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Dana White: If Conor McGregor does not return by March, UFC will strip him of the lightweight title

UFC 189 World Championship Press Tour - Boston Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Well it’s about goddamn time.

After keeping the lightweight division on hold for more than a year, reigning 155-pound kingpin Conor McGregor will -- much to the delight of this guy — be forced to defend or vacate his division strap.

That’s according to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White.

“As long as Conor is willing to fight by March, we could do Khabib (Nurmagomedov) versus Tony (Ferguson) and then the winner fights Conor for the title,” White told Yahoo! Sports. “Or, if Conor wants to sit out until next fall, then we’d have to make Khabib versus Tony for the title, not the interim title.”

“This is a game of time,” White continued. “We can’t let this go on forever and not give other guys an opportunity. Tony has earned his dues. Khabib has earned his dues and the list goes on and on. The belt has to move on.”

Nurmagomedov got back into the mix by doing this.

With McGregor making a pit stop in the “sweet science,” Ferguson captured the substitute strap by turning away Kevin Lee last October. He was expected to unify the titles with his “Notorious” counterpart at UFC 219, until this happened.

In addition, McGregor has been non-committal about his mixed martial arts (MMA) return, probably because he doesn’t need the money, and is expected to be sidelined until later this summer.

Whether or not White makes good on this ultimatum remains to be seen.

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