When it comes to Ultimate Fighting Championship PPV buys, the Hibernian Conor McGregor stands unchallenged as the undisputed pound-for-pound kingpin.
To date, “The Notorious” has headlined four of the five record-breaking buyrates in UFC history.
So, let’s take a look at those monumental feats…
UFC 194: Jose Aldo vs. McGregor
Following months of delay (injuries to Aldo etc), the long-awaited matchup between featherweight champ Jose Aldo and interim titleholder McGregor finally came to fruition.
What many thought would be a competitive match turned out to be anything but, as a perfectly timed counter left from McGregor slept Aldo in 13 seconds flat.
“Mystic Mac” was now the new 145-pound champ, and along with it, rocked up 1,200,00 PPV buys – at the time, the second highest in the promotions history – one slot behind UFC 100: Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir.
UFC 196: McGregor vs. Nate Diaz
McGregor was lined up to vie for Rafael dos Anjos’ lightweight strap, but that fell through as the Brazilian incurred an injury. Aldo couldn’t fill the void; citing he need more than two weeks notification for a fight of that magnitude.
To save the card, however, the SBG product turned to The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner, Stockton Brawler Nate Diaz, who took the fight on 11 days notice.
The contest was fought at welterweight (McGregor’s debut), and was supposed to be a walk in the park for the Irishman – no such thing – Diaz took home the spoils via second-round rear-naked choke submission.
Still, McGregor could sort of rest easy, knowing he’d just generated buy rates to the tune of 1,600,000, thus breaking the previous record set by UFC 100.
UFC 202: McGregor vs. Diaz 2
What McGregor wants, more times than not, McGregor gets.
So, six months removed from succumbing to an RNC, and in the process losing his 15-fight win streak (7 in the UFC), the 28-year-old’s rematch with Diaz was on.
Fought again at 170lbs, this time the five-round back-and-forth affair went to the judges scorecards. Nonetheless, with the luck of the Irish, McGregor was able to eke out a contentious majority decision.
His reward – redemption, and a new UFC pay-per-view record of 1,650,000.
UFC 205: Eddie Alvarez vs. McGregor
The historic New York card with McGregor at the helm was bound to break records aplenty.*
Still the siting champ of the 145ers, McGregor was on course to make his own personal history – the first fighter in the now-owned WME-IMG promotion to hold two belts simultaneously.
Though, standing in his way was 155-pound titlist Eddie Alvarez. Nothing doing there really, as McGregor wrested the crown from Alvarez in a one-sided beatdown – TKO victory in the second stanza.
For McGregor, it was a red panty night for all the right reasons – dual champion, and probably the highest grossing pay-per-view in the company’s nascent history.
PPV Buys/Buyrate for UFC 205 were in the region of, or exceeding 1,650,000. Those figures have yet to be substantiated.
Written by Nedu Obi