There are multiple ways to get a UFC championship. You can beat the champ in the Octagon, for example.
Or you can buy a championship belt from the UFC Store, before midnight tonight. It's only $850 plus S&H. Pride belt is available for $750, and the Classic belt is only $650. If that seems steep, there's a desktop one that you can wrap around a coffee cup full of pens for just $225. And for the truly miserly there's a belt bracelet for $250 and matching belt buckle for $150.
Chael Sonnen declared himself champ and wore the belt in multiple interviews, and the UFC on FOX 2 press conference. But you have to be a gangster to do that. As it turns out, former champ champ Conor McGregor is a gangster too!
During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, McGregor explained why he feels he's still the rightful title holder, even after tapping to division champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on October 6, 2018. It began when McGregor was asked if his fight vs. Dustin Poirier should be for a vacant or interim title, as Nurmagomedov has announced his retirement.
“Who knows?” replied McGregor. “I was stripped of the featherweight belt before even getting an offer of a featherweight fight. I barely even got the second belt in the Octagon in New York that time [at UFC 205]. I suppose Khabib and the death of his father, and they give the time and so on, I think that’s admirable also. I think the time is now though, it’s well past, and I feel this should be for the belt. If it’s not, no problem. I’m looking to have an active year, I’m looking to compete.
“I am the champion. Do you know that the unified title was never crowned? The unified title was never crowned that time in October 2018. Khabib fled the cage and left me fighting with his family members in the cage. The post-fight ceremony never took place, so I still feel like I am the champion here, and I will go in and prove that. I’ll prove that with my performances and time will show. The cream always rises to the top, and the world is about to see it.”
If McGregor wins, UFC president Dana White would love to see him rematch Nurmogomedov, who will be watching live on Fight Island. McGregor doesn't believe "The Eagle" will take it.
“I think he’s afraid to fight me, that’s for damn sure, and I don’t blame him,” explained McGregor. “I fought the best of him on that night, he fought the worst of me on that night. He knows it, I know it, his team knows it. I have the answer to destroy that man. He can pull the wool over people’s eyes for only so long.
“It is what it is, I know there’s surrounding things regarding the family and that, and if he’s retired and that’s it, I wish him well. But I am who I am and I am at the top, so time will show.”
“My situation with Khabib is strictly personal between myself and himself, it’s not to do with anything else regardless of what certain individuals try and claim. I have been treated very well here, the people here have been amazing to me, it’s very hospitable. It’s not my first time fighting in the region also, I’ve competed in Amman, Jordan before. I’m very excited to be back.
“It’s been great to be here in Dubai, and I’m very excited to get to Abu Dhabi and just relish in the culture and just enjoy the experience. I’m enjoying it immensely so far.”
“I’m here for it, I’m ready for it, I would like it to. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I wonder what he’s gonna say, like I said, you can only pull the wool over someone’s eyes for so long. Dana probably could have stripped the belt from him that night.
“All that was put into him for that event, the pay-per-view flopped, and then a retirement. How long will it last? It doesn’t last that long in this business. It’s a ‘what have you done for me lately’ business, and the clock is ticking for sure, so we’ll see what happens.”
What do you think UG? Conor still the champ? And while we are on the topic of disputed wins, is Trump still president on Wednesday night?
"Do you know that the unified title was never crowned? ... Khabib fled the cage and left me fighting with his family members in the cage.”@TheNotoriousMMA says he is still lightweight champion because the post-fight ceremony at UFC 229 never took place. (via @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/nWBGPsZMPQ
"Do you know that the unified title was never crowned? ... Khabib fled the cage and left me fighting with his family members in the cage.”@TheNotoriousMMA says he is still lightweight champion because the post-fight ceremony at UFC 229 never took place. (via @arielhelwani) pic.twitter.com/nWBGPsZMPQ— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 17, 2021