Dana White has been very adamant in declaring that the upcoming fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway — which is set to headline this weekend’s (Sat., April 7, 2018) UFC 223 event in Brooklyn, N.Y. — will be for the undisputed Lightweight championship.
As far as what will happen to Tony Ferguson's interim title -- which was initially set to be on the line at UFC 223 before this happened — White hasn’t been too vocal about it, though the consensus was that “El Cucuy” would be stripped of his belt, as well.
But during today’s (Wed., April 4, 2018) press conference (see it again here), White revealed Tony would not be stripped of his interim tag and would still remain the top contender in the division.
“There is no stripping. Tony Ferguson isn’t being stripped. The only person losing his belt on Saturday is Conor. These two are fighting for that belt. The interim these two were supposed to fight for, fight doesn't happen, now one of these guys will be the champion. Tony is still the number one contender,” said Dana.
Of course, should Conor McGregor decided to return in September as White has claimed repeatedly, “Notorious” would without a doubt be in line to face the winner of Khabib vs Holloway. After all, Ferguson could be out of action for quite some time after completely tearing his LCL.
Furthermore, after making history at UFC 205 Conor now finds himself belt-less after he was stripped of the Featherweight title — which is now in the possession of Holloway — shortly after becoming the promotion’s first fighter to hold two division straps simultaneously.
Will he be able to claim either of them back in 2018?