Dana White Says Conor McGregor Must Defend or Vacate the Featherweight Title

Nathan McCarter@McCarterNFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2016

Aug 20, 2016; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Conor McGregor (blue gloves) reacts to fight with Nate Diaz (red gloves) during UFC 202 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Dana White appeared on both SportsCenter and the UFC post-fight show on Fox Sports 1 after the conclusion of UFC 202 to speak about the main event between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.

White did not mince words in saying that McGregor has to defend the 145-pound championship or vacate the title should he choose to compete at lightweight (155 pounds). White, on SportsCenter, offered his opinion stating, "If I were Conor I would defend my title."

However, if you listened to McGregor following the event there does not seem to be any plans for another go at featherweight.

In his post-fight interview in the cage with Joe Rogan, McGregor was talking about a trilogy fight with Diaz. However, the fight would have to be on his terms in the lightweight division. McGregor continued to dampen his return to 145 at the post-fight press conference.

McGregor claimed it was difficult to be excited about a rematch with Jose Aldo following his performance against Frankie Edgar. But he did not close the door completely saying, "We’ll see."

The victorious Irishman mentioned that a third fight just might be for the lightweight championship. If that were to occur it would mean that he would have to fight Eddie Alvarez for the strap before the trilogy could be completed. Given his star power and leverage, it is most certainly a possibility. It is also a fight that Alvarez has asked for himself (h/t Damon Martin of Fox Sports).

On Fox Sports 1’s post-fight coverage White was adamant the trilogy will not happen right away. He said, "We're definitely not doing this a third time," before adding, "right now." White mentioned that everyone would like to see another bout between the two, but it does not appear to be in the cards for the immediate future.

Diaz mentioned he is not taking another fight until the rematch with McGregor is on the table.

It’s difficult to read into the crystal ball with the conclusion to UFC 202 still fresh, but all indications from McGregor would point to a slim chance at a return to the division where he made his name. No one should be surprised if he is stripped of the gold as he stakes out a new home in the 155-pound division.

He will leave the featherweight kingdom as its dominant figurehead as he searches for new conquests.

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