McGregor to lose lightweight title to Ferguson-Nurmagomedov winner
Conor McGregor will lose his UFC lightweight belt to the victor of Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov's fight at UFC 223 on April 7.
McGregor has not fought in UFC since November 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to add the lightweight championship to his featherweight belt, becoming the first man in UFC history to hold two simultaneously.
The Irishman was stripped of his 145-pound title due to his change in divisions, and his inactivity having switched to boxing for a megafight with Floyd Mayweather Jr last August means he is set to lose out again.
UFC President Dana White has confirmed the Ferguson-Nurmagomedov bout in Brooklyn will decide the new lightweight champion.
"That's exactly right: As soon as one punch is thrown, it's on for the full title and it's only fair," White told the Los Angeles Times.
"They've both worked their way up to number one and number two. They deserve a shot."
"This is good news for the fans. I always hear about, 'What will you do if this guy leaves?' This is a sport first. People leave, they've made money and moved on. It happens."
I am fighting again. Period. I am the best at this. I put my name forward to step in at UFC 222 to face Frankie Edgar when Max Holloway pulled out, but I was told there wasn't enough time to generate the money that the UFC would need. I was excited about bouncing in last minute and taking out the final featherweight, without all the rest of the stuff that comes with this game. Please respect the insane amount of work outside the fight game that I have put in. On top of the fighting. I am here. It is on them to come and get me. Because I am here. Yours sincerely, The Champ Champ(TM)
McGregor has expressed interest in returning to the octagon, and White would be open to him having a shot at regaining the title upon his return.
"I'd love to see him fight the winner of Ferguson-Khabib next," White said.