ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
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Amy Kaplan

It's been a few days since the UFC announced that lightweight champion Conor McGregor had "relinquished" his featherweight belt, but the notoriously outspoken fighter has yet to comment on the news. UFC president Dana White, however, has.

"Do you think I just did this? This was Conor’s decision," said White to Yahoo Sports.

Many fans had assumed that McGregor was forced to give up a belt and White is desperate to set the record straight.

Fighters were angry because despite being named featherweight champion by defeating Jose Aldo, he had yet to defend the title. White allowed McGregor to hold on to the belt long enough to become the UFC's first ever two divisional champion, but warned him he'd need to give one belt up after UFC 205. So he did.

Aldo, who was holding the interim title while McGregor frolicked in other divisions, was named undisputed champ and Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis will fight for the interim title.

It was a move some questioned altogether.

“This was my way to fix the logjam," he said. "I wanted Aldo to fight Holloway for the belt, but he needed more time. So I looked at it and I said, well, it makes sense to make Aldo the champion and then have Holloway and Pettis fight for the interim title, and when Jose’s ready, barring any crazy injuries, the winner can fight him.”

That's one way of fixing the situation, but it leaves the UFC's most popular fighter with just one belt on his shoulder.


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