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Old 01-14-2020, 10:54 PM #1
OctoberRed OctoberRed is offline
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Default McGregor may not be getting $80 million, but giant revenue is at stake in Saturdayís

Conor McGregorís fight against Donald Cerrone pits a fighter without a UFC win in three years against an opponent who was stopped in his last two fights.

To the public, that hardly seems to matter. If past is prologue, Saturdayís event could be the UFCís most successful event of the ESPN era. McGregor is the biggest box office star in UFC history, with four of the highest-drawing events: His most recent win, which came in 2016 at UFC 205 against Eddie Alvarez; a pair of 2016 fights with Nate Diaz, and a 2.4 million pay-per-view monster with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

McGregor was the UFCís biggest star before the fight. Not only was he the top box office attraction, but the first fighter to hold two world titles (featherweight and lightweight) simultaneously. Then, he became even bigger as a sports personality in his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.

In reality, the August 2017 match put an 0-0 pro boxer against one of the greatest boxers of all-time. It was an obvious mismatch. But Mayweatherís light work still drew 4.3 million pay-per-view buys in North America, not only the second biggest number of all time, but a number that doubled the biggest numbers Mike Tyson had ever put on the board.

McGregor then returned to the octagon against Nurmagomedov, and was the biggest money night in UFC history. But the business of major UFC fights has changed significantly since then.

The move from television pay-per-view to exclusive streaming through ESPN+ has likely led to great declines in total numbers of buyers and viewers. While the UFCís pay-per-view revenue for the year is largely guaranteed in the U.S. market, McGregorís return signals an uptick in business. UFC 246 figures to be the first pay-per-view in modern times with the strong showing in the U.K. and Ireland markets.

Although numbers are kept confidential, Saturday could mark the biggest event since ESPN largely bought out the UFCís pay-per-view business. But itís still unlikely it will generate the total revenue McGregorís previous fights, given older fansí aversion to purchasing streaming pay-per-views after adapting to the ease and comfort of one-button ordering with television.

Using his best Chael Sonnen marketing, McGregor still drew headlines when he said he expected to make $80 million for the fight. But that claim can easily be discarded when viewed against information revealed in the UFCís ongoing antitrust lawsuit. According to internal documents, no UFC fighter had ever earned more than $8 million for a fight through late 2017, which includes both McGregorís fights against Diaz and the Alvarez fight. Not included is the Nurmagomedov fight, which, given the record it set for UFC pay-per-view numbers, should have been the promotionís all-time highest payout for its headliners.

But unlike a generational talent like Jon Jones, the proven best fighter in company history, nobody makes the general public take notice like McGregor. It doesnít matter his legal situation, or even questions about where he stands right now as a fighter. It doesnít matter that in his last two fights he talked big and lost decisively. The Mayweather fight in particular took McGregor from being a well-known fighter to being among the most well-known athletes in the world, a level that no other UFC fighter in history has ever reached.

So it doesnít matter that McGregorís opponent, Cerrone, while among the companyís most popular and historically exciting fighters, is really not a top-tier contender and hasnít beaten a championship-level opponent since a 2015 win over Benson Henderson.

The fight is a smart one for UFC to make, even if neither McGregor nor Cerrone have talked much trash as compared to previous fights. Cerrone, 36, has never won a UFC championship and only once risen to top-contender status. But his exciting style and willingness to fight often has led to him being at the top of the UFC record books. He has the most wins (23), most knockdowns (20), most finishes (16) and most announced bonuses (18). And those numbers donít even include his six wins, five bonuses and three finishes during his run as the WECís most popular lightweight when it was under the Zuffa umbrella.

Cerrone looked old for the first time in losing to Justin Gaethje his previous time out. But for the UFC, the name value is big, and more importantly, Cerrone is the biggest name who McGregor can be expected to have the best chance against.

In theory, Saturday is only the start of the journey for McGregor. The Irish star wants money and big names, so heís pushing for boxing matches with Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. Those make sense for the boxers. McGregor will hype them big, and heís better known than any legitimate boxers they could face. As risk-reward goes, there would be no better opponent for either.

Plus, with boxing still on television pay-per-view, McGregorís potential as a draw isnít hindered by the UFCís exclusive streaming model. Itís only from a sports standpoint that the matchups present question marks, as they are not serious fights and the public may not buy McGregor as a boxer if he returns to the ring.

For MMA, the perfect destiny is the Nurmagomedov rematch for the lightweight title. But Nurmagomedov also has the toughest opponent of his career, Tony Ferguson, in his next title defense on April 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

McGregor was shut down by Nurmagomedov in their first meeting, but there is a chance for him in such a fight. He can claim he was injured going in, and he still has the striking edge.

