When it was reported that UFC dual title belt holder Conor McGregor was going to give up his featherweight belt it felt a little too, well, easy. It was—the Irish fighter still has the belt in his possession and doesn’t seem too inclined to hand it over any time soon, reports ESPN.
In an appearance on Irish TV McGregor contradicted the UFC’s announcement he’d “relinquished” the belt:
“[The UFC] is trying to strip me; well, I ain’t stripped,” McGregor said. “I still got that belt. That belt’s still at my home right now. I’m still the two-weight world champion. Someone’s got to come take that off me.
“I see articles and stuff online, but I don’t see that belt not in my presence. The belt is right there. I’ve got two world titles in my home.”
This is 100 percent on-brand for the fighter, and it might be worth noting that he was speaking to an audience of his countrymen. After all, the UFC’s Dana White has said that McGregor himself made the decision to let go of the belt.
For whatever it’s worth, McGregor was actually being more careful with language than he seemed. The UFC had the power to make Jose Aldo the featherweight champ and did so. Now it seems to be about the physical symbol of McGregor’s victory.
Addressing the UFC on Irish TV, McGregor reportedly said, “Best of luck to them, but I still got those belts. Someone has to take those belts off me physically, not online. Not through a keyboard. The keyboard warriors are trying to take belts; you’ve got to take those belts physically.”
McGregor may be moving on, regardless of what he says. He’ll become a father in 2017 and he recently obtained a California boxing license, prompting speculationthat a long-rumored fight with Floyd Mayweather may be a little closer to reality.
Still, it sounds like the UFC may need to send more than a few goons to the Notorious One’s residence if they want their actual belt back.