If Conor McGregor truly is retiring from mixed martial arts, then the featherweight belt he won last December will be up for grabs at UFC 200.
During an appearance on ”The Herd” on Wednesday, UFC President Dana White stated that he doesn’t believe McGregor is planning on calling it a career for good and expects that the Irishman will compete again within the next year. However, if McGregor doesn’t shed some light on his plans soon, the stakes will be higher for the Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar rematch at UFC 200.
“That’s the thing. Conor needs to clear up this whole retirement thing and clear it up fast,” White said. “If he’s retiring, then at UFC 200 Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar are fighting for the vacant title.”
McGregor shook up the MMA community on Tuesday when he announced he was “retiring young” on Twitter. White later announced on “SportsCenter” that McGregor had been “pulled” from UFC 200 and that the promotion was seeking a replacement opponent for Nate Diaz.
Aldo and Edgar are currently scheduled to square off for the interim 145-pound championship on July 9 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Both men lobbied for a shot at McGregor, but the reigning featherweight king reportedly was “obsessed” with avenging his UFC 196 loss to Diaz, so that rematch was booked for UFC 200.
For now, Aldo vs. Edgar is still for the interim strap, but that could change as July 9 draws near. Aldo defeated Edgar via unanimous decision in their first meeting at UFC 156 when he was still atop the division. The Nova Uniao product lost the title to McGregor at UFC 194, falling via 13-second knockout.