It’s no secret that Khabib vs. Conor is going to be massive.
The anticipated lightweight title fight at UFC 229 on October 6 from Las Vegas is being billed as the biggest UFC bout of all-time. It’s even expected to surpass the heralded two million buy threshold on pay-per-view (PPV). That’s a level a UFC event has never attained.
McGregor’s short-notice fight with Nate Diaz set the record for PPV buys at 2016’s UFC 196 due to their heated build-up. That event brought in nearly 1.6 million buys. Khabib vs. Conor is expected to bring in much, much more according to Dana White.
The UFC President appeared on ESPN’s “Get Up” this morning (via MMA Fighting) to discuss the fight before today’s inaugural press conference. The presser will go down live from New York City and airs on ESPN. White revealed the monstrous PPV estimates that UFC 229 is trending at:
“It’s massive. There has been a lot of talk about this thing doing 2 million buys. We’re trending right now at 2.5 million buys so that’s how big this fight is. The biggest fight we’d ever done was Diaz vs. McGregor at almost 1.6 million pay-per-view buys. Then we did the Floyd Mayweather fight. And now this by far is the biggest fight and one of the biggest fights ever in combat sports to be honest with you.”
White’s job is obviously to sell fights. He’s often said whatever it takes to get that goal accomplished. However, UFC 229 is legitimately one of the biggest UFC bouts ever booked. His words may actually mean something here.
A Long-Awaited Return
The UFC has been anxiously awaiting McGregor comeback for two years. He set his rivalry with Nurmagomedov ablaze when he stormed the Barclays Center and got arrested. It was an insane scene that could work out for the UFC in the end. White admitted that the UFC overlooked certain things in order to get McGregor back in the cage:
“Conor works very well with us. We work well with him. There’s certain things you have to deal with Conor McGregor but he’s worth it. For example, the New York thing. The fact he thought he could come here and have this beef with Khabib in the middle of New York City and the way that it was done that was obviously the craziest thing. Normal, typical stuff for Conor is showing up an hour late for press conferences,”
The fight is trending to break the UFC record for PPV sales, yet it’s also a fight fans should cherish. McGregor made an insane amount of money to box Floyd Mayweather last year. His time in the cage (or ring) could be coming to an end soon.
McGregor has since spent his time enjoying that money. It’s not enough, White says, because of McGregor’s fighting spirit:
“I said this might be the last time you see Conor McGregor when you make his kind of money. He loves to fight. The reality is this — when you make a lot of money when you haven’t had money — you go out and buy a bunch of things, you take care of your family and do some fun stuff but it gets old real quick. It took Conor two years and here we are.”