The Ultimate Fighting Championship is building UFC 189: Aldo vs. McGregor to be one of the biggest pay-per-view events in the organization’s history.
UFC president Dana White said during a press event in Las Vegas on Friday that UFC 189 will be everything that boxing’s recent mega-fight between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao wasn’t.
“(MayPac) was typical boxing. They’re never worried about the future of the sport. All they care about is how much money they can make right here, right now,” said White. “That’s not the way we look at it. (We’re) trying to take things to the next level.”
White said the build-up for UFC 189 will be the biggest media spend the company has ever done. There will be ten episodes of UFC 189 Embedded, there will be a commercial for the event featured during the NBA Finals, and they have plans for a 30-minute prime time television special called Bad Blood: Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor.
“I think this is going to be the biggest fight of the year. When you take a guy like Jose Aldo, who hasn’t lost a fight in 10 years. And then you take a guy like Conor McGregor and what he’s done and his personality; it creates a monster event,” said White.
In March, the UFC launched a world press tour that spanned eight cities in five countries over the course of 12 days to promote the event.
“When you look at the Embedded series for the World Tour, it did over 13 million views, which smokes anything we’ve ever done with Embedded. We think Embedded leading up to this is going to do even better,” said the UFC president.
UFC 189 takes place on July 11 during the promotion’s annual International Fight Week, and there will be a large international contingent in town for the week, as witnessed by UFC 189 ticket sales. White said that 25-percent of the tickets sold have been to fans from Ireland and the U.K.
The event features two title fights. Featherweight champion Jose Aldo puts his ten-year winning streak on the line against Conor McGregor in the featured fight, while welterweight titleholder Robbie Lawler will defend his belt for the first time in a rematch against top contender Rory MacDonald in the co-main event.