Around the time Georges St-Pierre retired and Anderson Silva lost his middleweight title, Dana White would have dreamt of a fighter to come and revive the organisation – Conor McGregor is better than anyone he can have ever imagined.

The Irishman cannot claim anywhere near the fighting accomplishments of those two legends but in terms of numbers, which is what his employers care most about, McGregor is light-years ahead of either of them. This past weekend confirms it.

After just six fights in the UFC, he has become the biggest draw in the sport.

In terms of live events, UFC 189 broke every United States record, with an attendance of 16,019, a $7.2m gate and 11,500 people turning out for the weigh-ins.

The pay-per-view numbers are not yet in, however, when Dana White was asked whether he thought the event would hit one million buys, he gave a wry smile and said, “Pay-per-view is looking good.”

It is that same smile in McGregor’s direction that often earns him criticism. Who can blame him for showing favouritism for his golden boy? At the end of the day, he is a businessman and he is in this to make money – McGregor is the perfect employee. He possesses a rare charisma and a wickedly exciting fighting style that together lead to big cheques.

The fact that this event made so much money, despite Jose Aldo’s rib injury, proved definitively that the people are turning up to see “The Notorious”. At this point, he could fighting anyone and the thing would sell-out.

But next time he turns out, it will not be against just anybody. He will be opposite the only ever UFC featherweight champion, the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world: Jose Aldo. If last weekend’s event, with McGregor pitted against a man twice beaten by Aldo, comes close to one million PPV buys then the mind boggles at how many people will buy Aldo versus McGregor. Especially now because after this weekend, the hype surrounding the newly crowned interim champion is reaching never before seen levels.

The UFC president is licking his lips at the prospect of Aldo’s return: “The Aldo fight is even bigger than it was this time,” White said. “It’s even bigger. And me and Lorenzo have already talked about it. We’re gonna spend even more money than we did this time. We’ve gotta try to top the last commercial and that shit.”

With that in mind, it is not crazy to speculate whether that fight could break the PPV record of 1.6m buys, set at UFC 100. If he were to manage that, then he would undoubtedly be the biggest star the UFC have ever had at their disposal.

About The Author

Barnaby Kellaway
Staff Writer

Barnaby Kellaway is a sports journalist specializing in Mixed Martial Arts. Being a sports fanatic all his life, he knew whatever career he aspired to it had to be in sports. Being a Brit he started with football and rugby but then a few years back he discovered MMA; this was when his aspiration became his focus. He studied from the basics all the way up to the most minute intricacies of the sport and now finds himself in a position where writing about it is his passion.