Conor McGregor claims he is still the UFC lightweight champion of the world.
This Saturday, Conor McGregor will be headlining the UFC 257 pay per view opposite Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier. That fight sells itself and no additional stakes are needed, but McGregor believes that the fight should be for the title.
Khabib Nurmagomedov gave fans and the UFC a large ray of hope that he will compete again by taking a “wait and see” stance to his future as lightweight champion, with the phrase applying mostly to the UFC 257 lightweight competitors. Meanwhile, McGregor can’t help but notice differences in how the UFC is treating Khabib’s lightweight title reign to how they treated the end of his featherweight reign.
“Who knows?” McGregor told ESPN about Khabib’s status as lightweight champion. “I was stripped of the featherweight belt before even getting an offer of a featherweight fight. I barely even got the second belt in the Octagon in New York that time. It is what it is. I suppose Khabib and the death of his father, they give the time and so on. I think that’s admirable also. I think the time is now, though. I think it’s well past. And I think this should be for the belt. If it’s not, no problem. I’m looking to have an active year. I’m looking to compete.”
McGregor Says He’s Still The Lightweight Champ
Even though Conor McGregor believes Khabib should be officially stripped, there’s another side of McGregor who believes it doesn’t really matter since Khabib isn’t really the champion anyway. Khabib won the vacant lightweight championship in 2018, and then he defeated the man who never lost the title in Conor McGregor at UFC 229. But according to McGregor, the coronation was never official, hence the reign is not, either.
“And I am the champion,” McGregor asserted. “Do you know that the unified title was never crowned? The unified title was never crowned that time in October 2018. Khabib fled the cage and left me fighting with his family members in the cage. The post-fight ceremony never took place. So I still feel like I am the champion here, and I will go in and prove that. I’ll prove that with my performances. And time will show. The cream always rises to the top, and the world is about to see it.”
UFC 257 takes place this Saturday, January 23, 2021 from Fight Island and will stream exclusively on ESPN+.
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