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30th Aug 2016

Dana White clarifies UFC’s position on Conor McGregor’s featherweight future

Big decision to make

Patrick McCarry

Conor McGregor won’t be stripped of his UFC featherweight title but he may not be the featherweight champion for much longer.

Following his victory over Nate Diaz, the Dubliner would dearly love to take Eddie Alvarez’ lightweight strap so he can become the first ever two division champion in UFC history. Time is against him, however.

McGregor’s decision to fight Diaz at 170 lbs for the second time in five months has stalled the featherweight division and left Jose Aldo, the interim champion, hanging for a rematch of his own. John Kavanagh, McGregor’s coach, wants his man to settle in the lightweight [155 lbs] division but insists he could handily drop back to featherweight.

Last week, in the aftermath of UFC 202, White told TMZ that McGregor had two options – title fights against either Aldo or Alvarez. During an interview with NBC Sports Radio, at the weekend, White expanded on the issue:

“Conor’s not going to get stripped. He’s going to make a decision. He knows the Nate Diaz fight isn’t the fight to make right now.

“He has to either defend his title or give it up and decide what he wants to do next. We’ll get that figured out with him.”

McGregor did not sound overly enthused about dropping those 25 lbs just to face Aldo again, claiming he embarked on a ‘world tour for two years’ with the Brazilian only to knock him out after 13 seconds.

He feels he has conquered the lightweight division and Aldo’s drawn-out tilt with Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 did nothing to stir his fighting soul. The arrival on Anthony Pettis to the featherweight division adds some interest but McGregor may feel he has outgrown it, in more ways than one.

History may have to wait.