How would you grade UFC’s handling of the Featherweight Title situation? How would you have handled it differently?
MATT ECHOCHARD, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
The UFC didn’t really have much of a choice but to strip the title from Conor McGregor. The champion had not fought in the division for quite awhile and it was holding up the fighters who were looking for a title shot. To have a champion in Aldo is still having the second best fighter ever known in that division be the champion. If McGregor ever went back down to that weight class, things could be quite troublesome, though. The whole situation negatively effects the importance of title belts symbolizing the best fighter per weight class, but again there isn’t much else to be done besides move forward with a new champion.
ADAM TINDAL, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I understand why the UFC did what they did. However, what if they’d just remained patient and been a little more resourceful? Could they have allowed Conor McGregor to keep his two title belts for twice as many future mega-fights? It doesn’t seem too far out of the realm of possibility to me. Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will always make for a worthy main event, I’ll never deny it. Although, knowing Conor has stated many times that he would be an active champion in both divisions and after considering his current activity level, I would trust him.
MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
What a difference three weeks can make. When Conor McGregor knocked out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 in New York to win the Lightweight Title, the UFC paraded him around the cage and yelled from the mountain tops that history had been made. That was on November 12.
On November 26, Conor was back to holding one belt. The UFC announced that Conor gave up the Featherweight Title “out of necessity,” during Fight Night in Melbourne. It was clearly a knee-jerk reaction to Daniel Cormier pulling out of his UFC 206 rematch against Anthony Johnson. Dana White and the UFC are “booking on the fly.” For WWE fans, it’s one of their biggest complaints against Vince McMahon and his product. I’m not saying the UFC does it nearly as much, but it is something they need to be wary of.
Is Conor McGregor going to defend the Featherweight Title again? Probably not. I understand the need for the UFC to get the title off of him, but there had to be a better way to do it. Why not just announce Conor is making a permanent move to lightweight? Therefore, the need for him to relinquish the Featherweight Title. At least this way, McGregor and the UFC can make it look like they’re in agreement with the decision.
The silver lining in all of it is the amount of money both parties are going to make when McGregor decides he wants to come back to Featherweight and fight for a title he never lost.
NOW CHECK OUT PART ONE OF THIS ROUNDTABLE: ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1 of 2): How would you grade UFC’s handling of the Featherweight Title situation? How would you have handled it differently?