Although one could argue, and many have, that the UFC stands more to gain if Conor McGregor doesn’t fight Jose Aldo next, Dana White is advising the superstar he do just that.
For months now, there’s been speculation and debate as to whether we’ll see McGregor compete at 145 pounds again, and defend his featherweight title. The cut is not easy for the Irish fighter, and McGregor has been focused on other things, like avenging his loss to Nate Diaz…
Now that McGregor has done so, many believe that his run at featherweight is over. Even McGregor’s coach, John Kavanagh, has argued that there’s no reason for the heavy handed fighter to make the drop again.
Well, White has repeatedly said that McGregor needs to defend the 145 belt, or vacate it. That hasn’t changed since UFC 202 went down. While speaking to ESPN SportsCenter, here is what the UFC boss man had to say about McGregor’s future (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“Conor has to defend his title or make a decision to give it up – or whatever he wants to do,” White said. “I’ve got to sit down and see what’s next.”
White was then asked for his opinion on what McGregor should do, and the UFC President stated:
“If I were Conor, I’d defend my title”
There you have it. Now, White could be just saying this as a means to avoid a stand-off with McGregor. After all, the latter has argued that stripping him of the belt will “bury that division.” But at the same time, McGregor has said that facing Aldo again doesn’t really interest him.
So, it will be fascinating to see what unfolds here. It looks as though the UFC is trying to avoid a precedence, whereby, a champ ‘chooses’ not to defend his title for a prolonged period of time. Even if said champ, is a huge money maker like McGregor.