UFC president Dana White said MGM Resorts officials “moved Heaven and Earth” to allow the company to put the featherweight title unification bout between champion Jose Aldo and interim champion Conor McGregor at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas on Dec. 12.
White said that the women’s bantamweight title bout between Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate has not been scheduled but will not be on the Aldo-McGregor card.
White had spoken several times about putting the two fights on the same card at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. Originally, Dec. 5 was targeted for that date because the MGM had an Andrea Bocelli concert and wanted to put the UFC show at the much smaller Mandalay Bay across the street.
But White told Yahoo Sports that he wanted a bigger venue than the approximately 11,000-seat Mandalay Bay Events Center. He was in talks with Cowboys’ officials about putting the fight at AT&T Stadium and said that on Thursday, “if you would have asked me, I would have told you for sure we were going to Dallas Cowboys Stadium.”
White told Yahoo Sports that Scott Sibella, the president and chief operating officer of the MGM Grand, and Richard Sturm, the president of MGM Resorts’ entertainment and sports, worked long and hard to make the Grand Garden available for Dec. 12.
White said it is a better day for the UFC anyway.
“There’s nothing going [that would impact us] in sports,” White said.
He reiterated what he told Yahoo Sports on Saturday, that the company never offered Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino a fight with Rousey at AT&T Stadium, despite what ex-UFC champion Tito Ortiz said during an interivew on AXS TV’s “Inside MMA” on Friday.
White said that Justino and those affiliated with her keep talking publicly about fighting Rousey, but he said they’ve never demanded the fight to him and he said that Justino has yet to make an attempt to make the bantamweight limit of 135 pounds.
“The deal with Cyborg is, we told her to make 135 and then we would talk about a fight with Ronda,” White said Monday. “And they haven’t done that. They’re still talking about fighting at 140 [in her next fight in Invicta]. What is wrong with these people? But we already said that Ronda was fighting Miesha Tate next and that’s what we’re going to do.
“That fight isn’t going to be on the [Aldo-McGregor] card, for sure. If we were going to go to Dallas Cowboys Stadium, that’s another story, but the MGM really wanted the fight and they made a huge effort for it and they got it. And it works out better for us to be in Las Vegas.”
The upshot is that, for now, the UFC won’t be going to AT&T Stadium any time soon and that McGregor and Rousey, the promotion’s two biggest stars, will headline separate shows.