Conor McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh has slammed the UFC’s decision to strip him of his featherweight belt, calling it a shortsighted decision.
The Irishman was relieved of the title last week after an injury to Daniel Cormier forced the promotion to scramble for a new main event in Toronto on December 10.
The decision was made to take away McGregor’s featherweight title and declare Jose Aldo as the new undisputed champion after winning an interim belt back in July. Now Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis are set to battle for a new interim featherweight championship at UFC 206 at the cost of McGregor’s title that he won last December.
Kavanagh was critical of the decision to strip McGregor’s belt from him just 14 days after he made history as the first ever simultaneous two division champion in the UFC.
“For me personally, very disappointed with how they went about doing it,” Kavanagh told Red FM in Ireland on Tuesday. “Very messy set of circumstances that led to it.
“They lost a main event and then they haphazardly threw together a new main event and to sell it, they had to make this for a title in order for it to sell so they brought in another interim title that Jose Aldo already has and then bump Jose Aldo up to the current undisputed champion, which just seems ridiculous to me.”
McGregor won the title last December when he knocked out Aldo in just 13 seconds, which still stands as the fastest finish in any UFC championship bout in history.
After that fight concluded, McGregor went onto a pair of welterweight bouts against Nate Diaz before winning the lightweight title at UFC 205 in New York on November 12. The UFC had previously warned McGregor that if he won a second world title that he would eventually have to give one of them up.
Two weeks later with the UFC in dire need of a new main event for the upcoming pay-per-view in Toronto, they stripped McGregor of his featherweight belt.
Conor McGregor fans are upset about him being stripped of the Featherweight Champion title.
They're defending that title more than he did.
— Maximum Power (@TheMaximumPower) November 29, 2016
Kavanagh isn’t happy about the entire situation, especially considering the long breaks other champions have taken between title defenses in the UFC. For instance there were two different stretches during Aldo’s reign as champion where the belt wasn’t defended for over a year while he was dealing with various injuries.
“Conor’s only 11 months since he won that title and there’s been many, many examples of fighters waiting 15 months, 18 months before defending it,” Kavanagh said. “He’s 11 months and they strip him of it.
“I thought it was very shortsighted of the UFC in how they went about doing it.”
To date, McGregor still hasn’t made any kind of public comment regarding the featherweight title being taken away. McGregor isn’t expected to be back in action until after May 2017 while awaiting the birth of his first child with longtime girlfriend, Dee Devlin.