Conor McGregor’s reign as the first simultaneous two-weight UFC champion lasted exactly two weeks as the promotion stripped him of his featherweight championship in order to reshuffle the deck at 145lb and pave the way for a new main event at UFC 206 in Toronto, Canada.
After making history in Madison Square Garden in New York City, the iconic image of the Irishman hoisting both 145lb and 155lb belts over his shoulder is just that, an image, a memory, a moment in time within our MMA bubble which is now no longer the case.
Late last week the UFC 206 main event was scrapped after current light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier suffered an injury forcing him out of a rematch with Anthony Johnson. In it’s place the UFC promoted Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis into the headline slot for the interim featherweight championship.
But wait, isn’t Jose Aldo the interim featherweight champion? Not any longer. During the UFC Fight Night 101 broadcast from Australia on Saturday night, commentator Jon Anik broke the news that UFC had stripped McGregor of that championship and promoted Aldo as the official champion of the weight class.
McGregor has yet to comment on the situation.
Meanwhile, from a promotional point of view the featherweight division can now move forward. Holloway is riding an incredible nine-fight win streak, which includes victories over established contenders Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas and Charles Oliveira.
Former lightweight champion Pettis, meanwhile, has a chance to getting right back into the championship mix following his featherweight debut win over Charles Oliveira. The winner of this new UFC 206 main event will go on to fight Aldo in a unification bout.
The decision to strip McGregor has divided the MMA community. The featherweight class now has an official champion in Aldo, who was knocked out in 13 seconds just 11 months ago at the hands of ‘Notorious’.
But, at the same time, the division which has been held hostage while McGregor pursued fights against Nate Diaz, at welterweight, and most recently Eddie Alvarez at lightweight can finally move forward which has been log jammed all year long.