There’s been a lot of talks lately about Conor McGregor being stripped of the UFC lightweight title. Although Khabib Nurmagomedova and Tony Ferguson will now fight at UFC 223, there are conflicting reports as to whether it will be for the undisputed title or the interim belt…

There’s seldom 24 hours that goes by without Conor McGregor making the headlines in MMA media. The UFC lightweight champion has been involved in all sorts of mischief lately but has only fought once since November 2017.

His only fight since winning the UFC 155-pound belt was a boxing mismatch with Floyd Mayweather. ‘The Money Fight’ was a long-winded and unashamedly shallow attempt at winning over the wallets of the North American audience.

While it was a raging success in terms of pay-per-views and the kickback to the UFC, McGregor’s employers now face a bigger problem. Having earned a princely $100 million for the Mayweather bout, McGregor was making lofty demands before he’d step foot in the octagon again.

Interim Titles Everywhere!

Although UFC president Dana White said he would strip McGregor if he couldn’t defend by March, it’s clear those threats were hollow if Khabib vs. Tony is for the interim title. We’ll know 100% either way after the press conference tonight (1/19/2018).

Either way, though, Conor McGregor’s coach believes his fighter will remain champion until beaten. Similarly to when he was stripped of the featherweight belt for the same reasons, John Kavanagh says McGregor will be champ until defeated in that weight class:

Kavanagh’s Two Cents

“I think regardless of what way it’s sold, I think it’s still going to be known who the champion is. I know that’s going to upset a lot of people, but there you go, that’s my opinion on it.” Kavanagh during a Facebook live interview, via

“If it happens that those guys fight each other, and if it happens for the belt, they’re both going to think to themselves, ‘I’ve got to beat Conor to be really seen as the champion.’”

Kavanagh has doubts about Tony vs. Khabib…

Khabib rains down on Barboza. Photo by Gary Vasquez, USA Today.

“I do think there is a really high risk of it not happening. It’s been scheduled twice and it has not happened twice.”

“It’s very impressive what Khabib can do when he is fighting, just that pace he has and the relentless pressure, but it does require you to train in a certain way that brings on injuries. There is a reason why he is averaging one fight or less over the last couple of years because of multiple surgeries and so on.

He’s got a lot of miles on the athletic clock. I would almost see as there being a high likelihood of one pulling out before the fight happens.”

“Let’s assume both get through their training camps, they’re both healthy, it happens and it’s five rounds. I think Tony will have some moments in the first round or two where he gets close with some guillotines or triangles, but I think Khabib powers out of them and wears him down as he does.

“I don’t think he really has the stopping power to finish him. His victory over Barboza was very impressive and so one sided, but he didn’t really break him up. His face wasn’t bashed up and rearranged, it was more just the volume of shots and guard passing and so on. I think that would start to wear on Tony and he’d start to steal rounds with takedowns. Yeah, Khabib by unanimous decision.”

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