Conor McGregor still hasn’t commented on the UFC’s decision to strip him of his featherweight title over the weekend, largely so they could put another interim featherweight belt on the line at the upcoming injury-riddled UFC 206 card in Toronto. Anyone who knows enough about MMA to be interested in Max Holloway vs Anthony Pettis is also knowledgeable enough to know the interim title designation on their fight is pretty bunk, so it was a questionable move even without considering how Conor McGregor would take it.
It’s hard to imagine he’s happy with the situation. MMA fans certainly aren’t. Even those who don’t like McGregor and his hijinx seemed shocked by the cynical way in which the UFC handled all this. And now you can include Conor’s coach John Kavanagh amongst those who share that opinion.
“For me personally, I was very disappointed with how they went about doing it,” he said on the Red FM breakfast show (via Severe MMA). “It was a very messy set of circumstances which led to doing it. They lost a main event, and then they haphazardly threw together a new main event. They felt they had to make this for a title in order for it to sell, so they brought in another interim title that Jose Aldo already has and then bumped Jose Aldo up to the current undisputed champion. Which just seems ridiculous to me.”
“Conor has only been 11 months since he won that title. There have been many, many examples of fighters waiting 15 months, 18 months before defending it. He’s 11 months and they stripped him of it. I thought it was very shortsighted by the UFC how they went about doing it.”
The buzz on UFC 206 hasn’t improved since the UFC added an interim title fight to the card. If anything, there’s only more negativity being attached to the event, which was already suffering from the lack of Georges St. Pierre due to failed contract negotiations with the UFC. And in addition to the original light heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson falling through, it looks like the card will lose Tim Kennedy versus Kelvin Gastelum due to a suspension Gastelum received for skipping out on UFC 200 weigh-ins in New York.
We’d ask what else could go wrong, but with Conor McGregor yet to react, it’s not hard to imagine how this ‘shortsighted’ move from the UFC could ripple out and cost them a lot of money in the long run.