Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz helped produce one of the most lucrative Pay-Per-Views in UFC history at UFC 202 earlier this month. In fact, it was the third-biggest Pay-Per-View in company history, trailing only UFC 196 and UFC 100, which rank first and second, respectively.
Well, if you thought those were big, just wait for Ronda Rousey’s return to the octagon.
“By far it will be the biggest Pay-Per-View we’ve ever done,” Dana White said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “I was hoping she could be back (in time for) Madison Square Garden (on November 12), but she just had a bunch of surgeries for a bunch of little nagging injuries she had. She’s healing up, she’s back in the gym, so I’m hoping by the end of the year or early next year.”
Rousey has not fought since losing to Holly Holm at UFC 193 last November. There are rumors that Rousey (12-1) has not fought because she is either pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
White squashed those rumors immediately.
“That’s not true,” he said. “ The thing is that Ronda Rousey has worked so hard over the last four years since she entered the UFC. She’s been a machine for me, and she wanted to take some time off – and if anybody deserved time off, it was Ronda Rousey. So all good.”
Rousey is one of the biggest stars in UFC, along with McGregor, who evened his feud with Diaz at one win apiece. Many fans are clamoring for a rubber match, but that might have to wait.
“He has to defend his title,” White said of McGregor. “He has to defend his title or give it up. I’m actually literally talking to his guy today.”
Doug Gottlieb wondered why. Is it to discuss money? His next opponent? What would keep McGregor from defending his title if that is what White desires?
“I think he’s going to defend his title,” White said. “That’s what I think he’s going to do. It’s not fair to the rest of the division to keep that thing tied up.”
Jose Aldo is the No. 1 contender, but when or if those two might fight remains uncertain. Given McGregor’s track record, though, it’ll probably happened sooner rather than later.
“One of the many things that people love about Conor McGregor – and even if you don’t love Conor McGregor and even if you don’t like Conor McGregor – you have to respect the fact that this kid wants to fight all the time,” White said. “He will fight anybody, anywhere, any weight, anything – he doesn’t care. This kid puts all the chips on the table every time he steps into the octagon. It’s awesome. So I think that he’s going to want to turn around and fight very soon.”
McGregor (20-3) had won 15 consecutive fights before losing to Diaz in March.
“Anderson Silva went unbeaten for years,” White said. “So did Georges St-Pierre. Ronda went unbeaten for years. The thing is, in this sport, anybody can win any minute. There’s so many different ways to win and so many different ways to lose. That’s what makes the Anderson Silvas and the Georges St. Pierres and the Ronda Rouseys so special – because not everybody can do it.”