The decision caused a lot of controversy, with fans arguing in favor of each end of the spectrum. The MMA world held it's breath and waited for the response from 'The Notorious' one, but as of yet nothing has came. Instead, the native Dubliner has uncharacteristically remained silent on the subject, a subject in the past where he infamously stated that the UFC would need an army to extract one of the belts from him.
Instead it was #CoachKavanagh who was first to broach the subject from the SBG camp. Confirming that it was the UFC's decision to 'relinquish' the belt from McGregor, John Kavanagh admitted he felt very disappointed with how the organization handled it.
However, McGregor's silence has been proof to many of what has long been rumored inside the UFC scene. Many fans, pundits and fighters alike believe that Conor McGregor never had any intentions of defending the featherweight belt or fighting in the division ever again.
In his book, Coach Kavanagh seemed to predict that McGregor would leave the division behind.
Eventually I think Conor will leave the 145lb division behind, but with someone as experience as him, it's ultimately his decision. Nowadays with my newer fighters, I use my own experience to decide which weight class is best for them.
In fact, Coach Kavanagh himself seemed to hold the view that a move away from the featherweight division would be in Conor's best interest. In his best-selling book, Win Or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor and Me, the #SBG head coach outlined just how tough the cut to 145lb is for 'Mystic Mac'.
It's a long, difficult five hours of hot bath after hot bath after hot bath. It's well publicized by now that Conor cuts a significant amount of weight to make the featherweight limit of 145lbs. He doesn't look healthy when he steps on the scales. We've taken some pictures while the weight-cutting process is ongoing and it's not pretty.
It's difficult to watch, particularly for Dee, his girlfriend.
A lot has made about Conor McGregor's decision to take a hiatus from the sport. One of the cited reasons from the champ was wanting to relieve stress that was placed upon his girlfriend Dee during his fights as she goes through her pregnancy. It appears that the weight cut to 145 pounds had the same affect on her.
According to Coach Kavanagh, the cut can be so brutal that Conor almost feels like giving up. Words that do not seem synonymous with the newly crowned lightweight champ.
Fighters subject themselves to severe dehydration and overheating in order to make the weight and it's everyone's least favourite part of the game. At his lowest ebb while doing it, it evokes a 'never again' type of feeling for Conor.
Weight-cuts are part and parcel of the sport, and although brutal it's sadly something that a lot of fighters have to deal with when preparing for a fight. In December of last year Yang Jian Bing, a ONE Championship flyweight, sadly passed away due to cardiopulmonary failure invoked via his weight cut.
To their credit, the UFC have put in place new regulations to help increase the safety of fighters during weight cuts. By banning intravenous IV's and bringing forward the timing of their official weigh-ins as to aid in the rehydration phase, the promotion hopes to improve fighter welfare.
No one can take his historic Madison Square Garden night away from him, and with Conor McGregor now the undisputed champion in the lightweight decision, it seems logical for the Irishman to leave the featherweight division behind.