If possession is indeed nine-tenths of the law, Conor McGregor is still a two-division champion in the UFC.
The Irish superstar posted a video to his Instagram account Monday that showed him boarding a private plane with one UFC championship belt slung over each shoulder. He then paused as he walked up the steps to hoist both belts in the air.
UFC officials announced last week McGregor had “relinquished” the featherweight title he won by knocking out Jose Aldo in December 2015. McGregor hasn’t defended that title, but became the first fighter in UFC history to concurrently hold titles in two different weight classes when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in November.
McGregor’s abdication of the belt made interim champ Jose Aldo the undisputed champion and allowed Saturday’s UFC 206 main event bout between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis to be for an interim belt.
UFC president Dana White insisted to Yahoo Sports last week the decision for McGregor to give up the featherweight title was a mutual understanding between the fighter and the organization because McGregor holding two belts while also taking a hiatus from fighting for the impending birth of his first child was creating too much of a logjam in two weight classes.
McGregor, however, didn’t seem pleased with the development during a public appearance at a restaurant in Belfast, Northern Ireland, over the weekend.
“(The UFC is) trying to strip me and I’m like, ‘Well, I ain’t stripped. I still got that belt. That belt is still at home right now,’ ” McGregor said in a video acquired by TMZ. “I’m still the two-weight world champion, someone has to come take that off me. I see articles, I see stuff online, but I don’t see the belt not in my presence. The belt is right there, there’s two world titles at my home.
“You can play with those fake belts all you want. Jose was KO’d, Eddie was KO’d. You’re looking at the two-weight world champion and that’s it. I’ll say to the UFC, and I love the company, you’re fooling nobody. You’re fooling nobody with that. Best of luck to them. I don’t know; I still got that belt. Somebody gotta come take that belt off me, physically; not online, not through a keyboard. You gotta take that belt off me physically if you want to come get them.”
As it stands, Aldo is recognized as the undisputed featherweight champion by the UFC and Holloway and Pettis will fight for the interim belt in Toronto on Saturday night.
McGregor has no plans to fight until mid-2017, but he is never one to stay out of the spotlight for long.
According to “The Sunday Life” in Northern Ireland, McGregor has been tapped to appear in one of the two remaining seasons of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
“He was head-hunted as it were by HBO, as one of the ‘Game of Thrones’ directors is a huge UFC fan,” a source told the paper. “They believed that he would be a perfect fit for the show.”
ANAHEIM EVENT POSTPONED
The UFC’s return to Anaheim, California, has been pushed back to the summer.
UFC 208, which had been scheduled for Jan. 21 at Honda Center, has been postponed. The organization will instead return to Anaheim on Aug. 5. The organization announced the move Thursday after an initial report from the Los Angeles Daily News.
A scheduled event on Feb. 11 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, will now serve as UFC 208. UFC 209 will now be the March 4 event at T-Mobile Arena, which was previously announced as UFC 210.
The UFC’s last event in Anaheim was UFC 157 in February 2013.
In addition to Saturday night’s UFC 206 pay-per-view event in Toronto, the UFC will make its first stop in Albany, New York, on Friday night.
UFC Fight Night 102, which streams exclusively online at UFC Fight Pass and won’t be televised, will be headlined by a heavyweight bout between Derrick Lewis and Shamil Abdurakhimov.
In addition to the interim featherweight title bout between Holloway and Pettis, UFC 206 features a welterweight fight between Donald Cerrone and Matt Brown as well as a middleweight clash pitting Tim Kennedy against Kelvin Gastelum.
Contact Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.
UFC Fight Night 102 (FS1)
Dec. 9, Albany, New York
Bellator 168 (Spike TV)
Dec. 10, Florence, Italy
UFC 206 (FS1/PPV)
Dec. 10, Toronto
Bellator 169 (Spike TV)
Dec. 16, Dublin, Ireland
UFC on Fox 22 (Fox)
Dec. 17, Sacramento, California