Stripped of his UFC featherweight title late last month, it’s hard to imagine Conor McGregor ever returning to the division.
Seemingly intent on maintaining his status as two-division champion in spite of the UFC’s insistence that he could not do so, McGregor defiantly refused to dismiss the possibility of a featherweight comeback after he stopped Eddie Alvarez to claim the promotion’s lightweight belt on November 12th.
However, he has now been relieved of that status and his connection to the lighter weight-class has been severed.
It would seem like an odd decision then for ‘The Notorious’ Irishman to endure the well-documented hardship of another cut to 145lbs just for the sake of going over old ground, especially when one considers the fact that he has already achieved his goal of becoming the first fighter to hold UFC titles in two weight-classes simultaneously and that he has retained the title in a division to which he is far better suited.
The notion that McGregor might not grace the featherweight ranks again seems like one that would deflate Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, new featherweight champion and interim champion respectively, who will fight to determine the SBG fighter’s true successor some time next year. After all, both men are former McGregor victims and are desirous of rematches.
However, neither Aldo nor Holloway seems too worried about his departure and both have said that they are willing to chase the Pay-per-view star up to 155lbs after they have settled matters 10lbs south.
Holloway expressed his willingness to do so on a recent episode of The MMA Hour.
‘Willing’ is actually something of an understatement when it comes to describing Aldo’s mindset. In a recent interview with Ag Fight in Brazil, ‘Scarface’ said that lightweight is exactly where he wants to fight McGregor, who he continues to claim is ducking the fight.
“I want to get a fight with Conor, but as he is running from the fight, I want to see how things are going to be in the division,” Aldo said(Translation via FloCombat). “But we will fight at lightweight. I don’t want to fight him at featherweight. I’m the champion, and I’ve been beating everyone. I want to fight in another division, too, since this is possible now. It is not possible just for one guy. I will ask for a fight and I will also deny fights if I want to. Since [Dana White] said that he doesn’t force anybody to fight.”
Aldo, of course, lost the featherweight title when he was starched by McGregor in just 13 seconds last December, but rebounded admirably by outpointing Frankie Edgar to claim the interim title in July at UFC 200. When McGregor was stripped, the Brazilian was promoted to champion once again.
The UFC then tossed yet another interim belt into the confusing championship concoction in order to add some gloss to the UFC 206 main event between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway. Holloway picked up the strap by stopping Pettis in the third round.