Conor McGregor UFC

Dana White still cagey on stripping Conor McGregor, again says Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for ‘real’ title

Published On February 22, 2018 | MMA News

Dana White still refuses to outright clarify that the UFC is stripping Conor McGregor of his lightweight title ahead of UFC 223 but doesn’t seem to understand why anyone else doesn’t comprehend the plan. spoke with the UFC president, who continued his elusive line of addressing the title situation, declining to outright say McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) would be stripped of the belt, but confirming Tony Ferguson(23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) is not for an interim title.

“I said in the last press conference (in Boston): That fight will be for the title,” White told “It’s not for the interim title. That fight is for the real title.”

When asked, much as he was repeatedly pressed at a January news conference in Boston, to directly confirm that means McGregor will be stripped of his belt prior to the Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov contest, White managed only a meek “Right.”

So why is the usually outspoken White so hesitant to simply clarify a seemingly obvious solution? Sure, McGregor is the company’s biggest star, but it’s been 15 months since he won the title with a UFC 205 win over Eddie Alvarez, and after cashing a massive check with a boxing clash against Floyd Mayweather, McGregor has yet to commit to a return date.

Yet White continues to treat the word “stripped” as if it’s some sort of profanity – well, the way some people would treat a profanity, anyway. Ditto for the term “undisputed,” settling instead for “real.”

Perhaps White is simply allowing McGregor time to ditch the belt on his own accord. But if it keeps up, plan on a few more awkward exchanges like this ahead of UFC 223, which takes place April 7 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

In the meantime, White insists McGregor understands exactly how the scenario will unfold, even if no one else quite grasps the subtle nuances of the UFC exec’s choice of words.

“Is he upset?” White asked. “Conor understands. Listen, Conor made a lot of money and he wants some time off, but the division has to go on and the business has to go on.

“I’d like to see Conor fight the winner. It was August, then September – I don’t know. I say it all the time: With that kind of money, Conor might never come back. It’s a lot of money.”

This story Dana White still cagey on stripping Conor McGregor, again says Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for ‘real’ title first appeared on MMA Junkie.

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