With Daniel Cormier forced out of his light heavyweight championship defense at UFC 206, it appears that Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis will be elevated to main event and championship status.
MMAWeekly.com sources indicated that Holloway vs. Pettis was the likely replacement for the scrapped UFC 206 headliner between Cormier and challenger Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, but MMAFighting.com sources confirmed the move, noting that the bout would be for the interim UFC featherweight championship.
With Holloway and Pettis vying for the interim belt, current interim champion Jose Aldo is expected to supplant Conor McGregor as the featherweight champion, dropping his interim designation.
McGregor currently holds both the featherweight title, which he won by defeating Aldo, and the lightweight belt, which he earned by taking out Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205. UFC president Dana White has long stated that McGregor would eventually have to relinquish one belt or the other, but it now appears the decision will be made for him.
Aldo won the interim UFC featherweight title by defeating Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 in July.
Holloway (16-3) is currently on a nine fight winning streak and ranked No. 3 in the division. His last defeat was a decision loss to McGregor in 2013.
Pettis (19-5) is new to the division with just a single victory over Charles Oliveira on his featherweight resume. He currently sits at No. 6 in the divisional rankings.
UFC 206 takes place on Dec. 10 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
(UPDATE: UFC officials confirmed Holloway vs. Pettis as the new UFC 206 main event, as well as the championship situation, during the UFC Fight Night 101 telecast on FS1.)