We knew Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight champion Conor McGregor was already one wealthy son of a gun, but he wants more. And the Irishman will apparently get it when he reportedly collides with Lightweight kingpin, Rafael dos Anjos, at the UFC 197 pay-per-view (PPV) event in March.
Now, after a banner year, which saw the "Notorious" striker complete his run up the 145-pound ladder by taking out (video) the previously dominant Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, he's been afforded the opportunity to challenge for the Lightweight strap, without having to vacate his 145-pound belt.
Regardless of whether you agree with it or not (Frankie Edgar definitely doesn't -- you more than likely will tune in on March 5, 2016, to either see UFC's cash cow make history or be sent on his merry way with his tail between his legs. And that's because he's a polarizing figure.
McGregor, 27, has the fight game wrapped around his pinky and has the numbers to back up even his most boisterous proclamations. Numbers are currently not final for the Dubliner's spot atop the UFC 194 event this past December, but based off of his haul at UFC 189 in July, it will undoubtedly produce even higher numbers than any of his past performances.
It's highly likely that UFC 194 will finish somewhere in the Top 3 for PPV buys all-time, which would mean it pushes past the 1 million-barrier in the least. The most successful PPV of all-time, UFC 100, has stood alone as the highest-grossing show in promotional history for its 1.6 million buy-rate.
Should UFC 194 come close to touching that elusive high-water mark, McGregor will have pocketed at least $3 million based off of a Forbes breakdown of the SBG Ireland product's destruction of the Brazilian Aldo. Forbes measured McGregor's winnings via a scale that sees the former collect $3-$5 per PPV buy against buy-rates of 1-1.5 million.
It makes you think he stands a chance to become the first MMA fighter to gross nine-figures in the span of his professional career.
When McGregor takes to the Octagon for a clash with "RDA" in Las Vegas, Nevada, it will be the money fight of all money fights. Surely, he could try and go at the PPV record on his own, but McGregor will have the company of Holly Holm -- destroyer of Ronda Rousey -- to aid him in his quest.
FOXSports.com does the math:
Best case scenario based on these figures, McGregor made more than $8 million beating Aldo. He will surely get more views for this fight given its historic nature, even though dos Anjos is a lower-profile champion whose Cerrone fight was not even a PPV event. The 1.6 million record is within reach - particularly with McGregor's supreme skill for loudly promoting his fights. At $5 a pop, 1.6 million buys equals $8 million straight up.
"Preacher's Daughter" is not nearly the same commodity, nor attraction, that McGregor is, but it can't hurt having her compete on the same card. Holm is the current women's Bantamweight champion and was one-half of an immensely successful UFC 193 PPV in her own right.
Not only does McGregor have the drawing power to make a run at the PPV record, but let's not forget he's attempting to become the only competitor in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously. The last man to attempt this feat was B.J. Penn, who was beat up in his second crack at longtime Welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, back at UFC 94.
If McGregor fails, it won't be the end of the world. Maybe he gets the Rousey treatment and goes on to defend his Featherweight championship against Edgar in his next outing at UFC 200. Either way, UFC President Dana White has put much stock into McGregor. He will need to be there to answer questions if the bubble happens to burst ... for better or worse.
We've seen what can happen when White puts all his eggs into one basket, but if there's one lesson to be learned from past cancellations and injuries, it's that McGregor will always show up on fight night.