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'I want to be on that card' - Conor McGregor is determined to fight in Dublin later this year

Aldo’s injury leaves McGregor to face Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title.

Image: AP/Press Association Images

CONOR MCGREGOR IS determined to fight in Dublin when the UFC returns to Ireland later this year.

Champion Jose Aldo’s injury means that McGregor will now face Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title, with the winner likely to meet Aldo in a unification bout later this year.

If he wins in Las Vegas on 11 July, The Notorious will push for his next fight to be on home soil.

The UFC have confirmed a Dublin card for the 3Arena on 24 October and while no fights have been announced, CEO Lorenzo Fertitta thinks that McGregor has outgrown the 9,500-capacity arena.

“I spoke with Lorenzo two days ago about it and he was saying we want bigger stadiums,” McGregor said in a conference call on Wednesday.

“(The 3Arena) is a 9,500-seater stadium in Dublin but he wants me on a bigger one.

I was saying you don’t have a show in my hometown and not have me on it. Most certainly I want to be on that card.

“We will see what way it plays out but any time the UFC rolls into my town, I most certainly want to be on that card.”

McGregor headlined a sold-out show at the venue — then the O2 — in August 2014 with all tickets snapped up almost immediately.

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“(The 3Arena) is a phenomenal arena, the atmosphere, the sound,” he added.

It’s 9,500 but we make ourselves heard. Nine and a half thousand screams in Irish sounds like 195,000.

“I never said it was too small. It was Lorenzo who said it was too small for me, that we want to do a stadium show.

“Yes, we do want to do a stadium show but if you’re coming back to my home city, I want to be on that card.

“I built this here. I am the one that put the UFC on the map here. If you’re coming into my home town, you best believe I want to be on that show.”

The UFC is planning a major stadium show for Melbourne this November but McGregor is adamant that he has earned the right to fill an Irish stadium — either the Aviva Stadium or Croke Park.

“(Melbourne) does not appeal to me really because it has no significance to me. It’s the Dublin stadium I want. This is the dream. This is what I created.

There’s probably nobody on the roster who could fill a stadium right now except me. For you to take that dream and try to put me in another country to fill a stadium, it doesn’t really interest me.

“When the stadium happens, it’s in Croke Park. It’s in Dublin, Ireland. It’s in my home city.

“It’s what I have built. It’s what I have earned. So that’s what I will get.”

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Niall Kelly

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