Just when you think you have figured out the new UFC featherweight landscape, Dana White has muddied the waters once again by claiming that Conor McGregor is still the man to beat at 145lb.
Even before he rewrote the UFC history books at UFC 205 in November, UFC president Dana White had publicly indicated that should Conor McGregor defeat Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, he would have to relinquish one of his belts.
Despite the Irishman stating he wanted to defend both titles, White and UFC bosses stripped him of his featherweight belt last week in an effort to salvage the floundering UFC 206 event, set to take place this weekend, December 10th, in Toronto.
With the cancellation of the event’s headline fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, the featherweight bout between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway was promoted to the headline event, with the interim featherweight title now on the line.
These events meant that former featherweight champion Jose Aldo was promoted to undisputed featherweight champion, despite not having actually beaten or even fought Conor McGregor for the title.
Speaking to UFC Unfiltered in recent days in an effort to explain the unprecedented developments, White has stated that despite no longer having the title, Conor McGregor is still the man to beat at 145lb, a comment that will surely enrage Aldo.
Reported by Cagepages, White conceded:
“I didn’t strip him of anything you know what I mean? I said everyday leading up to that fight at UFC 205, that McGregor had to give up one of the belts if he won the lightweight title in New York but that doesn’t take away from anything. He says he is still a two-weight world champion and he’s damn right he is.
“He is a two-weight world champion. It doesn’t take away from anything that he achieved and when it comes to the featherweight title, he didn’t lose it, he is the man at 145-pounds.”
So there you go. Just when the MMA world was ready to move on from the debacle of last week, Dana White has firmly thrown the cat back among the pigeons once more.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena