With all the fuss about Conor McGregor's next opponent, it seems that when that fight will actually take place has been ignored.
Those who were unhappy with the Irishman being given the chance to hold two belts in different weight classes concurrently felt as such due to fear of McGregor holding up two divisions, suggestions that were laughed off by the man who described himself as the most active fighter in the UFC.
But it has now become clear that Conor will not return to the octagon until the summer of 2017, as Dana White explained that his partner Dee Devlin's pregnancy will see him take a break from competition until May at the earliest while speaking to the LA Times [via Fox Sports].
He won’t fight before May.
His girl gets super stressed out when he fights. He doesn’t want her having any of that stress while she’s pregnant.
He’s good. He should take time off. He’s been fighting nonstop. Nothing wrong with him taking time off. It’s good for him and her and it’s good for the baby.
It certainly is a fair decision and a smart move to ensure the health and safety of those he cares most about, but it will do nothing to ease the issues that fighters like Jose Aldo and Khabib Nurmagomedov have and are so unhappy about.
Also worth considering is the possibility that when McGregor does decide to return, he may fancy a crack at the welterweight title. Having gone back and forth with Tyron Woodley in the run-up to UFC 205, there was a lot of interest generated in a possible fight and you know Conor would love the idea of holding three belts at the same time.
Were that to be the case, there would be outrage in the featherweight and lightweight divisions, but the cries would almost certainly fall on deaf ears.
Khabib has stated that if his next fight is not for the title, he will leave the UFC, but there is a very high chance that he is asked to fight Tony Ferguson for an interim title if McGregor does not have plans to defend his lightweight belt as soon as possible.
While Jose Aldo has already been asked to do just that in fighting Frankie Edgar, the wait could see him lined up to defend his interim title against Max Holloway if McGregor is not asked to vacate.
At the end of the day, it's Conor's call. That is what the fighters are so upset about, but Dana White has made it perfectly clear that when you draw the attention, ratings, and money that McGregor does, then you get the power to call your own shots.
[via Fox Sports]