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Saturday 10 December 2016

Conor McGregor will fight in Croke Park if he beats Aldo, UFC confirm

Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor

Conor McGregor will fight in front of 80,000 people at Croke Park - but only if he beats Jose Aldo in his upcoming bout, UFC president Dana White revealed last night.

White was speaking on Australia sports programme NRL Footy Show when he strongly hinted at a Croker date.

"If he beats Jose Aldo in Las Vegas in December, the next fight will be at Croke Park.

"We told him he could defend his title at Croke Park," the head of UFC confirmed.

McGregor's desire to fight in the north Dublin venue is extremely strong.

"The stadium show in Dublin will happen ... make no mistake about that," McGregor previously said.

However, Mr White previously raised issues about the venue's curfew and the difficulty with selling the event to pay-per-view audiences in the States given the time difference.

"I believe that we can do anything we wanna do. If we're determined enough to get it on ... we'll get it done," White said previously.

"I've told you guys many times that Croke Park is tough. It's a tough place to pull off, but we're determined to do it.

"If you've ever been to the fight in Ireland ... there's only 9,000 of them and it sounds like 90,000. There's places that you go ... Brazil, the UK, but there is nothing louder than the Irish."

McGregor is set to take on Jose Aldo in UFC 194, which takes place on December 12 at Las Begas' MGM Grand Garden Arena.

The pair were due to fight in July in one of the biggest dates in UFC history, but Aldo withdrew due to injuries he sustained in training.

McGregor was ultimately victorious against Chad Mendes, who replaced Aldo in an interim title matchup.

In recent days McGregor has revealed his approach to training, with a preference for light-contact sparring drills, as it replicates a real fight.

"MMA gloves, gum shields, T-shirts off … and that's it," he said.

"No shin pads, no nothing. I think this type of training right now that we're going to do is something that we should do the most.

"It's what you're going to experience: the bare body, the gloves … it's good for the mind because you can feel what it's going to feel like in there."

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