Conor McGregor may have gotten TKO’d by Dustin Poirier, but the result still didn’t stop the UFC’s cash flow. UFC 257 was extremely successful, drawing an approximate 1.5 million buys. And, according to reports, Abu Dhabi paid for most of the expenses just to have a McGregor booking on Fight Island.
Poirier Finishes Conor McGregor via TKO
Conor looked sharp in the opening round of their main event fight. His jab was accurate in placement. Trademark shoulder strikes from McGregor were thrown, giving fans a reminder of how he defeated Donald Cerrone at UFC 246.
However, Poirier, AKA “The Diamond” applied the pressure needed to create controlled chaos inside of the octagon. Relentless pressure, cracking leg kicks, and fluid boxing all contributed to a TKO victory. Dustin remained humble throughout the course of the night, including the post-fight press conference.
McGregor UFC 257 Booking
Although Conor lost, he still provided value to the UFC for the event. According to Dave Meltzer, UFC 257 was one of the most successful events in the history of the sport. And because of McGregor’s mere presence on the card, the Abu Dhabi government paid a hefty fee to host his return.
“That number would be a figure not including refunds, and while nobody knows the number, there were a significant number of people who asked for and got refunds. The ESPN+ number is legit. The international number is an estimate and an extremely generous one, but even at 1.5 million, the show was a huge success. Only the biggest boxing matches in history have ever topped it, and nothing but boxing and the one UFC fight in the history of PPV have ever even been in the ballpark.
The U.S. PPV revenue would have been roughly $84 million, so ESPN’s $200 million purchase of the rights for the year looks like a steal now.
An interesting question, given the nature of the revenue, is if ESPN is kicking any money into McGregor or if it’s all coming from UFC, since the windfall he’s bringing is going to ESPN. UFC got a huge figure from the Abu Dhabi government for its three shows over eight days, largely based on bringing in McGregor,” wrote Meltzer.
With UFC 257 being a massive success, do fans of the sport believe that McGregor will continue to be booked in Abu Dhabi? Or, will the UFC simply replicate their business tactics with the next venue that the UFC books Conor McGregor to fight at?