If you were one of the 5,000 people to get a ticket for the Dublin leg of the UFC 189 press tour, I envy you.
The energy in the Convention Centre on Tuesday promises to be riot like as Conor McGregor again faces off against UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo. In a drawn out but superb public relations move, Dana White and the UFC brass are bringing the fight of the year duo to eight cities in ten days for press conferences and face-offs.
While the UFC are pumping the most money they ever have into the promotion of this fight, it looks like it will be worth it. Dana White has predicted the fight will do a seven million dollar gate alone and McGregor has claimed his pay cheque for this bout is higher than the gate, as well as being three times bigger than the Champion Aldo’s. Bear in mind that the UFC mainly makes its money off it’s pay-per-view sales, so that is gargantuan and definitely refutes Ronda Rousey’s claims from this week that she is the biggest draw in MMA. He even went so far as to claim UFC 189 will top UFC 100 as the highest grossing show in UFC history.
All of this comes down to McGregor. While we are obviously biased due to our proximity to Notorious, there is no denying that it is his presence that is bringing all of this over the top. He hasn’t been shy in saying it to numerous media outlets in the recent press conferences either – constantly claiming that before him, the featherweight division bouts were sidelined to the pre-lim’s
“Anything I do smashes records, the Embedded (UFC Embedded is the behind the scenes look at fighters during fight/press week) series has smashed records. It’s the most viewed Embedded series. Anything I touch turns to gold.” Conor McGregor to Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com
The beauty of McGregor is that every time he opens his mouth, we want to talk about it. He makes headlines but he fills plenty of copy too. Only he (or the great trash talker Chael Sonnen) could keep such a long tour such as this newsworthy months from the fight.
The animosity between McGregor and Aldo is palpable. As someone who followed McGregor since the Cage Warriors days, I implore those graced with tickets to the Tuesday’s press conference to be the most raucous, tumultuous crowd of the UFC tour. We owe it to McGregor. We aren’t here to take part, we are here to take over.