As the smoke settles from the announcement that Tony Ferguson will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov potentially for the UFC undisputed lightweight title, it turns out that this is only the beginning of what could be the biggest year for the organization of all time. That is, if half the things Dana White predicts will happen actually come to fruition. In am interview that went down right after the UFC 223 presser, White goes on to say he believes Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar and either Nick or Nate Diaz will fight in 2018.
“I’m going to take the odds [that Conor McGregor will fight more than once in 2018]. I’m going to say yes. I’m going to make a lot of money, I’m going to say yes [that Georges St-Pierre fights again this year]. […] I’m going to take the odds again and say yes [that Brock Lesnar will return this year]. I’ll take the yes [that Jon Jones returns as well]. I’m going to go with yes [that one of the Diaz brothers fight again this year too].”
— Dana White (@danawhite) January 20, 2018
“There’s been a lot of stupid talk as usual, from all the negative people who likes to come out and talk sh-t. Two years ago, a year ago, whatever it was — pay-per-view is dead, the UFC we were [trending down] — we sold for $4.025 billion. Everybody was talking sh-t last year? [We had] the best financial year we’ve ever had in the history of the company. Coming out the gates this year, this first quarter, if it stays the way it is and everything’s going — just the last two fights, we’re looking to have the best quarter we’ve ever had in the history of the company. Everything is good. Everything is positive. The new TV deal is going to be groundbreaking and blow people’s minds, as usual.” — Dana White speaking to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN.
If that doesn’t leave your jaw on the floor, then you don’t have a pulse. Of course, these were all just educated guesses, but if just a couple of those names — especially Conor McGregor — fight in 2018 it would be huge for the UFC. However, from Jones to St-Pierre, the future of all of these giant draws are completely up in the air. This year will be all about seeing if some of these fighters pop up to grace us with their presence inside the Octagon once again. …While making UFC an absolute ton of money.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/20/2018.