One of the biggest questions leading up to UFC 205 is one that may not even be required answering once everything is said and done.
Conor McGregor, as the reigning UFC featherweight champion, could become the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight classes simultaneously as he challenges lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the main event.
UFC President Dana White has been insistent that McGregor will have to choose one of the belts to keep and vacate the other if he is victorious. According to McGregor’s head coach John Kavanagh though, there has been no talk on their side about McGregor vacating a belt. He thinks he can hold and defend both.
“I have not heard a hint of him giving up the belt,” Kavanagh said on The MMA Hour (transcription via MMA Fighting). “He has never said to me, ‘Oh, I’m gonna hand back the 45 or the 55.’ Any time I’ve heard him talk about it, he’s been very clear, very loud, very vocal about saying he fights very often. Look how close he is from fighting, literally just a couple of months ago. It’s not unusual for a champion to defend the belt once a year or twice a year.
“So, why not?”
McGregor over the last year has created many issues for top contenders in bother the 145 and 155 divisions. Since winning the featherweight title at UFC 194 against Jose Aldo, McGregor has yet to defend that belt. UFC even decided to erect an interim belt in the meantime which Aldo then won at UFC 200 against Frankie Edgar.
After two somewhat impromptu welterweight fights against Nate Diaz, McGrgeor then jumped the line at lightweight and got the first chance at Alvarez as champion, despite the crowded nature of the stacked division.
Ultimately, though, the question of vacating a title or not will only be relevant if McGregor captures the title in Madison Square Garden.