The UFC 189 Championship World Tour made its stop in New York City yesterday, and with it came all the fanfare and hype-building we’ve come to expect from the UFC apparatus and star trash-talker Conor McGregor. Joining the Irish featherweight challenger on stage were, of course, champ Jose Aldo (with a translator), UFC boss Dana White, welterweight champ Robbie Lawler and top welterweight contender Rory MacDonald. How well received were the these men by the New York crowd?
Anyway, here are some miscellaneous notes from the event, which come from the extensive Q & A White et al. did with media and fans.
- McGregor on Aldo’s star power (or lack thereof): “Before I came along he was co-main event to the bantamweights.”
- White on the UFC coming to Madison Square Garden: “If this gets legalized, I’ll see everyone at the Garden in December.”
- A McGregor fan, forgoing asking a question when it’s his turn on the microphone and instead making a declaration: “Jose Aldo, you’re going to die!”
- White on Cris Cyborg: “Cyborg is signed by the UFC. She has to fight once at 135 in Invicta, and if she wins, she gets a shot at Ronda Rousey.”
- White reassuring a fan that when the UFC comes to New York, it’ll be big: “You fucking better believe it, my friend.”
- White promised that when the UFC is allowed to put on shows here, they’ll do pay-per-views and Fight Nights all over the state and not just in New York City.
- A fan: “Dana, you sign an amateur fighter like CM Punk, but why not a real fighter like Ben Askren?”
As for the staredowns, Lawler and MacDonald were all business. Aldo and McGregor were all business too, with a bit of raw aggression and a ton of tension mixed in.