The news concerning the pay-per-view buy rate for UFC 202 will make for some very interesting reading for one Conor McGregor.
As reported yesterday by MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer, UFC 202: Diaz v. McGregor II has likely broken the UFC’s PPV record, with a staggering estimate of 1.65 million purchases.
The hype surrounding the rematch between Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor struggled to maintain the levels seen prior to their first showdown at UFC 196 right up until fight week. The ensuing chaos of the infamous press conference, followed by an emotional weigh-in, revived interest sufficiently to break the existing record.
That record, again via Meltzer, was held by the aforementioned UFC 196, conflicting with earlier reports that 202 in August was only the third highest PPV in the sport’s history.
As it stands, the top five looks like this, with the caveat that the UFC don’t release official buy figures, leaving industry insiders to gather informed estimates:
1) Aug 20, 2016 UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 2 – 1,650,000
2) Mar 5, 2016 UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz – 1,600,000
3) Jul 11, 2009 UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir 2 – 1,500,000
4) Dec 12, 2015 UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor – 1,400,000
5) Jul 9, 2016 UFC 200: Tate vs. Nunes – 1,200,000
In the space of just nine months, Conor McGregor has played a major role in over 4.6m pay-per-view buys – a feat only dwarfed by the likes of boxers Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather.
Though McGregor’s figures are amazing, considering the time-frame they were achieved within, it must be acknowledged that UFC events are marketed somewhat differently to those in boxing.
Boxing PPVs are often predicated on the main event, with the undercard barely registering in terms of influence.
The UFC, however, give far more billing to the other competitors on the PPV section of the card. This can be seen at UFC 196, wherein women’s bantamweight stars Miesha Tate and Holly Holm co-headlined the event before Messrs. Diaz and McGregor took to the octagon. UFC 200, which features in the all-time top five, saw Brock Lesnar as the main attraction, despite not headlining the event.
That being said, Conor McGregor is primed to finally challenge Floyd Mayweather’s PPV dominance – UFC 202 already ranks at number six when compared with the myriad of boxing’s PPV records.