Aldo: GSP wanted $10,000,000 to fight Conor McGregor

Thursday, September 29, 2016

UFC interim featherweight champion Jose Aldo is furious with management over their handling of division champion Conor McGregor, and his belt. Aldo had been led to believe that McGregor had to give up the belt, or meet him for a unification fight.

Instead, McGregor will be challenging lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez in the main event of UFC 205. If McGregor beats Alvarez, he will have to decide which belt to keep.

Whether McGregor wins or loses, that will be his third fight since taking Aldo’s belt at UFC 194 on December 12, 2015. For Aldo, it’s too much.

While at the famed Madison Square Garden, UFC president Dana White spoke with Brazil’s Combate about the UFC 205 matchmaking.

“It was tough,” said White. “Khabib was waiting for a shot at 155. Jose Aldo is waiting for a shot at 145 lbs. And I knew that this fight would ruffle some feathers for sure. But it was the right fight to make – historic fight, historic event for the company and the sport, in this historic building.”

White was asked about McGregor threatening to hold on to two belts.

“He can’t really have two belts, no,” said White. “Conor likes to talk a lot, which is part of what makes him so exciting. When he fights on November 12, he’s going to have to decide which belt he wants to keep – which belt he wants to defend and which one he wants to give up.”

White was next asked about Aldo saying he wants to cancel his contract.

“We won’t be cancelling Jose Aldo’s contract,” said White. “I knew Jose would be upset. I knew he would be emotional. I have a lot of respect for Jose. I like him, I like his wife, I like his family. I love Andre Pederneiras. So we’ll figure this thing out.

“I talked to Khabib, and Khabib ended up wanting to fight on this card. So Khabib got a fight with Michael Johnson. Now I have to talk to Jose Aldo and figure out something with him.”

The interview then turned to Aldo, via phone.

“I think that my life and the whole featherweight division needs to keep going, not being stalled while [McGregor] does three fights in the lightweight division,” said Aldo, as transcribed by Redditor trulyskeptical. “Another one that he wanted to do, make a super fight with Georges St-Pierre, which didn’t work out because Georges wanted 10 million dollars and Dana didn’t want to pay it. So he still put him with Nate for the second time. So for me, Dana’s word is worthless.”

The $10,000,000 figure may simply be a rumor tossed around the gym floor, but it is not out of the question.

Forbes reports that GSP made $9,000,000 for fighting Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz, plus another $3,000,000 in sponsorships. So $10,000,000 for a return fight vs. the biggest PPV draw in league history is not insanity. However, GSP never broke 1,000,000 PPV buys with an event he headlined, and McGregor has done that each of his last three fights. So the eight-figure paydays are perhaps heading Ireland’s way, rather than to Canada.

H/T Tim Burke for BE