Since his arrival in the UFC, Conor McGregor has been all about making more money of any fighter in the history of the sport, and following his 13-second drubbing of Jose Aldo at UFC 194, he might just get his wish.
McGregor earned $550,000 in disclosed money for his performance over Aldo ($500,000 base pay plus a $50,000 bonus for “Performance of the Night”) but that doesn’t account for the back end for pay-per-view, which will likely push his payday to somewhere between $5 to $8 million when it’s all said and done.
McGregor’s money-making ability even had UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta telling ESPN on Tuesday that the Irish fighter will "be our first $100 millionaire."
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With that kind of money and draw also comes a whole lot of negotiating power, and former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub says we may be seeing the first time in history where a fighter is bigger than the promotion in terms of making and seeking demands to receive whatever he wants financially.
"If I’m Conor McGregor, I say I’m not doing s–t till you give me $20 million a fight. That’s how much power I think that kid has right now," Schaub said when speaking on the "Joe Rogan Podcast" recently. "He has the most power I’ve ever seen a UFC fighter (have). He has a nation behind him. He could sell out 80,000 (seats)."
McGregor’s star power is hard to deny considering the money he’s pulled in at the box office and through pay-per-view in 2015 alone.
His year started out in January while headlining a card on FS1, with more than 3.1 million viewers tuning in to watch his bout with Dennis Siver. Business picked up again in July when McGregor helped produce a $7.2 million gate and one of the highest-earning pay-per-views of the year at UFC 189 going up against Chad Mendes.
Finally, last Saturday night McGregor raked in a whopping $10.1 million gate for his fight with Aldo. According to UFC officials at the post-fight press conference, the pay-per-view is trending to become the biggest of 2015 and possibly the biggest of all time.
Those kinds of numbers all equal out to McGregor getting paid a lot of money now and probably even a whole lot more in the future.
"He’s a bigger star than (Brock) Lesnar now," Schaub said about McGregor. "We’ve never seen a star like this and for the first time Conor’s bigger than the UFC. He can go, ‘I want this amount of money or I’m not doing s–t for you.’ I love it."
McGregor has bragged in the past that he wanted to be the first UFC fighter to ink a $100 million contract, and considering the kind of year he’s had, it’s going to be hard to deny him a hefty payday when he returns to action next year.