White: If McGregor return is Sept. he loses belt
Conor McGregor is the biggest draw in UFC history, but he never defended his featherweight belt, and he may never defend his current lightweight title either. The 145 belt was won at UFC 194 on December 12, 2015 and stripped after 350 days. The 155 belt was won at UFC 205 on November 12, 2016; that’s 429 days ago.
McGregor is back in training, and has given some indication he wants to defend the belt in September.
During an appearance on FOX Sports, UFC president Dana White made clear that that’s not happening. If the Notorious return takes place in the Fall, the belt will be stripped for inactivity, and interim champ interim champion Tony Ferguson will fight undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title.
“Conor has said he’s thinking about coming back in September,” said White, as transcribed by The Irish Times. “If he comes back in September that’s almost two years, that can’t happen, it’s not fair to everybody else.
“I love Conor, I respect Conor, I love everything he’s done for this company, but the belt would have to move on. You do Khabib versus Tony, we’re working on that fight now. If and when Conor comes back, he would get the first crack at the title.”
“Conor has said he’s thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September, that’s almost two years…that can’t happen.” — @danawhite
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) January 15, 2018