The battle lines have been drawn.
Last week, the UFC announced that Conor McGregor had relinquished the featherweight title. On Thursday, UFC President Dana White explained that the reason behind McGregor’s ‘voluntary surrender’ of his belt was to ‘fix the log jam at featherweight’. McGregor remained silent, until now.
Speaking to media in a Q & A session at the Devenish Bar in Belfast, Ireland, the Notorious One denied that he has relinquished the UFC Featherweight title. McGregor said that both belts are still with him at his house. Said McGregor:
“I also have something going on with the UFC, they’re trying to strip me and I was like, ‘Well, I ain’t stripped. I still got that belt, that belt is still at home right now’. I’m still the two-way world champion, someone has to come take that from me. I see articles, I see stuff online, but I don’t see the belt not in my presence. The belt is right there, there’s two world titles at my home.”
Physically the belt is at McGregor’s home but the new UFC 206 main event between Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway has been promoted to an interim title bout. At almost the same time, the interim champion Jose Aldo was promoted to full champion status with the winner of UFC 206 likely to challenge Junior for the undisputed belt.
“But best of luck to them, I still got them belts. Someone’s got to come take those belts from me, physically. Not online, not through a keyboard. The keyboard warriors trying to take them belts away from me, [but] you got to take them belts off me physically if you want to come get them.”
By physically, McGregor means that someone must beat him inside the Octagon. For now, that will have to be placed on the shelf as McGregor is taking some serious time off from Octagon action to attend to his pregnant girlfriend. As to relinquishing the title, McGregor said this:
“Them belts are mine. Whatever they want to say, and they can say, ‘Oh we took the belt and now it’s this guy’s belt,’ you can play with those fake belts all you want. Jose was KO’ed, Eddie was KO’ed, you’re looking at the two-weight world champion and that’s it. I’ll say to the UFC, and I love their company, you’re fooling nobody, you’re fooling nobody with that.”
Conor McGregor is the UFC’s top superstar but he’s one guy who doesn’t take sh#t from anybody, not even his employers. Now that puts the UFC in a dilemma.