McGregor vacates UFC featherweight title for Aldo

NEW YORK • Conor McGregor's historic reign as a simultaneous two-division UFC champion ended on Saturday, with officials saying he had relinquished his featherweight title with Jose Aldo replacing him as the category's undisputed champion.

The move was triggered by a sequence of events that followed light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier's withdrawal from his scheduled title defence against Anthony Johnson at UFC 206 on Dec 10 due to injury.

McGregor, who knocked out Eddie Alvarez this month to claim the lightweight crown and become the first fighter in the MMA promotion's history to hold two UFC belts simultaneously, had previously said he did not want to give up either title.

The Irishman McGregor won the featherweight crown by defeating Brazilian Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194 last December.

In order to keep a title bout on the UFC 206 card, officials asked McGregor to relinquish his featherweight title so Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis could fight for the interim UFC featherweight crown.

The winner will then face Aldo, who was unbeaten for 10 years and made seven defences of his UFC featherweight title before his loss to McGregor, in 2017 for the unified belt.

McGregor, 28, is expected to take time off from the Octagon to start the new season as he awaits the birth of his first child.

UFC president Dana White told The Los Angeles Times earlier this month that McGregor will not fight before May.

"He's good. He should take time off," White said. "He has been fighting non-stop. Nothing wrong with him taking time off. It's good for him and (girlfriend Dee Devlin), and it's good for the baby."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2016, with the headline 'McGregor vacates UFC featherweight title for Aldo'. Print Edition | Subscribe