There is a lot of confusion surrounding the UFC 223 main event between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway. Although the fight will be for the UFC Lightweight championship, Conor McGregor is still the Lightweight champion while Tony Ferguson is holding the Interim Lightweight championship.
With just a couple of days away from the fight, Dana White was asked to clear the air surrounding the situation during the UFC 223 press conference.
Dana revealed that Tony Ferguson will not be stripped but confirmed that McGregor will be losing the belt.
“There is no stripping. Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped. The only person losing his belt on Saturday is Conor. These two are fighting for that 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,” said Dana.(h/t MMA Mania)
McGregor return in September
Later, Dana reiterated that McGregor could return to action in September and added that the Irishman is not happy about losing his belt.
“Obviously he is not thrilled about it. Conor is a really smart kid and he understands. He hasn’t fought in a year and a half and he’s talking about coming back in September. You just can’t let the division sit around like that, it’s not fair to everyone else. I think Conor gets that. We have been talking a lot lately. I think the fact that the division is moving on has lit a fire under him and he wants to fight.”
Dana also took time to push the fight between Khabib and Holloway by praising the fighters.
“For people that don’t know, Khabib is undefeated, he is 25-0 and it is impossible to go undefeated in this sport. This guy is the real deal, he’s a beast. I think Max Holloway is very underrated…the guy hasn’t lost in five years. His last lost was a decision to Conor. Conor is out there knocking everybody out at 155, and Holloway went to a decision with him. He (Max) has got the most stoppages in featherweight history, is an absolute beast and I think he is completely underrated. But at the end of the day, Khabib is a monster and when you break this fight down, you look at the stats, it’s awesome.” He added.