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Conor McGregor Officially Vacates UFC Featherweight Title
We knew Conor McGregor‘s reign as the first simultaneous two-division UFC champion would not last long. Sure enough on Saturday, just two weeks after winning the UFC lightweight title from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, McGregor officially vacated his UFC featherweight title.
McGregor became the undisputed UFC featherweight champion last December when he knocked Jose Aldo out in 13 seconds at UFC 194. He was originally supposed to defend the title against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 196 in March. However, when Dos Anjos pulled out with an injury, it altered the trajectory of McGregor’s career. Instead of defending his UFC featherweight title at UFC 196, he jumped up two weight classes to fight welterweight Nate Diaz. That was followed by another fight against Diaz in August, then the lightweight title fight against Alvarez in November.
While McGregor was off doing everything but defending his featherweight belt, Jose Aldo was furious that he wasn’t getting a chance to win it back. In fact, when the UFC announced the McGregor-Alvarez fight back in September, Aldo demanded his release.
Of course, Aldo had a point. While he did win the interim featherweight title, it wasn’t fair to make him wait around for a chance at the undisputed title any longer. For that reason, even before McGregor-Alvarez, UFC president Dana White had said he would not allow McGregor to hold on to both titles. By the time McGregor announced that he was taking a six-month break from fighting until the birth of his first child, the writing was on the wall.
That said, nobody thought he would vacate this quickly. However, the UFC was forced to speed the process along by the recent injury to Daniel Cormier. He was supposed to fight Anthony Johnson for the light heavyweight title on December 10. With him out, the UFC needed a new main event for UFC 206. Now that McGregor is out of the picture, the UFC has promoted Jose Aldo from interim to undisputed featherweight champ, and the previously scheduled UFC 206 fight between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis is now for the interim featherweight title.
McGregor, 28, will retain the UFC lightweight title. However, he won’t fight again until May at the earliest.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]