Dana White: If Conor McGregor Isn’t Back By March, UFC Will Take Away His Lightweight Belt
Conor McGregor may be in possession of the UFC lightweight title for more than a year now, but the 29-year-old Irishman could risk losing it.
Conor McGregor UFC Return News
Company president Dana White has said that the feisty, 5-foot-9, 155-pound fighter must return to UFC by March or face being stripped of his belt.
“As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib [Nurmagomedov] versus Tony [Ferguson] and then the winner fights Conor for the title,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “Or, if Conor wants to sit out until next fall, then we’d have to make Khabib versus Tony for the title, not the interim title.”
“This is a game of time,” White continued. “We can’t let this go on forever and not give other guys an opportunity. Tony has earned his dues. Khabib has earned his dues and the list goes on and on. The belt has to move on.”
McGregor has been non-committal about his MMA return. He lost to Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match in Las Vegas in August, a contest that had been months in the making.
White also said he plans to pit women’s featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino against bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes next.
Justino (19-1 MMA, 4-0 UFC), however, quickly said she refused to participate in a fight against Nunes (15-4 MMA, 8-1 UFC), who requested the match.
Cyborg, a featherweight champion, said bantamweight (135-pound) titleholder Nunes needs to prove herself at featherweight before earning a title shot.
Justino added that she is focused on Invicta FC featherweight champion Megan Anderson (8-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), whom she called out after defeating ex-bantamweight champion Holly Holm last week at UFC 219.
If that matchup doesn’t materialize, Cyborg wrote, she’ll move down the line of Invicta contenders to Pam Sorenson (6-2).
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 12: (R-L) Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Eddie Alvarez in their UFC lightweight championship fight in their UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images )