Conor McGregor relinquishes UFC featherweight belt
Just two weeks after making history by becoming the first fighter in history to hold belts in two divisions simultaneously at UFC 205, Conor McGregor has relinquished his featherweight title. The move was made in part to try and salvage the UFC 206 pay-per-view card in Toronto, which lost its main event—a light heavyweight title fight between champion Daniel Cormier and challenger Anthony Johnson.
The new main event for UFC 206 will be an interim featherweight title fight between Max Holloway and former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who could join a short list of fighters to win belts in multiple weight classes. Jose Aldo, who won the interim featherweight title at UFC 200 by defeating Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision, is now the featherweight champion after the interim label is dropped from his title.
McGregor had remained adamant that he would hold onto both belts and defend each, but told SI.com he would consider dropping one if it were the right business move.
“I'll always listen to the correct business move and I'll always do what is the correct move,” McGregor said in October.
— #UFCMelbourne (@ufc) November 27, 2016
For the UFC, McGregor dropping the belt helps the company attempt to salvage a pay-per-view that will likely still struggle to garner buys. It also ends months of speculation about the future of the featherweight division.
The future of the featherweight strap isn't necessarily out of the shadows yet, Aldo has been threatening to walkaway with the sport, unhappy the UFC booked McGregor to fight for the lightweight title at UFC 205 instead of booking a rematch with McGregor, who knocked out Aldo in 13 seconds to win the featherweight title at UFC 194.