A Ferguson fight is completely different. Ferguson has a wild offensive style that invites counters from a disciplined fighter. Nobody has been able to implement that strategy, of course, and thatís why itís been seven years since the ex-interim champ has tasted defeat. Fergusonís cardio is also ridiculous. If McGregor canít take advantage of an early mistake, it could be a bad night, the kind that further damages his aura to the public.

McGregor would not be favored against Mayweather, Pacquiao, Nurmagomedov, Ferguson, and welterweights Jorge Masvidal or Kamaru Usman are tough draws. But history shows heíll be able to talk people into spending money for any of them. While the $80 million purse number he claimed might be a complete fabrication, it would be anything but to say that number is absolutely at stake when it comes to future revenue.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:38 AM #2
IceTrayDaGang IceTrayDaGang is offline
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conor aint getting $80mil for a ufc fight... best he gets is around $10mil.
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Old 01-15-2020, 03:35 PM #3
Rusty Tromboni Rusty Tromboni is online now
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LOL @ Jon Jones being a generational talent. In fact, he's probably the UFC"s worst champion. And he used flagrant cheating to get there.


But yeah, I am worried about McGregor's chances against Cerrone. Cerrone is much more dangerous at Welterweight than he is at Lightweight. If this fight were at Lightweight, I'd call McGregor easy money. But all the variables favor Cerrone here.
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Old 01-15-2020, 04:22 PM #4
IceTrayDaGang IceTrayDaGang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Tromboni View Post
LOL @ Jon Jones being a generational talent. In fact, he's probably the UFC"s worst champion. And he used flagrant cheating to get there.


But yeah, I am worried about McGregor's chances against Cerrone. Cerrone is much more dangerous at Welterweight than he is at Lightweight. If this fight were at Lightweight, I'd call McGregor easy money. But all the variables favor Cerrone here.
disagree. cowboy gon get murked. cowboys does nothing good really, he's just a tough SOB but being tough dont always win you fights. conor does everything better than cowboy on all aspect. this will be an easy win for conor.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:32 PM #5
PRINCEKOOL PRINCEKOOL is offline
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Originally Posted by IceTrayDaGang View Post
conor aint getting $80mil for a ufc fight... best he gets is around $10mil.
If you can explain as to why, the pay out is lower at elite level then some but not all top boxing matches? I assume the fighters in the UFC are kind of taxed, in order to put money back into the brand 'Which is the UFC etc' and this is why there is a big middle class within the sport.

I have taken a slight interest in this fight, not a hardcore UFC supporter.

Last edited by PRINCEKOOL; 01-15-2020 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:10 PM #6
Rusty Tromboni Rusty Tromboni is online now
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Originally Posted by IceTrayDaGang View Post
disagree. cowboy gon get murked. cowboys does nothing good really, he's just a tough SOB but being tough dont always win you fights. conor does everything better than cowboy on all aspect. this will be an easy win for conor.
Maybe.

His chin is all but shot. But he's:

- been much more active
- is way more versatile (as a striker, not just as someone who can restort to grappling).
- Has a much better track record at Welterweight than Conor.


Conor should win. But it's not a foregone conclusion by any means.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:32 PM #7
OctoberRed OctoberRed is offline
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Originally Posted by IceTrayDaGang View Post
conor aint getting $80mil for a ufc fight... best he gets is around $10mil.
I heard its the biggest money deal in UFC history. Likely over 10, but less than 20.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:11 PM #8
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John Nash writes great informative articles on Combat Sports pay in Boxing and MMA.

He figures Conor will likely make $11-$14 million for this fight.

His article has great numbers and documents to support this pay.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:13 AM #9
IceTrayDaGang IceTrayDaGang is offline
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Originally Posted by PRINCEKOOL View Post
If you can explain as to why, the pay out is lower at elite level then some but not all top boxing matches? I assume the fighters in the UFC are kind of taxed, in order to put money back into the brand 'Which is the UFC etc' and this is why there is a big middle class within the sport.

I have taken a slight interest in this fight, not a hardcore UFC supporter.
because dana white is fvvvking his fighters over. i feel ufc fighters should get more than what they're getting now. and you're right, the top level ufc fighters gets pay less than some b level boxers.
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Old 01-19-2020, 06:02 AM #10
MEXICAN STYLE MEXICAN STYLE is offline
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Still want to see Conor-Malignaggi inside a boxing ring for 12 rounds LMAO the build up, press conferences & smack talk would be epic !
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