McGregor will no longer be champion after UFC 223

UFC overlord Dana white has finally confirmed that Conor McGregor will no longer be lightweight champion after UFC 223.

While White confirmed in the past that the winner of Tony Ferguson v Khabib Nurmagomedov will be the new UFC lightweight champion, he never mentioned anything about McGregor actually being stripped of his title that he seems unwilling to defend. 

That is, until now…

"That's exactly right: As soon as one punch is thrown, it's on for the full title and it's only fair," the LA Times quotes White as saying. 

"They've both worked their way up to No. 1 and No. 2. They deserve a shot.

"This is good news for the fans, I always hear about, 'What will you do if this guy leaves …' This is a sport first. People leave, they've made money and moved on. It happens."

White went on to say that he is confident the cash cow, sorry, McGregor will return to the octagon soon enough. The Irishman has not fought since November 2016, when he defeated Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title. 

"Conor does want the belt, he does want to be the champion, but he doesn't want to defend it," he continued.

"I'd love to see him fight the winner of Ferguson-Khabib next. [McGregor] will be back … and when he comes back, he will fight for the title."

UFC 223 takes place on 7 April at the Barclays Centre in New York, where Rose Namajunas takes on Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the UFC Women’s Strawweight title in the co-headliner.