The stakes have been raised for Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis at UFC 206.
The UFC announced on Saturday night that Conor McGregor has “relinquished” his featherweight title, making former interim 145-pound king Jose Aldo the new undisputed champion of the division. Meanwhile, Holloway and Pettis will square off for interim featherweight gold in the new UFC 206 headliner, with the winner presumably getting a future title unification showdown with Aldo.
UFC 206 was in need of a new main event after light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier withdrew from his rematch with Anthony Johnson after suffering a groin tear. Johnson will not remain on the card. UFC 206 takes place on Dec. 10 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto and airs on pay-per-view.
McGregor briefly become a two-division champion when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to claim the lightweight strap at UFC 205 on Nov. 12. While McGregor didn’t seem too keen on vacating one of his belts, UFC President Dana White had been adamant that the Irishman would give up one of the titles with a victory at Madison Square Garden. “The Notorious” one had not fought at 145 pounds since capturing the championship with a 13-second knockout of Aldo this past December.
Aldo, meanwhile, threatened to leave the promotion when he was not granted a rematch with McGregor. The Nova Uniao product claimed the interim crown with a unanimous decision triumph against Frankie Edgar at UFC 200.
Holloway has won nine straight fights since losing to McGregor in August 2013. That streak includes triumphs over Ricardo Lamas, Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira and Cub Swanson. Pettis, a former 155-pound champ, submitted Oliveira in his featherweight debut at UFC on Fox 21 to end a three-bout skid.