Eddie Alvarez's theory about Conor McGregor turned out to be true after all
Back in January, Eddie Alvarez shared an interesting theory. In it, the Underground King put forward what seemed like an entirely plausible reason as to why the UFC and Dana White were stalling on stripping Conor McGregor of his lightweight belt.
Before we progress, let's refresh. On an episode of the MMA Hour, the 34-year-old said:
"I saw another theory online and I was like, 'Oh that's exactly what it is"' What's going on is this fight is 0-3. They're not going to strip Conor of a belt then have a vacant title for a fight that's 0-3."
"They have not been able to make this fight. Every time they book it, the're not able to make the fight. Either Khabib gets hurt, Tony gets hurt or somebody gets hurt."
It certainly struck a chord. The UFC's tortured attempts at trying to get Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov in the octagon together is well-documented. In December 2015, Khabib pulled out with a rib injury. Then, at the second attempt, Ferguson was forced to pull out when doctors told him he had fluid and blood in his lung. Then there was Nurmagomedov's infamous botched weight cut, which forced him out of UFC 209's co-main for the interim strap.
He could be onto something https://t.co/O6qwFFsdF3
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) January 29, 2018
Delving deeper into this theory, Alvarez continued:
"I think what the UFC's thinking - it's just a theory, an opinion on my point - is if this is not going to happen. there's a very unlikely chance that it's going to happen, they're not going to strip the champion, have this fight fall through and not have a champion."
"I think at their weigh-ins, they're going to strip him, it's going to make real big news and they're going to have a title fight that's also going to make big news. It's going to make for a lot of publicity in one day. That's my theory."
Essentially, Alvarez called that the UFC would indeed strip McGregor, but that they were waiting for the perfect time (ie right before fight night).
Well, this week Dana White confirmed that McGregor would be stripped of his belt at UFC 223, the event in which Ferguson and Khabib will finally meet. The winner of that headlining bout will be the new lightweight champion, according to White.
"That's exactly right: As soon as one punch is thrown, it's on for the full title and it's only fair. They've both worked their way up to No. 1 and No. 2. They deserve a shot."
So, Alvarez was right on the money. The reason McGregor hasn't been stripped already is because of the infamous troubles with getting Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov in the ring together.
Had the UFC already stripped McGregor and there was another withdrawal from the fight, they would be left with no lightweight champion. It would be a disaster.