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. He has yet to defend that strap, opting instead to box Floyd Mayweather. In his absence, Tony Ferguson claimed the interim title by submitting Kevin Lee. ‘El Cucuy’ was subsequently booked to fight Nurmagomedov in UFC 223’s headliner.

When he was first asked if the booking meant that McGregor would be stripped, White responded, ‘We’ll see what happens.’

Conor McGregor strpped

The UFC president finally confirmed to the LA Times that April 7 is D-Day. Once Ferguson and Nurmagomedov step inside that Octagon, they will be slugging it out for the undisputed belt. The winner will take McGregor’s spot at the top of the 155lbs rankings.

“That’s exactly right: As soon as one punch is thrown, it’s on for the full title and it’s only fair. They’ve both worked their way up to No. 1 and No. 2. They deserve a shot.”

White also changed his tune about McGregor’s return. He previously said that ‘the Notorious’ may never return due to how much money he’s earned. However, now he’s saying “will be back … and when he comes back, he will fight for the title.”

You’ve got to hand it to Eddie Alvarez. ‘The Underground King’s’ theory about the stripping situation was on point. The reason why the Dubliner won’t be stripped sooner is that the promotion has failed to make this fight happen on three times of asking.

The first time the UFC tried to put this fight on in December 2015, Khabib pulled out with a rib injury. When they were set to main event UFC on Fox 19, Ferguson withdrew after doctors told him he had fluid and blood in his lung. Then, of course, there was that devastating news that Nurmagomedov’s botched weight cut forced him out of UFC 209’s co-main for the interim strap.

White admitted that McGregor ‘wants’ to be UFC champion, but claimed that he ‘doesn’t want’ to defend it. Nurmagomedov’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, confirmed to the LA Times that it’s stated in the fight contract that McGregor will be stripped after the fight.

“(McGregor) will no longer be champion … he’s going to be stripped. One hundred percent, the contract says that, and the UFC was on board, too.”

There you have it. Come April 7, McGregor will no longer be a UFC title holder.