Jose Aldo may have withdrawn from the UFC 189 headliner against Conor McGregor, but that won't stop the July 11, 2015 pay-per-view (PPV) event from setting an all-time gate record in the United States.
Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White said he is expecting a $7 million gate when all is said and done.
White was a guest on The Rusillo Show on ESPN Radio on Tuesday (July 7, 2015) and explained how Chad Mendes stepping in on short notice against McGregor didn't hurt the drawing power of the event.
"Jose Aldo falls out, ticket sales are at 6.8 million," White said. "Chad Mendes comes in, ticket sales go through the roof. 7.1 million, we are adding bleachers into the MGM. You can hook on these bleachers on to the top of the MGM. It’s at 7.1, it’s the biggest gate ever in the United States and not only did it not lose interest, it almost sort of gained more interest, as crazy as that sounds."
While that is great news for UFC, McGregor, and Mendes, Aldo stands to lose quite a bit of money, now that he is no longer fighting in the main event. The UFC president acknowledged he saw the training video, where "Junior" suffered a broken rib (pic) and ultimately lost out on millions of dollars.
"It’s crazy because I actually saw the video," said White. "He gets hit with a spinning-heel kick, which is crazy in itself that anyone is even throwing that at him two weeks before his fight. It is what it is. He stood to make a lot of money, a lot of money. If he could’ve fought, he would’ve fought."
But just how much money would Aldo have made if he somehow found a way to overcome the injury to his rib and make it to the Octagon at UFC 189?
Rusillo mentioned four million dollars and White confirmed the number.
"Millions of dollars," White said. "Yeah, he probably would’ve made close to four million."