McGregor Retains Belt for Now, as Ferguson vs. Khabib Becomes Official

UFC 223 now has a headlining fight, but what will be on the line during the fight is still unknown—as is the status of the lightweight belt.

Conor McGregor
Kevork Djansezian / Stringer / Getty

UFC President Dana White recently hinted at stripping Conor McGregor of his lightweight title belt for inactivity, and it seems we may be a step closer to that threat coming to fruition. News has just broken that interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and the No.2 challenger Khabib Nurmagomedov will face off at UFC 223.

McGregor has been jawing with both of these fighters, specifically demanding that Nurmagomedov court him for a fight, but those days appear to be over. In the same interview in which he said he's considering stripping McGregor of the title, White said that the lightweight champ is planning on a return in September, which would make it nearly two years since his last match in the Octagon.

According to, McGregor has yet to be stripped of his belt, but there will be a press conference at TD Garden on Friday at 5 p.m. ET that will provide more details regarding both UFC 222 and UFC 223.

Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight each other three times in the past, but every attempt fell through due to either injury or weight-cutting issues.

UFC 223 is set for April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.