Friday 9 December 2016

Reports: Great news for Conor McGregor's bank balance as rematch with Nate Diaz breaks pay-per-view record

Tom Rooney

Published 07/09/2016 | 21:14

Conor McGregor lands a punch on Nate Diaz. Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images
Conor McGregor lands a punch on Nate Diaz. Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Newly revealed estimates are suggesting that the pay-per-view buys for Conor McGregor’s rematch victory over Nate Diaz at UFC 202 last month were the highest in promotional history.

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In a gruelling five-round welterweight contest, McGregor defeated Diaz via majority decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and avenged the loss he suffered at the Californian’s hands at UFC 196 in March.

It is being estimated that the event accrued 1.65m pay-per-view purchases, which are generally priced at $55 each.

MMAfighting.com are reporting that informed sources are claiming that the DirecTV numbers are the biggest in the UFC’s 23-year history, and the showcase is on course to be the most moneyed non-boxing event the medium has ever seen.

Indeed, pay-per-view buys via the internet are also said to have broken all previous records held by the UFC.

Interestingly, McGregor and Diaz have simply bettered their own feat – UFC 196 did 1.6m pay-per-view buys, which surpassed the previous benchmark set at 2009’s UFC 100.

The success of UFC 202 means that the promotion has already broken 1m pay-per-view buys on three occasions in 2016.

UFC 200 in July, which McGregor and Diaz were originally scheduled to have resumed hostilities at, also hit the milestone.

Funnily enough, the build up to this epic sequel proved decidedly tame but, the Wednesday before the fight, a press conference featuring the pair descended into an unsavoury bout of bottle throwing in front of fans and media at the David Copperfield Theatre, and the hype machine was kicked into overdrive.

Despite the belated lowering of ticket prices the T-Mobile Arena did not sell out, though the official gate provided a windfall of $7,629,010.

McGregor received an unprecedented $3m basic purse for his efforts, while Diaz took home $2m. They were also awarded an additional $50k apiece as a Fight of the Night bonus.

However, as each man was guaranteed a percentage of the pay-per-view sales, their full earnings will be significantly greater. 

This development will only fuel the desire and demand for a trilogy fight but  UFC president Dana White has said that will not transpire in the near future.

After the very public spat with his employers in April, McGregor’s victory over Diaz and, indeed, the capital it garnered, all but hands him complete of control of his professional destiny.

While he is still the featherweight champion, and has been informed he must defend it next or relinquish the crown, it is likely that McGregor will now challenge Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title, perhaps at UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden in November, which will be the first ever MMA event in New York.

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