Conor McGregor Dropped From Important List

UFC Star Conor McGregor

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UFC superstar Conor McGregor remained the absolute best-selling UFC pay-per-view fighter in company history over the weekend, but the Irishman didn’t keep all his top spots on the list of biggest UFC pay-per-view cards ever. According to The Athletic’s Mike Coppinger, UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal sold 1.3 million pay-per-view units over the weekend, which made the event the fourth-best selling UFC pay-per-view event in history.

UFC 251 tied two other UFC pay-per-views for that spot on the list, UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir and UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor.

But McGregor’s 2015 bout against Jose Aldo at UFC 194 was bumped down behind UFC 251.

According to Tapology, the top-selling UFC pay-per-view events are as follows:

Rank Card Main Event Year Buys
1. UFC 229 Khabib vs. McGregor 2018 2.4 million
2. UFC 202 McGregor vs. Diaz 2 2016 1.6 million
3. UFC 196 McGregor vs. Diaz 2016 1.317 million
4. UFC 100 Lesnar vs. Mir 2 2009 1.3 million
4. UFC 205 Alvarez vs. McGregor 2016 1.3 million
4. UFC 251 Usman vs. Masvidal 2020 1.3 million
7. UFC 194 Aldo vs. McGregor 2015 1.2 million

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UFC 229’s Record Safe for Now

There seemed to be some idea before UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal that the record for most UFC pay-per-view sales for a single event might be in jeopardy over the weekend.

Indeed, UFC president Dana White told the media just a few days before the event that UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal was tracking better than just about any other UFC pay-per-view event in history.

In fact, White said the only comparable event he’d seen during his time helming the company was the blockbuster megafight in 2018 between UFC lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and McGregor.

Per Coppinger though, UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor still managed to nearly double the sales of UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal.


Masvidal Credited With Massive PPVs Sold

As dominant as UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman has been over the years, the person most credited in the media and by most fans with making UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal such a big event isn’t “The Nigerian Nightmare”.

Instead, people are suggesting Masvidal is the fighter people tuned in to see on fight night.

Masvidal’s 2019 was epic, and the fighter has become one of the biggest and best stars the UFC has to offer. That the company didn’t want to pay the UFC’s King of Swag the credit he so richly deserved before it was forced to after Usman’s original opponent Gilbert Burns went down just seven days before UFC 251 seems silly in hindsight.

Since taking the fight on six days’ notice, Masvidal has also been revealed to be one of the two cover athletes to grace the cover of the forthcoming EA Sports UFC 4 video game.

Now Masvidal just sold more pay-per-view units in one night than the vast majority of fighters in UFC history ever have.


McGregor vs. Masvidal?

All the available data suggests the UFC should do whatever it takes to book McGregor vs. Masvidal next.

McGregor is the single biggest draw in the sport, so putting the fighter on a big stage with another credible draw could break box-office records the UFC has never even dreamed about.

The issue is complicated by McGregor’s sudden retirement last month. On top of that, White has repeatedly told the media that he thinks Masvidal is too big for McGregor, who has only fought in the 170-pound division three times in his career.

Regardless, McGregor vs. Masvidal has become one of the hottest superfight ideas in the world over the last few months.

The latest UFC 251: Usman vs. Masvidal numbers should only add fuel to the fire.

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