4/4/18 Nightly MMA News Tap: Dana White talks lightweight title, Conor McGregor’s status and Brock Lesnar’s return. Dillashaw-Garbrandt reportedly targeted for UFC 227(W/video analysis)
Dana White clarifies the lightweight title situation, Conor McGregor’s status and Brock Lesnar’s return.
During the UFC 223 press conference, UFC president Dana White made several newsworthy statements. Here are some of the highlights.
On the status of the lightweight title after UFC 223:
White finally clarified that only the winner of the lightweight bout between Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov would be the sole owner of the title.
“There’s no stripping. We’re not stripping Tony Ferguson. Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped. The only person here who is losing a belt is Conor. Conor’s losing the belt, these two are fighting for the belt.” White said in reference to the title situation.
White had previously been ambiguous on the state of the belt. White never publicly proclaimed that current champion Conor McGregor would be stripped of the title that he won at UFC 205 in November of 2017.
McGregor has not competed in the UFC since UFC 205, when he simultaneously held the UFC lightweight and featherweight titles respectively.
On McGregor’s UFC status:
White proclaimed that, “Conor’s coming back this year. 100 percent, he will fight this year. We’ll see how this thing plays out and we’ll go from there.”
However, White does not believe that McGregor will be in attendance at UFC 223, despite the main event being billed at a path to face McGregor, and McGregor’s training partner Artem Lobov fighting on the undercard.
On UFC Tonight on FS1 White commented on the potential return of Brock Lesnar
“Yeah Brock Lesnar’s coming back. I don’t know when but yes he is,” White told Daniel Cormier.
Lesnar is current contract with the WWE is expected to expire on April 4, after he defends his WWE Universal Championship against Roman Reigns at WWE’s WrestleMania.
Despite White’s optimism, Lesnar must still serve several months of suspension once he enters into the USADA testing pool, due to two failed in-competition drug tests at UFC 200 in July of 2016.
Dana White dropping news that Brock Lesnar is coming back to the octagon. pic.twitter.com/FUGHO21i8O
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) April 5, 2018
According to multiple sources, this isn’t promoter talk from White. UFC is confident Lesnar will be back after his WWE duties are wrapped up on Sunday. A deal is in place. Key now is to finalize it. https://t.co/ttaxduf15J
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 5, 2018
T.J. Dillashaw vs. Cody Garbrandt targeted for UFC 227
According to Brett Okamoto of ESPN, the UFC is expected to announce a men’s bantamweight title rematch between champion T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt ay UFC 227 on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles.
Dillashaw took the title from Garbrandt at UFC 217 in November of 2017.
An announcement of this fight would give credence, to Dana White’s previous claim that the discussed superfight between Dillashaw and flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson is indeed off.
Video analysis of the news of the day
In this video Robert Vallejos gives his quick thoughts on the news of the day.