After Conor McGregor made over $3 million for beating Nate Diaz at UFC 202, UFC president Dana White put some pressure on his biggest star to return to the featherweight division and defend his championship belt against Jose Aldo. White’s exact words on SportsCenter: “Conor has to defend his title or make a decision to give it up.”
Of course, McGregor wasn’t too happy with those options. Aside from reminding the world that he knocked Aldo out in record fashion at UFC 194, McGregor said stripping him of his belt would “bury that division” and questioned how they could realistically make it happen. In response, White changed his words ever-so-slightly to say he could face current lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez instead if he wanted.
Now, White is saying McGregor won’t be stripped of his belts whatever his decision is. The odds of his next fight being another rematch with Diaz, however, still don’t seem to be very high.
“He’s not going to get stripped,” White told NBC Sports Radio. “He’s going to make a decision. He knows the Nate Diaz fight isn’t the fight to make right now.”
The good news for those hoping to see McGregor back in the Octagon sooner rather than later is that we was in the gym two days after his fight with Diaz. He was also seen walking around without the need of a crutch – a sign that maybe his injury isn’t as bad as we initially thought — which means he could be reinstated much sooner than February.