The landscape at 145lbs has changed dramatically ahead of this weekend's UFC 206 card. Anthony Pettis and Max Holloway will face off in the Air Canada Centre, Toronto as they fight for the much sought after interim featherweight title. It comes following the announcement that Conor McGregor "relinquished" his belt, before being rewarded to José Aldo.
Instead of the interim belt being used for its intended purpose, it has now become a bargaining tool for the UFC as they aim to increase ppv buys.
Despite the fact Conor McGregor denies giving up his strap, the UFC have further reiterated in the latest promotion video for 206 that it was "relinquished". Regardless of public opinion, they're sticking with their version of events.
The opening 50 seconds of the promo video feature Conor McGregor/José Aldo, as the image of the two fighters will instantly catch the eye of the casual fan before offering a justification as to why Holloway and Pettis will compete for gold on Saturday night;
Conor McGregor made history when he won the UFC lightweight championship. And became the first fighter to hold belts in two divisions simultaneously.
McGregor has since then relinquished the featherweight title to José Aldo - one of the best 145 pounders in history is promoted to undisputed champion.
The organisation's decision was met with general disdain amongst the MMA community, while journalist, Ariel Helwani was one of those to voice his concerns.
Daniel Cormier’s injury led to Conor McGregor getting stripped. That alone just tells you all you need to know about this scenario. That alone tells you that this doesn’t make sense.
They stripped Conor McGregor because Daniel Cormier got injured, and they needed something to headline this pay-per-view in December in Toronto.
The real shame in this whole ordeal is the fact that UFC feel that Anthony Pettis vs Max Holloway requires another element to make it a marketable fight - as it has all the makings of a compelling match up regardless, interim belt or no.