After Conor McGregor’s second-round dismantling of Dennis Siver on Sunday night, the Irish superstar already has his next fight lined up against featherweight champion Jose Aldo, with a date and location likely secured.
While there were rumors that an Aldo vs. McGregor title fight could end up in a stadium in Ireland, it appears the UFC will keep things closer to home instead.
According to UFC president Dana White, the featherweight title fight will likely land in Las Vegas for UFC 187, which is slated to take place May 23 during Memorial Day weekend.
"We’re looking at May in Vegas," White revealed at the UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver post-fight news conference.
The lofty goal of taking the fight to Ireland seems like a pipe dream after White revealed all the obstacles that stood in the way.
Pay-per-view main cards start in the United States at 10 p.m. ET, which would be 3 a.m. local time in Ireland. By the end of the show, it could be pushing 6 a.m. in Ireland.
The laundry list of other issues forced the UFC to abandon any plan of taking the show to Ireland, but there’s always a chance it could revisit the idea in the future.
"There’s a lot of obstacles for Croke Park," White said about the Irish stadium. "The time, they have a curfew at night where you can’t get permits to stay out that late and do an event there. You lose about 25 to 30 percent on pay-per-view being in another country. The amount of money for production. I guarantee you it’s going to rain; I’m not a meteorologist, but I’ll bet you it’s going to rain.
"I’m not saying we’re never going to do it, but Vegas for this one."
McGregor experienced a home crowd in 2014 when the UFC took a Fight Night card to Dublin last July for his fight against Diego Brandao. The crowd was so alive that night that many pundits voted for the UFC card in Dublin as the best of the year.
Still, McGregor has no problems with his title fight taking place in Las Vegas. Sin City has become a home away from home for the top-ranked featherweight contender, and he seems more than happy to face Aldo there in May.
"It’s absolutely perfect. The stadium is a dream of mine, a vision of mine and I think maybe the visions are getting there. But Vegas, I’m happy with Vegas," McGregor said. "It’s tradition — I remove a head, I bring it backstage, I place it on Mr. Fertitta and Mr. White’s desk: ‘Here you go, boss, another one done,’ and then we discuss big business.
"So we went and discussed big business, and big business just happens to be in Viva Las Vegas. So we are going to go to Las Vegas, and one more head will be collected."
The Memorial Day card is traditionally one of the biggest of the year for the UFC, and given the anticipation for Aldo vs. McGregor, there’s no doubt this will be a marquee card for the promotion in 2015.
Aldo was in attendance Sunday night to witness McGregor’s victory, and given the excitement surrounding this matchup, it appears the UFC is ready to cash in as soon as possible.