Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez face-off as UFC president Dana White breaks them up.(AFP Photo)
Conor McGregor and Eddie Alvarez face-off as UFC president Dana White breaks them up.(AFP Photo)

Why special treatment towards Conor McGregor can be harmful for UFC in long run

The UFC management announced on Wednesday that McGregor will attempt to become the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously when he takes on lightweight titleholder Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden during the UFC 205 on November 12.
By Sayan Ghosh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON SEP 28, 2016 07:16 PM IST

“Win, lose or draw for Conor, he’s the 145 pound champion so he’s going to go back and defend his title — win, lose or draw.”

That was the clear statement from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) owner Dana White when he was asked about Conor McGregor’s next fight after UFC 202, when the ‘Notorious One’ faced Nate Diaz in a rematch to their UFC 196 fight. However, that did not turn out to be the case.

The UFC management announced on Wednesday that McGregor will attempt to become the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously when he takes on lightweight titleholder Eddie Alvarez at Madison Square Garden during the UFC 205 on November 12. The Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fans around the world would be looking forward to the fight, but it is hard to look past the UFC’s special treatment towards the Irishman.

Conor McGregor (blue gloves) reacts to fight with Nate Diaz (red gloves) during UFC 202. (USA Today Sports)
Conor McGregor (blue gloves) reacts to fight with Nate Diaz (red gloves) during UFC 202. (USA Today Sports)

McGregor won the UFC featherweight belt on December 12 last year when he defeated Brazilian fighter Jose Aldo in 13 seconds. However, after that night, he has not defended his title against any other opponent and went straight for the lightweight belt.

The then lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos, had to pull out of the fight with an injury and as a result, McGregor’s next two fights were against Nate Diaz in the 170 kg weight category as part of a heated rivalry.

Meanwhile, Jose Aldo successfully defeated Frankie Edgar in UFC 200 to retain the interim UFC featherweight title and it seemed that the McGregor-Aldo title rematch was just around the corner. But, McGregor was allowed to hold onto his belt without fighting and the UFC 205 announcement means that he will be holding onto his belt for the remainder of the year.

Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC featherweight championship bout during the UFC 194 event. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Conor McGregor of Ireland punches Jose Aldo of Brazil in their UFC featherweight championship bout during the UFC 194 event. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

This is not the first time that an UFC champion has not defended his title for such a long period. Cain Velasquez did not defend his heavyweight belt for 385 days, Matt Serra did not put his title on the line for 378 days after beating Georges St-Pierre and McGregor’s opponent Rafael Dos Anjos has been the champ for 450 days with just a single defense. But, UFC’s decision to let McGregor fight for the lightweight title while holding his belt will seriously dent the reputation of the featherweight title.

The featherweight division has not been idle in McGregor’s absence – Aldo defeated Frankie Edgar at UFC 200, while youngster Max Holloway has won nine straight since losing to McGregor in 2013.

Both of them have a strong case to make when it comes to the title scene, but with McGregor competing in other weight classes, it seems that they have to wait for quite some time before that illusive fight. As a result, it did not come as a huge surprise when reports surfaced that interim featherweight champion Aldo has now asked for his release from the UFC.

Jose Aldo of Brazil (center) reacts to his victory over Frankie Edgar in their UFC interim featherweight championship. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jose Aldo of Brazil (center) reacts to his victory over Frankie Edgar in their UFC interim featherweight championship. (Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

According to Brazilian website Combate, Aldo was extremely upset after the UFC tried to offer him a fight in UFC 205 against either Max Holloway or Anthony Pettis while also refusing to strip McGregor of the title as previously promised.

“We waited until Dana (White) publicly said that he wanted this fight with McGregor to happen. And then we expected it to happen. I’d get my rematch to unify the featherweight belts, or I’d have my belt back and fight Holloway or Pettis, since Dana said all the time that Conor couldn’t keep both belts,” Aldo said.

“But, to my surprise, I heard last night about the fight between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, which was also denied by Dana last week. And to make it worse, he would keep the featherweight belt, and possibly having two belts at the same time.” he added.

This can be a huge blow to UFC as Jose Aldo has been a consistent performer in the featherweight division and he is easily one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the MMA promotion. The Brazilian held the UFC featherweight title for 1,848 days and defended it successfully seven times. It will be a huge loss for the UFC if it loses such a talented fighter who has been responsible for some of the best featherweight division bouts in the recent years.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Photo of ace Indian distance runner Sudha Singh(HT Photo)
Photo of ace Indian distance runner Sudha Singh(HT Photo)

Sudha Singh, mourning coach Snesarev, chases Tokyo berth in New Delhi marathon

By Avishek Roy
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:50 PM IST
  • The Belarusian coach, who mentored India’s top women distance runners to international medals, was found dead at NIS Patiala on Friday
Close
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju(Twitter)
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju(Twitter)

Olympic-bound athletes to get vaccinated first: Rijiju

ANI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:58 PM IST
Earlier, Rijiju had said that Tokyo Olympic-bound athletes will get the coronavirus jab after the vaccination of the COVID warriors.
Close
Athletics generic image.(File)
Athletics generic image.(File)

