UFC President Dana White dropped some big news at today’s, Jan. 19, UFC 25th Anniversary Series Press Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. During the conference, White revealed that interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov are officially throwing down for the undisputed title.
However, the UFC president never gave a straightforward or clear answer as to if UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has been stripped of his title.
Right out the gate, Dana White stated that there is no new update on the status of Conor McGregor or his title. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto was quick to double down on the subject and attempted to get to the bottom of the situation.
Okamoto: “I know you said there is no update on Conor, but this is a little bit of an unprecedented weird situation. So, just to be clear, there will be…”
White: “Did you just get here? Did you hear what I said earlier?”
Okamoto: “To try to be clear about what seems to be an unclear situation, there is going to be a lightweight title fight. But, we don’t know if it’s an undisputed or an interim lightweight title fight.”
White: “No. It’s undisputed. I said it would be. I said the guy who wins this fight will be the champion. This thing was at five o’clock, when did you get here?”
Okamoto: “From a business standpoint, does that mean we could see two…”
White: “We’ll see what happens.”
After Dana White seemingly dodged answering Okamoto’s questions, MMA journalist Ariel Helwani later confronted the UFC president with his own line of questioning.
Helwani: “I don’t want to belabor the point, but is there a reason why you won’t just come out and say ‘Conor has been stripped’? He was stripped of the featherweight title. You came out and said it. Is there a reason why you are not saying it here today?”
White: “No, there is no reason.”
Hewlani” “So has be been stripped of the title, yes or no?”
White: “Did I say he has been stripped of the title?”
White: “Next question, please.”
Helwani: “But that’s for the real belt. That doesn’t make sense. There is a reason why you are not saying it. Why aren’t you saying it?”
White: “Anybody else have a question?”
Check out the full press conference in the video below:
Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson are now set to face off for the undisputed UFC lightweight title at UFC 223. The event goes down April 7 inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. UFC 223 will be available live on pay-per-view. The status of Conor McGregor’s title reign has yet to be made clear.