McGregor is the reigning UFC lightweight champion, but he has yet to defend the gold. He hasn’t stepped inside the Octagon since Nov. 2016 when he won the 155-pound title. Waiting in the wings is interim champion Tony Ferguson.
This year, McGregor took on Floyd Mayweather in a “money fight.” Mayweather won the bout via 10th round TKO. Speaking to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, White took issue with fans ripping McGregor for taking the fight:
“For people to suggest that, you’re just a Conor hater. Because if you look at how everything played out, Conor has fought everybody. When he won the 155-pound belt, he dropped the 145-pound belt, which we made him do. He tried not to do it, but he contractually had to let go of the 145-pound belt. He became the 155-pound champion, and his next fight was against Floyd Mayweather. He has to defend the title now. So, how has he never defended the title?”