Featherweight champion Conor McGregor will attempt to do what’s never been done on Saturday when he faces lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the UFC 205 main event. No fighter has ever held two belts at the same time in UFC history, but the Irishman will if he defeats Alvarez at Madison Square Garden.
While McGregor has the opportunity to make history, his title reign, should he win, will be short-lived in either the 145-pound or 155-pound division. UFC president Dana White has stated that McGregor will be forced to relinquish one of the belts if victorious.
“He wants to try to gain both belts,” White said on ESPN’s SportsCenter in October. “He will give up one of the titles after that fight in New York.”
White made the comments a few weeks after McGregor claimed that it would take an army to get him to give up one of the belts.
“I’m gonna wrap one on one shoulder and I’m gonna wrap the other one on the other shoulder, and they’re gonna need a (expletive) army to come take them belts off me,” he said at the UFC 205 Kickoff Press Conference at Madison Square Garden in September. He later walked back that statement a bit, but has recently gone back to saying that he’s not willing to vacate any belt.
“Vacate? Man, look, I don’t know, we’ll see about that. I mean, why not defend them both? I mean, I fight every week. I only fought last week. So, I can defend them both,” he said during a UFC 205 media conference call.
White’s reasons for not allowing McGregor to hold two belts at the same time was that, “You can’t tie up two divisions for that long.” But some question whether “The Notorious” can make 145 after fighting twice at welterweight in his two previous outings, and his fight on Saturday is in the 155-pound weight class.
“I think it’s crazy the way they say I can’t get to featherweight no more or all these crazy things like I am not the undisputed champion, like I haven’t gone in there and taken out the whole division. As like early as last year, you know what I mean, like December last year that was, how many months is that? That’s not even a year ago,” he said. “What’s that, 8 months, 10 months, whatever? Do you know what I mean? And then they’re talking about strip and vacate and all this stuff still – it’s like, hang on a minute. What did I just go and do there? Did I not just take out that division? Am I not that champion?”
During the UFC 205 pre-fight press conference on Thursday, McGregor reiterated his resistance to not give up either title if he defeats Alvarez.
“I’ll army up and see what kind of army they bring and then we’ll go from there,” he said.