"At the end of the day, it's a business. The guy can literally drive numbers from an entire country. When Conor fights the entire country of Ireland shuts down. We get like a 60 share of the TV market there. Over 11 percent of the tickets sold in Las Vegas were from Ireland. He moves the needle on pay-per-view. He headlined his first event in Ireland, did a $1.4 million gate. Of course, we're going to reward guys that are successful in the Octagon and have a lot of wins and things like that, but if you can be like a [Georges St-Pierre] or be like a Brock Lesnar, who people are now comparing Conor to with the excitement that he's bringing, then you're going to have the ability to potentially drive a little bit harder of a negotiating bargain because you do bring that to the UFC."
-- While some seasoned veterans have been baffled by the attention Conor McGregor has received from mixed martial arts (MMA) media, just imagine how they must have felt when they got a glimpse of how much he got paid for his first-round beatdown of Dustin Poirier at UFC 178 (highlights). "Notorious" banked a whopping $150,000 for his efforts this past weekend (Sat. Sept. 27, 2014) in Las Vegas, Nevada, out-earning plenty of wily vets on the card such as former UFC champ Dominick Cruz and longtime veteran Donald Cerrone. So why does a fighter who has only competed four times inside the eight-walled cage -- and yet to even fight for a title -- earn more than a former champion and and one of the most exciting fighters in the game today? Because when McGregor fights, a whole country, his native Ireland, shuts down, as UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta recently told "UFC Tonight" (full video interview here). Plus, he's a bonafide needle-mover (unlike this guy) who may already be getting a slice of that lucrative pay-per-view (PPV) pie based on this Tweet. Don't hate the player, hate the game.