Brendan Schaub: Conor McGregor has more star power than any fighter in UFC history
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."
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.