Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White says that Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are fighting for the “title” at UFC 223. But White never said that current champion Conor McGregor has been stripped of the belt.
Speaking to TMZ Sports, White said he made things clear during a press conference in Boston.
“I said in the last press conference that fight will be for the title. It’s not for interim title, that fight will be for the title,” White said.
“Is he upset?” White asked addressing McGregor. “No, Conor understands. Conor made a lot of money, he wants some time off, but the division has to go on and the business has to go on.”
It’s been nearly a year and a half since McGregor last fought in the octagon. The champ’s been M.I.A. in the UFC while making a boatload of money boxing retired champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.
But according to White, McGregor would like to fight the winner of UFC 223, yet he wasn’t sure if “The Notorious” will ever return.
“It was August and now it’s September,” he said. “I say it all the time, when you get that kind of money, Conor might never come back. It’s a lot of money.”
THURSDAY NEWS NOTEBOOK
–Chuck Liddell welcomes return fight with Ortiz, but doesn’t think it will happen
The “Iceman” has accepted Tito Ortiz’s challenge, however, he doesn’t think a coveted trilogy fight will happen.
“I’ll believe it when I see it, when he actually signs the contract, and then I’ll believe it again when he actually shows up to the fight,” Chuck Liddell said. “That would be awesome.”
Liddell holds two wins over Ortiz, both TKO victories, and Ortiz didn’t seem interested in making it a three-peat last year. But earlier this week Ortiz seemed to change his mind throwing shade at his rival saying that Liddell only wanted to fight because he’s looking for a paycheck.
“I’ll take it,” Liddell said. “However he wants to give it to me, I’ll take it. If he wants to do me a favor, I’ll take it. I have a hard time believing (he’s for real). He pulled out the last time. It is what it is if he actually signs to do it, I’ll be happy.”
Now all that’s left is getting Liddell sanctioned to fight.
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