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Dana White explains why Conor McGregor is no longer featherweight champion

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Dana White
Dana White

Conor McGregor’s reign as a two-divison UFC champion didn’t last long, and that was to fix the ‘logjam’ in the featherweight division, according to UFC president Dana White.

Last week, during the broadcast of Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 101, the UFC announced that McGregor had relinquished his featherweight title, keeping only the lightweight belt which he captured from Eddie Alvarez last month at UFC 205. It was also announced that interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo would get McGregor’s belt, becoming the undisputed 145-pound champ, and that Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis would be promoted to the main event of UFC 206 in Toronto and fight for Aldo’s interim title.

These changes in featherweight titles left many people scratching their heads, trying to make sense of the whole situation. On Thursday, White explained to Yahoo Sports the reasoning behind this series of decisions.

“Look, I let Conor fight [Nate] Diaz and then, I let him fight Diaz again,” White said. “Then, there was the whole 155-pound thing I let him do. But at the end of the day, him doing that tied up the division for a year. There’s a logjam there and a lot of guys were [angry].

“This was my way to fix the logjam. I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time. So I looked at it and I said, well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready, barring any crazy injuries, the winner can fight him.”

It’s still unknown if McGregor voluntarily gave up his 145-pound title, as the Irishman has not confirmed or denied the UFC’s statements made during the UFC Fight Night 101 broadcast. However, McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, did comment on the matter earlier this week, saying that it was the UFC that stripped McGregor from his belt, and that they did it in order to sell the main event of UFC 206 as a title fight after having lost the original main event of the card – a light heavyweight championship bout between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson – due to injury.

White said that Kavanagh is misinformed, and denied stripping McGregor of his featherweight belt.

“He’s [Kavanagh] misinformed,” White said. “Yeah, he doesn’t know all that has gone on, I guess. Do you think I just did this? This was Conor’s decision.”