Following his historic win over Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 to capture the lightweight title and become the only fighter in UFC history to hold two divisional belts at the same time, Conor McGregor announced that he was going to be a father.
“I’m going to be a daddy early next year,” McGregor revealed during the UFC 205 post-fight press conference at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12. “I’m just going to have this baby, take a little bit of time, and see the way I feel after that.”
By a little time off, McGregor apparently meant nearly a year. On Nov. 27, McGregor relinquished his featherweight title, but remains the lightweight champion. Some have said that the Irishman was stripped of the belt, but UFC president Dana White says that's simply not true.
“Conor McGregor is a very unique individual and very different. I let Conor be Conor. I let Conor do his thing. Everybody always thinks there's some kind of animosity with me and Conor, there's always something bad brewing. Listen, I don't know how much more I can say it publicly how much I respect the guy, how different and special that he is, and everything else,” said White during an appearance on UFC Unfiltered.
“I didn't strip him of anything. I said every day leading up to that fight that he had to give up one of those belts,” said the UFC president.
“He gave up the 145-pound title, but it doesn't take away from — He says that he's still a two-weight champion. Damn right he is. He is a two-weight champion. It doesn't take away from what that guy accomplished and what he's done. When you look at the 145-pound title, he didn't lose it. He gave it up. He was never beaten, and the belt was never taken from him.”
McGregor won the featherweight title by knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194 in December 2015. He never defended it. Instead, he pursued the lightweight crown and history.
“That (featherweight) belt hadn't been defended in almost a year, and Conor's taking another ten months off for maternity. It's not fair to the rest of the guys in that division,” said White. “You can't tie up the entire division, but I did let him fight for it. I let him do it.”
With White revealing that McGregor is taking ten months off, that means “The Notorious” won't be back in action until September or October of 2017. Jose Aldo has been elevated to the featherweight champion and Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will fight for the interim 145-pound belt in the UFC 206 main event on Saturday, Dec. 10.