clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UFC president Dana White says Jose Aldo vs Conor McGregor will be like 'Hagler vs Hearns'

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

To borrow an old sports cliche, don't blink!

Dana White is doing the final media rounds for UFC 194: Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, set to take place tomorrow (Sat., Dec. 12, 2015) inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, and told the Colin Cowherd radio show to expect a war.

It's a fight that was supposed to have happened in the summer when the two were first booked to do battle for supremacy at 145 pounds.

White said one of McGregor's biggest criticisms heading into his scheduled UFC 189 title shot against Aldo was that he hadn't faced a world class wrestler, and if he did he wouldn't be facing the champion at all.

But, when an injury forced Aldo from the event, the "Notorious" Irishman was suddenly forced to take on the division's most dominant wrestler to date.

"He ends up fighting Chad Mendes on two weeks notice. Not only is he probably one of the best wrestlers in the sport but he's a knockout artist, too. He has heavy hands. They fight and Conor McGregor wins, and wins the fight by knockout in the round that he tried to bet Lorenzo (Ferttita) and I $3 million that he would knock him out in, the second round."

White said that victory has propelled McGregor's confidence to such levels that when he spoke to him six weeks ago in Ireland, the interim featherweight champion made a definitive prediction.

"Conor McGregor said to me I am going to run across that Octagon when the bell rings, I am going to drop bombs on this guy until I knock him out, which will be four minutes in the very first round."

But White cautioned that when McGregor runs across the Octagon to do that he will be meeting the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the only 145-pound champion that has existed in the promotion's history.

"He will respond. I think that this fight will be like [Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns]. The first round is going to be incredibly violent and I do not see it going to a decision."

If that's the case it would be a change of pace for Aldo, who has required the judges five times during his seven title defenses since joining UFC in 2011. Only one fighter, however, has survived to the judges against McGregor since he made his UFC debut in 2013 and that fight was scheduled for three rounds.

White added UFC 194 is trending to become the biggest event in the promotion's history. Prior to UFC 189 in July, the record gate for UFC at the MGM Grand was the $6.8 million paid to see the UFC 148 rematch between Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva.

White said that given the $7.2 million gate for UFC 189, he expects the Aldo vs McGregor main event to draw a record $10 million.

We'll find out soon enough!