There has been suggestions this week that the UFC are unhappy with Conor McGregor over his lack of media engagement so far to help promote his comeback fight against lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 on October 6th in Las Vegas, but one person who doesn’t seem overly concerned is Dana White.
Speaking to Yahoo! Sports, White revealed that he is anticipating that the clash between the two rivals will generate a staggering, record breaking number of buys on pay-per-view.
“I am confident it will do 2 million on pay-per-view,” White said – an unusually bold prediction from the UFC President, who tends to be less willing to throw around specific numbers like this.
In fact, White went on to say that he believes the showdown could even reach as high as 3 million PPV sales, which would essentially place it at double the UFC’s current record of 1.5 million for McGregor’s rematch with Nate Diaz at UFC 202 back in 2016.
On that occasion a chaotic press conference that saw Diaz’s camp and McGregor engage in launching bottles and cans at each other during fight week helped generate even more interest in an already intense feud with a compelling backstory, but this time there’s even more drama due to McGregor and has entourage having gone as far as to lay seige to a fighter bus Nurmagomedov was travelling in, throwing a steel dolly through a side window in the process.
That, plus the fact that McGregor is returning to the Octagon for the first time in two years, is coming off a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather Jr that did astronomical numbers on pay-per-view, and is going up against a fighter in Nurmagomedov who has never been beaten in his 26-fight career makes this seem like an event that’s destined to be something of a perfect storm, but it remains to be seen whether that will be enough to make White’s bold prediction come true.