In many ways, the UFC has created a monster it can no longer control in current lightweight and former featherweight champion Conor McGregor.
As their biggest draw and their only superstar following Jon Jones’ third failed drug test and Ronda Rousey’s departure from the sport, the newly-bought promotion is at the mercy of the one and only name who can truly drive a top-selling pay-per-view (PPV) card.
Now in the wake of his blockbuster boxing match with Floyd Mayweather, it’s fair to say that McGregor is calling his own shots. If the UFC wants any shot at delivering the numbers they absolutely need, they’re going to have to bend the knee to McGregor and pay him what he wants or risk driving the UFC further into the depths of the slog that their absolutely atrocious 2017 has wrought.
We broke down why that is and how McGregor came to be his own boss in the UFC. Check out our five reasons the UFC simply has no choice but to pay the Irishman.
5. Sinking PPV Sales
There is a common argument that the quality of UFC pay-per-views has gone down considerably since Zuffa sold the promotion to WME-IMG in 2016.
Whether due to constant injuries, weight-cutting issues, failed drug tests and the like, fans have voiced their displeasure with the UFC’s product as of late.
For whatever reason, PPV sales have been in a slump for some time now with the exception of July’s UFC 214, which is likely the last time we see Jon Jones in the octagon for years to come.
The only fighter that consistently draws PPV buys is McGregor, and with that distinction comes great power, power which “Notorious” uses wisely to his advantage.