UFC’s Dana White on why Aldo vs. McGregor will be fight of the year
If you’re trying to figure what one fight the UFC is building its entire year around, there’s no better person to talk to than UFC president Dana White. So that’s exactly what 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob Stelton did.
White joined Stelton on “Get in the Cage” Friday and told him there’s only one bout that can be considered “fight of the year”: Conor McGregor’s July 12 title shot against Brazilian UFC Featherweight Champion José Aldo in Las Vegas.
“José Aldo hasn’t lost a fight in 10 years, has defended his title eight times, and Conor McGregor from Dublin, Ireland burst onto the scene, becoming a huge superstar by knocking people out and picking the round in which he will knock them out,” said White, a promoter through and through. “That fight is going to be massive.”
White recently joined the two fighters on an ambitious promotional tour that drew huge crowds to see sparks fly between Aldo and McGregor in their home countries. Audiences weren’t limited to what turned out in person, either – an episode of the UFC: Embedded web series that documented one of the contentious press conferences garnered a staggering nine million views, according to White.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time, and it was one of the most unique things I’ve ever been part of,” White said of the tour.
Though huge numbers are expected for the Aldo-McGregor clash, the meeting does have its detractors – those who say the charismatic McGregor simply talked his way into the title shot rather than earning it with his record. White doesn’t see it that way.
“I think that Conor McGregor, not only does he talk well, he fights pretty damn well, too,” White said. “He knocked out the No. 6-ranked guy in the world, Dustin Poirier, and if you look at the guys who are one through five, José Aldo already beat those guys, and he beat some of them twice. So the Conor McGregor fight is the fight that absolutely makes the most sense.”
And considering the reaction the tour and Embedded episode elicited, it makes plenty of business sense.
“People want to see this fight, and at the end of the day the UFC makes fights that people want to see,” White said.
To hear the entire interview with White, which also includes his thoughts on the long awaited Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquaio boxing match and the new format for UFC’s Ultimate Fighter show, click on this link.