Conor McGregor's title win may not have pulled as many PPVs as the UFC first claimed 6 years ago

Conor McGregor's title win may not have pulled as many PPVs as the UFC first claimed

Impressive but not as impressive as first thought.

Looking good to exceed one million pay-per-views.


Everyone remembers the statement made by UFC president Dana White in the jubilant aftermath of UFC 189.

Over a million PPVs.

Everyone knew Conor McGregor - the new interim Featherweight champion - had arrived but White claimed he had arrived in style.

Up until last month, this was the blurb about McGregor's UFC 189 pulling power on his official profile page.


Dana prediction

However, this is how the profile reads today.

UFC 189 money

White had told reporters, before the July 11 event, that the UFC had put so much money into promoting it that it needed about a million PPVs to break even.


Further promotional dollars were then needed to shoot new promos and TV spots when defending champion Jose Aldo pulled out with a rib injury. He was replaced by Chad Mendes, whom McGregor defeated by TKO.

It appears that the final PPV figure was much lower than White first predicted.

UFC 189 World Championship Tour, The Convention Centre Dublin 31/3/2015 Conor McGregor takes Jose Aldo's belt as UFC's Dana White attempts to intervene Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The typically reliable has listed UFC 189 as pulling in approximately 825,000 pay-per-view buys. While still a great return for the UFC, that means that the promotion would not have broken even for the event.


The top return this year came from the Ronda Rousey-headlined UFC 190, which achieved more than 900,000 buys.

Considering that the UFC 190 card was arguably less attractive than 189 [for example, Shogun Rua vs. Little Nog in comparison to Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald as co-main event], Rousey's pull was incredible. The fact that she was an overwhelming favourite to beat Bethe Correia did not deter viewers.

UFC 190 was the biggest event of its stature since UFC 168 in late 2013.

When contacted by SportsJOE, a UFC spokesperson stated, 'UFC does not officially release details of PPV buys.'

One thing is for sure, UFC 194 is set to beat all other events this year.


McGregor and Aldo fight to unify the featherweight strap, Chris Weidman vs. Luke Rockhold clash for the middleweight strap and there is the small matter of Yoel Romero taking on Ronaldo Souza.

It should finally confirm McGregor as 1-million PPV man.