In his own mind at least, Conor McGregor is still a two-division UFC champion, despite the fact that the promotion officially stripped him of it’s featherweight title late last month.
McGregor made this clear during a recent interview with RTE’s Clare McNamara, which aired shortly before he was awarded the Irish broadcaster’s Sportsperson of the Year award on Saturday night.
When McNamara introduced him as the UFC lightweight champion, McGregor interjected. “Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on” said ‘The Notorious’, with his index finger outstretched and a cheeky grin on his face. “Now, now. UFC lightweight and UFC featherweight world champion – let’s get it right. I’m the champion champion”
“I’m still the two-weight world champion, make no mistake about that. They can say what they want. They can try and get phony belts and hand them out to people that I’ve already destroyed. I mean, the current champion is a guy I KO’ed in 13 seconds. The current interim champion is a guy I have destroyed as well.”
Many people probably agree with these sentiments and still consider McGregor to be the true champion at 145lbs, but the Irishman’s utterances didn’t sit well with one of the men he claims to have “destroyed”.
Newly crowned interim featherweight champion Max Holloway, who scooped the gold by finishing Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC 206 on December 10th, took to Twitter yesterday and fired out the following, seemingly in response to McGregor.
Well looks like someone is finally speaking up. Forget pass tense ask yourself how we match up now.
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) December 18, 2016
It’s interesting that Holloway didn’t bother to argue with McGregor’s wording. Of all the SBG fighter’s featherweight victims, Holloway is the one who has most reason to bicker with the use of the word “destroyed”. Yes, McGregor dominated the Hawaiian, even though he tore his ACL in the heat of the battle, but he failed to finish Holloway like every other 145-pound opponent he has faced.
Instead, Holloway chose to focus on the present. Perhaps that isn’t surprising from a guy who has clearly come on leaps and bounds since the defeat. He was but a 21-year-old kid with 9 fights on his record when McGregor bested him at UFC Fight Night 26. He has won each of his ten fights since and has developed into a legitimate world-class mixed martial artist along the way.