When Dana White announced the Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov bout for UFC 223, there was a bit of confusion about the whole title picture. The UFC president says, this will be for the “undisputed title,” while McGregor is somehow also still the champion.
While those statements have caused some confusion, the last lightweight title holder has a theory as to why White wouldn’t officially strip McGregor just yet. According to Eddie Alvarez, it’s an insurance policy for the UFC in case Khabib vs Ferguson falls through for the fourth time.
“What’s going on is that this fight is 0 for 3. They’re not going to strip Conor of a belt and then have a vacant title for a fight that’s 0 for 3,” Alvarez said at the MMA Hour.
“They have not been able to make this fight. Every time they book it, they’re not able to make the fight. Either Khabib gets hurt, Tony gets hurt or someone gets hurt,” he said. “So I think what the UFC is thinking — and this is just a theory, an opinion on my point — is that this fight is not going to happen. There’s a very unlikely chance that it’s going to happen, so they’re not going to strip the champion, then have this fight fall through and then not have a champion.”
In his theory, Alvarez also has a specific time on when McGregor will actually be stripped that could also help with promoting the event.
“So I think the day of the weigh-ins, they’re going to strip (McGregor), it’s going to make real big news,” he said. “And then they’re going to have a title fight, and that’s also going to make big news. So it’s going to make for a lot of publicity in one day.
“That’s my theory.”
Alvarez, who recently picked up an impressive win over Justin Gaethje, is currently trying to get a fight with Nate Diaz. At the same time, he’s also keeping an eye on the UFC 223 main event, stating that he’s training and staying ready in case either of the two lightweights pull out of this title bout.
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