Para athlete Vinod Kumar tests COVID positive, shifted to Bengaluru hospital

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:57 PM IST
Vinod is a bronze medallist at the Fazza World Para Athletics Grand Prix that was held in Dubai recently.
Close
The words "Hit Hard" are written on boxing gloves as parkinson's patients takes part in their twice -weekly rock steady boxing class in Costa Mesa, California September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)(REUTERS)
The words "Hit Hard" are written on boxing gloves as parkinson's patients takes part in their twice -weekly rock steady boxing class in Costa Mesa, California September 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)(REUTERS)

Vikas, Manish among six Indian male boxers in final of Boxam International

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 12:46 PM IST
Vikas, back from a professional stint in the USA, defeated Ablaikhan Zhussupov of Kazakhstan, while Manish got the better of Lounes Hamraoui of France. Both the boxers won with identical 3-2 score-lines in bouts held late on Friday night.
Close
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 1983, file photo, Washington Capitals' Doug Jarvis (25), right, scores a goal against New York Rangers goalie Glen Hanlon during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The puck slides into the goal off the skates of Rangers' Mark Pavelich, left. Pavelich has died at a treatment center for mental illness. Officials in Anoka County, Minnesota, (AP)
FILE - In this Dec. 7, 1983, file photo, Washington Capitals' Doug Jarvis (25), right, scores a goal against New York Rangers goalie Glen Hanlon during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The puck slides into the goal off the skates of Rangers' Mark Pavelich, left. Pavelich has died at a treatment center for mental illness. Officials in Anoka County, Minnesota, (AP)

'Miracle on Ice' star Mark Pavelich dies at treatment home

AP, Minneapolis
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:14 AM IST
  • Officials in Anoka County, Minnesota, confirmed Friday that Pavelich died at the Eagle's Healing Nest in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, on Thursday morning. The cause and manner of death are still pending.
Close
Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov.(Instagram.)
Islam Makhachev and Khabib Nurmagomedov.(Instagram.)

EXCLUSIVE | Islam Makhachev recalls 'hard sparring' with Khabib Nurmagomedov

By YASH BHATI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 02:59 PM IST
  • Makhachev has an impressive record of 18 wins and only one loss and is a former teammate of retired lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Close
(L-R) Boxers Pawan Goyat, Suman, Chandn ... ence at Press club, Delhi on Friday
(L-R) Boxers Pawan Goyat, Suman, Chandn ... ence at Press club, Delhi on Friday

Professional boxing to get a pro touch for the first time

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:36 PM IST
  • ‘India Unleashed’, an event sanctioned by the Indian Boxing Commission (IBC), Goraya wants to rope in changes with USA styled boxing format and help ring in the changes for professional boxing in India.
Close
Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg)(PTI)
Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg)(PTI)

Simranjit, Jasmine in final; Mary Kom settles for bronze in Boxam International

PTI
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2021 10:00 PM IST
The 37-year-old olympic-bound star lost in a split decision after an exhausting contest that was also messy in equal measure.
Close
Nikolai Snesarev(ANI)
Nikolai Snesarev(ANI)

Athletics coach Nikolai Snesarev found dead at NIS Patiala hostel room

By HT Correspondent | PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 09:19 PM IST
The body of the 72-year-old Snesarev, who returned to India after a gap of two years to be at the helm till the end of September, has been sent to a government hospital for post mortem.
Close
File photo of Rajeshwari Kumari
File photo of Rajeshwari Kumari

Indian women's trap team settles for silver in ISSF World Cup

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:40 PM IST
The Indian team engineered a fantastic comeback in the gold medal match on Thursday, coming back from 0-4 down to tie the final at 4-4. However, it could not hold on in the last series of 15-shot per team and had to be content with second best.
Close
India's Amit Panghal(AP)
India's Amit Panghal(AP)

Vikas, Manish in semis; Panghal bows out of Boxam International

PTI
UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 10:49 PM IST
The Olympic-bound Panghal, who is also an Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist, went down in a split verdict to make a surprisingly early exit from the tournament.
Close
Sharath Kamal Achanta of India(Getty Images)
Sharath Kamal Achanta of India(Getty Images)

Sharath Kamal loses in pre-quarters, India's campaign over at WTT Contender Doha

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 08:49 PM IST
The World No. 32 Sharath, who was playing his first international tournament after a year's break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, couldn't gain momentum despite showing good resistance in the latter part of the match against the higher-ranked Yun-Ju.
Close
Rahul Chaudhari. (Rahul Chaudhari/Instagram)
Rahul Chaudhari. (Rahul Chaudhari/Instagram)

My sister-in-law was my biggest inspiration: Rahul Chaudhari

By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:27 PM IST
  • With the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, the indigenous sport has witnessed a major transition – from one that was closely followed in rural areas to a topic that was discussed over dinner in metro cities.
Close
FILE - A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods(AP)
FILE - A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods(AP)

Detectives look at SUV's 'black box' from Tiger Woods crash

PTI, Los Angeles
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 11:07 PM IST
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said traffic investigators executed a search warrant Monday to retrieve the data from the device from the Genesis SUV that Woods was driving.
Close
MC Mary Kom: File photo(PTI)
MC Mary Kom: File photo(PTI)

Mary Kom enters semis of Spanish tourney; assured of medal

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 09:39 PM IST
The 37-year-old, who had not competed since her Tokyo qualification last year in Jordan, defeated Italian Giordana Sorrentino with a split verdict in the quarterfinal stage of the event.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP