Last month, UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor (pictured) boasted that he had surpassed former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar as the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw.
“It is not safe to say. It is fact to say [I’ve overtaken Brock]. I hold PPV, Gate, TV, Fightpass and Embedded record. Even Title fight KO,” McGregor tweeted.
Because the UFC is a privately-owned company, PPV sales are held under lock and key. However, various media outlets, and sometimes even UFC president Dana White, have reported the UFC’s successes in the PPV pond.
UFC 100 in 2009, which saw Lesnar beat Frank Mir in the main event to retain his title, still owns the company’s top spot with a reported 1.6 million buys. Lesnar also holds the fourth slot with UFC 116 at 1.16 million buys. However, McGregor already owns the spots in between through just eight UFC outings.
McGregor has served as the main event in his last three fights. UFC 196 in March, where McGergor was upset by Nate Diaz in the featured contest, comes in second with 1.5 million buys and UFC 194, where McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds, takes third place.
These numbers haven’t been confirmed, but they are widely used to measure the UFC’s PPV successes. Although Lesnar still holds the top spot with UFC 100, UFC 196 cost $10 more than UFC 100 did back in 2009 so revenue-wise, that’s likely why McGregor claims to be the UFC’s new PPV king.
Nonetheless, Lesnar couldn’t care less because he got paid for UFC 100 and will likely make even more for his MMA return at UFC 200.
“I don’t know him. I know of Conor McGregor,” Lesnar said on SportsCenter. “This sport has evolved even from when I first entered the octagon. I think people are finding out that you have to talk the talk, and more importantly, you have to walk the walk. For guys that can talk and walk the walk, I think it’s great. I think it’s great for the company. I’ve got no qualms with anybody. If somebody wants to state that they’re the biggest pay-per-view draw in the world, I don’t care.
“I’ve never come out and said, ‘I hold the most pay-per-view buys.’ All I know is what I got paid and I’m happy. Like I said, I’m a prize fighter. I don’t hang my championship trophies on the walls because they don’t pay the bills.”
McGregor gets his rematch against Diaz at UFC 202. That PPV broadcast will likely challenge UFC 100 for the top spot.