The upcoming UFC 189 card taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on July 11 in Las Vegas is expected to be the biggest card of the year, but when it’s all said and done it might be one of the biggest cards in history.
Featherweight champion Jose Aldo puts his belt on the line against outspoken Irish upstart Conor McGregor in the most anticipated fight in the history of the 145-pound division in the night’s main event.
The bad blood between Aldo and McGregor has been simmering for months, especially after a promotional world tour where the two fighters nearly came to blows at every press conference and media gathering.
Article continues below ...
If that wasn’t enough, the card will also feature a welterweight title fight between champion Robbie Lawler and top contender Rory MacDonald in a rematch of a bout they had back in 2013. Lawler won that night by split decision, but now he’ll face MacDonald while putting his belt on the line.
All of this hype has UFC 189 trending towards huge pay-per-view numbers according to UFC president Dana White, who expects the show to surpass some of the biggest cards in history after it’s over.
"It will do over a million. It’s already tracking at over a million buys," White said on Thursday during a Q&A on Periscope.
McGregor has talked often about breaking box office records for his upcoming fight with Aldo and the card. Tickets for the event are nearly sold out already with only a few seats left available for what is also expected to be one of the largest live gates in UFC history as well.
The UFC doesn’t release pay-per-view numbers, but past reports have placed UFC 100 on July 11, 2009 as the biggest card in promotion history with approximately 1.6 million buys. Ironically enough, UFC 189 will take place exactly six years later, but can Aldo and McGregor break the all-time record?
"Conor thinks he’s going to do the biggest number ever," White said. "To be honest and realistic, I think it’s going to do over a million."
Whether UFC 189 shatters previous cards or not probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things considering only seven UFC shows have broken the one million buys barrier before. If UFC 189 joins that list by selling only one buy over a million, it will still be a monumental success for the show.