White tells McGregor he must fight by March
UFC president Dana White wants Conor McGregor to fight soon, and he says if the lightweight champion does not agree to do so, he will strip him of his title.
McGregor is the biggest draw in the UFC, but has not fought since taking the lightweight belt away from Eddie Alvarez in November 2016. In that time, Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov have both taken on tough opponents and dominated them.
Ferguson has earned the interim lightweight belt while Nurmagomedov has fought well enough to deserve a title shot of his own, but they cannot do much of anything without McGregor. All they can do is wait and White is sick of waiting.
"I don't think Conor wants to fight until August, but if he waits until August or September, that's around two years since the belt has been defended and that can't happen," White told Yahoo Sports. "This is a game of time ... we can't let this thing go on forever and not give other guys the opportunity. Tony Ferguson has been around for a long time and has earned his dues, Khabib has earned his dues and the list goes on and on."
Ferguson is currently on a 10-fight win streak and has not lost since 2012. Nurmagomedov has never lost and is a perfect 9-0 in the UFC. But because McGregor wants to wait to fight, these two men do not get a chance at the undisputed UFC title.
That is not OK with White, so he is putting a deadline on McGregor and using the champ's belt to do it.
"As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib vs. Tony and then the winner fights Conor for the title," White said. "Or if Conor doesn't want to fight and wants to sit out until next fall, then we would have to make Khabib vs. Tony for the title, not the interim title."