Conor McGregor is adamant that money is not his primary motivation for taking on lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, but he still expects to make a pretty penny from the T-Mobile Arena bout.
McGregor gave a financial forecast to the media and fans gathered at the UFC 229 press conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, claiming that the event is trending to sell as much as 3.5 million pay-per-views.
“We’re estimating around 3 to 3.5 milllion [pay-per-view buys], I’d say I’ll close in around the $50 million mark,” McGregor replied when asked what his takeaway from UFC 229 would be.
“So, for a mixed martial artist to make $50 million from a mixed martial arts bout, it’s quite breathtaking. I have to thank my management stable, Paradigm Sports Management. I’ve got to thank Dana White, I’ve got to thank Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank (Fertitta) who schooled me in the game.
“The new owners…W…what’s the name…WME-IMG? Those guys as well. I haven’t really met them that much but they’ve been good to me so far — Ari (Emmanuel) and those guys. Life is good.”
The Irishman spoke about how far the game has come in such a short time while reminiscing on his March 2016 clash with Nate Diaz.
“To think where we have come from… when I fought Nate Diaz he was on $20,000 to show and $20,000 to win — the game has gone to so many new heights, so quickly and we’re just trying to keep up. And it’s a great time to be involved in the sport for myself, the fighters, the promoters, for the managers, for the media in attendance, for the fans, for everyone... times are good so let’s enjoy it. Let’s enjoy these momentous occasions,” he said.
The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion also claimed that he anticipates that he will be a billionaire by the time he’s 35 years old.
“I’m 30 now, say by about 35 I’ll be a billionaire.”