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John Kavanagh ‘very disappointed’ with how UFC stripped Conor McGregor of featherweight belt

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The UFC announced on Saturday that Conor McGregor has relinquished his featherweight belt, and will only keep the lightweight title, but it seems like the Irishman’s team isn’t happy with the decision.

McGregor hasn’t commented on the UFC’s decision yet, but his longtime coach John Kavanagh broke the silence in an interview to Red FM (h/t Severe MMA) on Tuesday morning. According to the SBG coach, the decision to take the 145-pound title away from McGregor came from the UFC, and he’s "very disappointed with how they went about doing it."

"It was a very messy set of circumstances which led to doing it," Kavanagh said. "They lost a main event (at UFC 206) and then they haphazardly threw together a new main event."

The UFC decided to strip McGregor of the featherweight belt and give interim champion Jose Aldo the definitive title when UFC 206 lost its main event due to Daniel Cormier’s injury. After failing to convince Anthony Johnson to take a fight for an interim belt at 205 pounds, the UFC promoted Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis for an interim featherweight title.

"They felt they had to make this for a title in order for it to sell so they brought in another interim title that Jose Aldo already has and then bumped Jose Aldo up to the current undisputed champion. Which just seems ridiculous to me," Kavanagh said.

"Conor has only been 11 months since he won that title. There have been many, many examples of fighters waiting 15 months, 18 months before defending it. He’s 11 months and they stripped him of it. I thought it was very shortsighted by the UFC how they went about doing it."

UFC 206 takes place on Dec. 10 in Toronto, and the winner of Holloway vs. Pettis will likely face Aldo to unify the belts in 2017. The Brazilian featherweight already stated he will defend his title next, and then go after McGregor in the lightweight division.