This week, UFC president Dana White predicted that UFC 189, headlined by featherweight champion Jose Aldo defending his belt against Conor McGregor, would bring in about $7 million from the live gate in Las Vegas. Speaking with MMA Fighting afterwards, the challenger claimed that he will be better paid than the champion.
So, just how much does McGregor expect to make by fighting Aldo? "More than the gate," he told Ariel Helwani.
"I’m going to make a hell of a lot of money."
According to the Irishman, fighting Aldo will represent the biggest payday of his career, because he will get a percentage of pay-per-view revenue. "By a mile," he said.
"I’m on pay-per-view now. I am on the pay-per-view cut. I will make three times more than Jose . . . and that’s still not fair."
McGregor said that not only does he believe UFC 189 will have more than a million buys — "easily," he promised — he also believes that it will supplant 2009’s UFC 100 as the best-selling promotional pay-per-view in history. "I believe so," he said.
"I believe it breaks all records. Everything I do smashes records . . . anything I touch turns to gold."
For his part, Jose Aldo has always been bravely bold in criticizing the UFC in instances he’s felt they have not paid fighters enough or adequately. Chances are, he won’t take too kindly to the claim that McGregor stands to make more money than he does from their July 11 showdown.
There is a good chance that McGregor’s claim is just another attempt to get inside the head of the champion, of course. Aldo, as the UFC’s longest-reigning and most dominant world champion, deserves to make the lion’s share of any matchup he’s a part of.
That said, there’s also little doubt that McGregor, with his English fluency (pretty much) and constant public antagonism, has been a huge part of this fight being such an anticipated event. We hope that both warriors clean up in what could very well be an epic bout.