Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion, Conor McGregor, already holds the record for most mixed martial arts (MMA) pay-per-view (PPV) buys at 1.6 million for his Nate Diaz rematch at UFC 202 in summer 2016.
But not only is “Notorious” No. 1, he’s also No. 2 and No. 3, as well, thanks to his 1.3 million PPV buys stemming from his first go-round against Diaz (UFC 196), along with the 1.3 million returned from his title-winning performance against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
Mere chicken feed when you consider what McGregor is expected to pull for his UFC return against reigning 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“We’re looking at two million pay-per-view buys,” UFC President Dana White told Aaron Bronsteter at TSN Sports. “There was really no problems putting this fight together. It’s what makes Conor McGregor such an international superstar. This guy fights anybody, anywhere, any time. After a two-year layoff, he comes right out of the gate and wants Khabib and Khabib, who’s undefeated and obviously destroyed everybody in front of him, wants this fight now and wants to defend his title against Conor McGregor.”
McGregor is likely to generate additional interest (and additional revenue) as the UFC 229 main event in Las Vegas, held Sat., Oct. 6, 2018 inside T-Mobile Arena, will mark the first time the power-punching Irishman has competed since stopping Alvarez roughly two years back.
Not including last-year’s cash grab opposite Floyd Mayweather, of course.
While Nurmagomedov is not exactly a household name, and UFC doesn’t have a ton of time to promote their fight, it probably doesn’t matter. McGregor is the PPV golden goose and the reason the promotion does shit like this whenever he takes time off.