What Conor McGregor’s return means for the UFC:
By Eduardo Ramon
The Notorious Conor McGregor, the biggest superstar in the sport’s history is finally making his comeback to the Octagon after a near 2-year layoff, and it means big things for the UFC.
McGregor (21-3) last competed in MMA back in November of 2016 when he beat Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC’s first ever simultaneous two division world champion.
Despite his long layoff, Conor has remained more than relevant in the sport, staying in the pound for pound rankings ever since his KO win. His relevance is not only limited to the sport itself, but mainstream media as well, featured in commercials, receiving sponsorships from companies such as Burger King. Most notably of course he raised his net worth by millions after his 2017 pro boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather in which he lasted 10 rounds before falling to a TKO loss.
It is no secret that the UFC has not had their best numbers as of late in terms of ratings. UFC Calgary, a rather high-profile card containing 3 former champions Jose Aldo, Eddie Alvarez, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, had the lowest rating of any UFC on Fox card ever. This came as a surprise to the MMA world. That being said, if there is anybody that can bring in the viewership, it is Conor McGregor.
Essentially, his return means an almost guaranteed spike in numbers for the UFC. McGregor holds 4 of the top 5 UFC PPV buys records of all time, so it would not come as a surprise if his next bout against Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov takes the #1 all time spot in PPV buys. Considering it is already widely regarded as the biggest fight in MMA history, it might just hit previously unseen numbers.
Conor McGregor will face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 6th.