McGregor is booked to fight reigning champ Jose Aldo on December 12th, in what likely be one of the promotion’s biggest fights to date. Recently Rogan weighed in on McGregor’s status as interim champ during his podcast, and here is some of what he had to say (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“Let’s be honest. McGregor has an illegitimate belt. It’s a made up belt. We call it the ‘interim’ belt but Aldo defended his title a year ago. Stripping a guy because he doesn’t— because he can’t get through a camp without getting injured is a part of MMA. It’s always been a part of MMA. But, because of the marketing, because of the hype behind it, because of the HUGE event, the enormity, the economics of the event, they decide to make [McGregor vs. Mendes] an interim fight. He’s got a title. Aldo’s got a title. They both have titles. So they’re fighting for the undisputed title.”
Rogan certainly isn’t alone on this, as many folks don’t really view interim champs as the real deal, until they defeat the reigning one (although Renan Barao didn’t have trouble garnering praise, even though he never defeated Dominick Cruz). Especially when you’re talking about Aldo, who is the most accomplished featherweight in history and one of the sport’s best pound-for-pound fighters.
The life long martial artist also rightfully argued that really, what’s important is seeing the best fighters take on the best.
Aldo-McGregor will headline UFC 194, which will go down on December 12th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.