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Michael Johnson: Conor McGregor’s no Longer The UFC’s Lightweight Champ

Kelsey Mowatt

UFC

Officially, Conor McGregor remains the UFC’s lightweight champion, but in the eyes of Michael Johnson, the Irish star’s vacated the title…

McGregor won the 155 belt last November, by putting away Eddie Alvarez in the second round at UFC 205. McGregor has yet to compete since he won the belt, and on August 26th, he’s boxing Floyd Mayweather. So, by the time McGregor does step into the Octagon again, chances are it’s going to be over a year since he won the lightweight title.

Well, Johnson is set to take on Justin Gaethje tonight at the TUF 25 Finale, and recently the lightweight had this to say about the division (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“We don’t have a champ in this division,” Johnson said. “Once Conor signed that contract to go box, to me, he vacated the title. That’s how it should be. I’ve beaten two of the top guys up there. I want to make a strong case for fighting for a title or an interim title. I think that’s in my future.”

Now, considering the UFC had Tony Ferguson – Khabib Nurmagomedov scheduled for an interim belt this past March, there is a chance that another interim title fight could get booked (Nurmagomedov had to withdraw from the aforementioned fight after incurring medical issues while cutting weight). But, if Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are ready to go this fall, one would think the UFC will rebook that bout.

This aside, if Johnson can score an impressive win over Gaethje, it would certainly help him in his title shot run. The latter is a former WSOF champ and has gone undefeated in 17 pro bouts. But, Johnson also had this take on the resume of Gaethje:

“He’s fought guys who have been everywhere around the world, who have been in promotions, who have been champions, but he’s fought them at the end of the rope. I’ve fought the best of the best in the middle of their prime. I’ve lost to some, I’ve beaten some. He’s been around the corner, but I have as well. My competition blows his out of the water.”

The TUF 25 Finale will take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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