LAS VEGAS — New opponent on short notice, with just a little more than a week to promote? No problem for the UFC and Conor McGregor.
UFC president Dana White said at the EA Sports UFC 2 launch party Friday night at Mandalay Bay that all signs are pointing toward UFC 196 being a huge financial success.
“I’m sure you see it, I’m sure you feel it, I’m sure it’s trending in your businesses right now,” White told reporters. “This fight is off the f*cking charts. Off the charts. This fight is gonna be massive — it might be one of the biggest fights we’ve ever done.”
Just 11 days ago, McGregor didn’t even have an opponent after Rafael dos Anjos dropped out due to a broken foot. McGregor, the UFC featherweight champion, was trying to make history Saturday night. He wanted to win the lightweight title from dos Anjos to become the first fighter to ever hold two UFC belts in different divisions at the same time.
Without dos Anjos, there was no history. So the UFC and McGregor went to the back-up plan: Nate Diaz. And that has ended up being a very smart decision. Diaz has a substantial fanbase and also talks the talk. The hijinx at media events this week has been entertaining and that absolutely drives numbers.
“Diaz has been a stud, showing up to everything on time, done everything that was asked of him, was a big part of Embedded, went on the interviews today — even the ones he didn’t like,” White said. “He’s been awesome. I don’t want to sound condescending and like a goof and say I’m proud of Nate, but Nate has been awesome.”
The co-main event will feature Holly Holm’s first title defense since she knocked out Ronda ….View full article
Source:: mma fighting