Conor McGregor Stripped of Featherweight Title: Latest Details, Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 27, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12:  UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor of Ireland celebrates after defeating Eddie Alvarez in their UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 205 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

As expected, Conor McGregor has been stripped of the UFC featherweight championship. 

Per Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting, McGregor didn't agree to relinquish the title, but UFC was within its rights to strip him of it. 

Helwani reported earlier the decision was originally borne out of the need for a new main event at UFC 206 due to the injury sustained by Daniel Cormier with Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis headlining that show for the interim featherweight title. 

"As a result, Jose Aldo, who was the interim featherweight champion, will likely become the new 145-pound champion, which also means that [McGregor] is expected to be stripped of the featherweight title. He remains the lightweight champion," Helwani reported.

During an appearance on SportsCenter in August (via MMA Junkie's Dann Stupp), UFC President Dana White said McGregor's decision on who he would face next would determine the fate of the featherweight championship: “Conor has to defend his title or make a decision to give it up—or whatever he wants to do. I’ve got to sit down and see what’s next.”

Aldo captured the interim featherweight title with a win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 in July but threatened to quit the promotion in September when McGregor signed to fight Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at UFC 205. 

Following McGregor's decisive TKO win over Alvarez, he had to decide if he wanted to keep moving between the two weight classes in an effort to retain the titles. 

However, because McGregor hasn't defended the featherweight title since he won it at UFC 194 in December 2015, the only choice for White was to strip him of the belt. 

There is only so long a title can be left in limbo. UFC gave McGregor a long leash with the 145-pound crown because of his incredible popularity and marketability that leads to the biggest pay-per-view buyrates in the sport right now. 

While McGregor is no longer the featherweight champion, he will still take comfort in knowing he was the first UFC fighter to ever hold two titles in two separate weight classes at the same time. He can also focus on figuring out whom he wants to make his first lightweight title defense against.