Conor McGregor has been officially stripped of the UFC lightweight championship, according to UFC president Dana White.
The move was announced on Wednesday by White at a press conference ahead of UFC 223.
McGregor has not been in the Octagon since winning the the title in November 2016.
His only action since then was a defeat in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr last August.
After announcing the decision, White said that he thought McGregor would be back in action sometime this year.
“Conor McGregor is 100 per cent coming back this year,” White said.
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway will contest the lightweight championship belt at UFC 223 in New York on Saturday.
Dana White confirms Conor McGregor is coming back to the UFC this year. pic.twitter.com/AjhOgrPGdG
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 5, 2018
Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight interim champion Tony Ferguson, but Ferguson was forced to pull out of the fight after suffering a freak knee injury.
Holloway the featherweight champion, has moved up a weight on just six day’s notice.
Ferguson will remain the No 1 contender in the division, said White.
“We’re not stripping Tony Ferguson,” White said. “Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped, the only one that’s losing a belt here is Conor.
“Conor is losing the belt. These two are fighting for the belt.
“The interim these two were supposed to fight for, fight doesn’t happen, now one of these guys will be the champion. Tony is still the number one contender.”