On Saturday night, Irish star Conor McGregor was able to pick apart Chad Mendes on the feet to earn the interim featherweight title in front of a wild crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
With the win, McGregor has lined himself up for a title unification bout with Jose Aldo, who was his original opponent at UFC 189 before a rib injury forced the Brazilian champion out of the fight.
So, with Aldo vs. McGregor on the horizon, when and where will the bout take place?
According to UFC president Dana White, the featherweight unification bout would be held in Las Vegas. If McGregor wins, his first title defense would likely be a stadium show in Ireland.
“There’s a thing were we told Conor, (that) if (he) fought and beat Jose Aldo, we would let him defend at Croke Park in Ireland,” White said after UFC 189 as transcribed by MMAjunkie.com. “When he and Jose fight, it will be here in Las Vegas.”
Now that we know a location, what about a date?
Well, the UFC currently has Sept. 5 locked in for a Las Vegas pay-per-view. However, that would be a short turnaround for McGregor and there is still no timetable for Aldo’s return. The only other open date for a pay-per-view in 2015 is on Dec. 5. That event was initially slated for New York City, but the failed MMA bill leaves it as an open date.
Unfortunately, it appears that Canada could host the final pay-per-view of the year in either Calgary or Toronto.
That leaves us waiting until 2015 for an Aldo-McGregor dance in Vegas.
And, according to UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, the fight will likely take place after the new year; January 2, to be exact.
Could McGregor take another fight in the meantime? Potentially, but why risk a loss and losing out on the Aldo-McGregor megafight? Add in the wild media tour that McGregor has been on and the numerous injuries he has battled through training while carrying so much pressure, he deserves a little time off.
So MMA fans, how does Aldo vs. McGregor on Jan. 2 sound?
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports