UFC 257 Poirier vs McGregor 2: The magnetism and popularity of Conor McGregor
There's a simple truth when it comes to a Conor McGregor fight – the world watches. Let's take a closer look at his record-breaking popularity.
If there is one box office draw in global combat sports right now, it can only be Conor McGregor. Like Mike Tyson in his prime and Muhammad Ali before him, when McGregor fights, the world stops to tune in.
The Irishman has had just two MMA fights over the past four years. That's it. But he is still guaranteed to draw an enormous global audience for his rematch with Dustin Poirier in UFC 257 this weekend.
While Brazilian legend Anderson Silva and a handful of other fighters have claims as the greatest UFC fighter we've seen, there is no contest when it comes to the biggest drawcard in the sport's history. It's Conor "the Notorious" McGregor.
In fact a number of people became UFC fans because of McGregor, this writer included. His combination of a brilliant wit when speaking to the press and an undeniable ability to back it up with his fists has given him stratospheric wealth and popularity.
In terms of the biggest pay-per-view fights in the sport, McGregor holds four of the five most purchased fights ever.
His controversial defeat to undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov in October 2018 drew a record 2.4 million buys, a number that will take some beating. McGregor's rematch victory over Nate Diaz (1.6 million) and the preceding loss to the same fighter (1.317 million), are second and third respectively.
The outlier is a heavyweight stoush between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir back in 2009 that sits fourth with 1.3 million, equal with McGregor's UFC Lightweight Championship victory over Eddie Alvarez in 2016.
Heck, the Irishman's one attempt at boxing is the second highest PPV event in all of sports. McGregor's 10th-round loss to Floyd Mayweather drew 5.17 million purchases globally, behind only Mayweather's infamous 2015 victory over Manny Pacquiao (5.77 million).
It's clear, "Notorious" knows how to draw eyeballs. So what numbers can we expect with UFC 257? It's the first UFC PPV event of the new year. While the record set in the Khabib fight is surely safe for now, UFC 257 is still likely to be hugely successful.
If McGregor wins, his momentum and drawing power will only increase as he chases another UFC title belt. For the first time in Australia, you can watch a major UFC extravaganza on Main Event through Kayo Sports. Check out more details here.
Keen to know about more upcoming UFC fights? Check out our full UFC schedule here. If you're still not sure who to stream with, we've got a Foxtel vs Kayo comparison so you can decide which one suits you best.
Image source: Kayo Sports website