Conor McGregor could be stripped of lightweight title as Ferguson-Nurmagomedov is confirmed
By Husmukh Kerai
Last Updated: 17/01/18 6:42pm
UFC president Dana White says the organisation's lightweight title will be on the line in the fight between interim holder Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov, casting doubts over the reign of current champion Conor McGregor.
White confirmed the Ferguson-Nurmagomedov bout will headline UFC 223 at Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on April 7, 2018, and says McGregor will likely be stripped of his title if he refuses to fight soon.
"Conor has said that he's thinking about coming back in September. If he comes back in September that's almost two years - that can't happen. It's not fair to everybody else," said White.
"I love Conor, respect Conor, love everything he's done for the company, everybody knows that, I say it all the time [but] the belt would have to move on."
McGregor became UFC lightweight champion, and subsequently the organisation's first two-weight title holder, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden in November 2016 - but he has never defended the title.
His only fight in 2017 was a lucrative boxing bout against the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, which he lost.
The 29-year-old was previously stripped of the featherweight title, which he won by knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, without mounting a defence.