In just one month, former UFC two-division champion Conor McGregor will return to MMA competition for the first time in nearly two years, as he looks to take the UFC lightweight title away from current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC 229 main event. It’s widely considered one of the biggest fights in the sport’s history, and ticket sales suggest that fans cannot wait to see McGregor inside the Octagon again.
UFC president Dana White told Yahoo’s Kevin Iole that he believes UFC 229 will destroy the promotion’s previous pay-per-view peak.
“I am confident it will do 2 million on pay-per-view,” he said.
“We’ve had some regular people pay $10,000 for a ticket,” White added when discussing the strength of the ticket sales. “But when I say regular people, I should say some very rich, regular people.”
McGregor has established himself as one of the most commercially successful pay-per-view draws that combat sports has ever seen. His boxing match with Floyd Mayweather did in excess of 4 million buys, while his last four UFC fights have all eclipsed the 1 million mark. His rematch with Nate Diaz did a reported 1.6 million buys, the highest total in UFC history.
Nurmagomedov is seen as one of the toughest stylistic matchups on paper for McGregor, and the previously “most disgusting thing to happen in UFC history” is now one of the main selling points for their rivalry. Khabib recently made his debut as a PPV headliner in April, with PPV estimates for his win over late-notice opponent Al Iaquinta coming in above 300,000 buys.
The UFC has yet to exceed 500,000 buys for any of its pay-per-view this year, and none since UFC 217 last November. Unless McGregor doesn’t fight on the card for whatever reason, the Irishman’s return to MMA will provide a much-needed boost to their final PPV tally for 2018, even if it doesn’t reach 2 million.
UFC 229 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, October 6th.
Will Khabib vs. McGregor break two million buys? (North American buys only)
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