If you ask Conor McGregor, it’s been one heck of a year for his pocketbook, and he has no problem telling you about it.
When asked what he expects to make for UFC 205 at yesterday’s press conference promoting the card, McGregor got specific about what he’ll end up making in 2016. “I feel by the time 2016 closes out, I’ll be closing in on $40 million… It’s been a damn good year.”
While considering this is McGregor we’re talking about, he’s likely exaggerating, yet he may not be too far off. UFC 205 will be his third main event this year and the first two alone have totaled over 3 million pay-per-view buys. When you add in anywhere from 1.5-2 million buys that UFC 205 might do and that’s a lot of money in McGregor’s pocket.
McGregor made a disclosed base pay of $3 million for his UFC 202 fight with Nate Diaz and much more when his pay-per-view points are added in. How much more is not disclosed, but it would be many more millions.
For perspective, 2014 was a down year for pay-per-view with injuries and the absences of Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva. With that said, they still did about 3.275 million pay-per-view buys and were profitable for the year. McGregor has just about matched that with his two fights with Diaz and will surpass it substantially after UFC 205.
If you calculate based off of UFC getting about $25 per pay-per-view buy (they would get even more from HD purchases and online purchases), McGregor has already brought in over $80 million in revenue to the company just on pay-per-view buys, with likely another $40 million on the way. If you take McGregor off of those shows, they don’t earn anywhere close to that so to say that McGregor deserves one-third of that $120 million isn’t outrageous.
So the idea that Conor McGregor is worth $40 million to UFC this year isn’t a crazy exaggeration actually. He might not get it, but he certainly deserves it.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Only McGregor and the UFC know exactly what he’s making this year, but when you look at what UFC was sold for last year and how much money he’s earned the company single-handedly, you can’t fault him when he holds out for more money, because he’s clearly worth it. If McGregor earns $40 million this year, then good for him, he earned it. UFC is still laughing all the way to the bank.