Dana White explained what Conor McGregor needs to do for a home-turf title fight. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
After Conor McGregor claimed the interim featherweight crown in emphatic fashion at UFC 189, there was some question as to whether the Irishman had earned the right to try and unify the belts in his home country.
Dana White put an end to that speculation at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. If McGregor wants to have a title fight in Ireland, he’ll first have to defeat Jose Aldo in the world’s unofficial fight capital.
“There’s a thing where we told Conor, if Conor fought and beat Jose Aldo, we would let him defend at Croke Park [in] Ireland,” White said. “When he and Jose Aldo fight it will be here in Las Vegas. As of right now, I mean, anything can change, but as of right now the fight’s in Vegas.”
With Aldo recovering from a broken rib, it remains unclear when that fight will take place, although White did concede that he would like it to happen “as soon as possible.” Considering the promotion that preceded UFC 189 primarily involved McGregor and Aldo, the UFC boss expects interest to remain high when those two are officially booked.
“I don’t think there’s anybody anywhere that doesn’t know about Aldo and Conor,” White said. “I think tonight took it to another level. Chad is a badass, legit No. 1 guy in the world. And the only guy he’s ever lost to is Jose Aldo. When you put it all together, it takes that [Aldo-McGregor] fight to a completely different level. We’re gonna spend a ton of money again, but everybody knows [who they are].”
According to White, UFC 189 surpassed all of the promotion’s previous landmark events, including UFC 100 and UFC 148. If anything is going to top Saturday night’s effort, it would be the long-awaited showdown between Aldo and McGregor.
“This was bigger than Anderson-Sonnen 2. This was bigger than UFC 100. This was bigger than everything we did,” he said. “If you have to ask me [if] I think the next one will be bigger, I think it’s bigger than this.”
In the meantime, don’t expect White to spend any more time addressing Aldo’s injury issues. The ongoing debate or the severity of Aldo’s rib injury left a bad taste in the UFC president’s mouth, as did the claims that he disrespected Aldo with some of his comments after the champion pulled out of the fight.
“Everything that was reported out there that’s complete bulls--t. Jose Aldo anymore because of the despicable... I don’t know what to call them that work in this business that own some of these websites,” White said. “Basically they lie about what I said. By the time it gets translated into Portuguese, it’s even worse. It makes me sick and I’m not going to say anything about Jose Aldo. I’ve never disrespected the guy in my life. I like Jose Aldo very much, his wife, his family. I’m done.
“When Jose Aldo versus Conor McGregor is ready, we’ll let you know. Don’t even ask me about his injury or any of that s--t because there’s a lot of people who just f---ing lie, and I’m done with it.”