White announced at the post-fight press conference that he expects Saturday’s event at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas will garner between 1.7 and 1.8 million buys when all the data is collected. That would equate to an approximate revenue range of $118,983,000 and $125,982,000 at the event’s standard price tag of $69.99.
White said the event was over 1.2 million buys by 8 p.m., or one hour after the pay-per-view began. He noted beforehand that the record for pre-buys were broken for Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor’s trilogy and a 2 million buyrate was possible.
“I have to be careful with this stuff now that we’re a public company – I can’t go shooting my mouth off and have it be completely wrong,” White said. “But I’m going to say we came in anywhere between 1.7 and 1.8 million.”
Although pay-per-view figures are not released to the public, it is believed that UFC 229 remains the most successful event in UFC history with a buyrate of 2.4 million. That show featured McGregor’s showdown with now-former lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov and also set the live gate record for an MMA event in Nevada with a $17.2 million haul for tickets.
McGregor’s third meeting with Poirier generated $15,759,800 in ticket sales, according to the UFC, placing it second on Nevada’s all-time list and third in total event revenue for the promotion. McGregor, the UFC’s top draw, occupies the top three spots in Nevada live MMA gates.
The UFC in January increased its pay-per-view price for the second time since joining with ESPN as a broadcast partner. The increase coincided with McGregor’s rematch with Poirier at UFC 257 that ended in his first knockout loss.
The UFC has been a revenue leader for its parent company, Endeavor, during the pandemic due to its ability to promote events.
In the trilogy, Poirier picked up a first-round TKO via doctor’s stoppage when McGregor reportedly broke his ankle and was unable to continue. Poirier nearly earned a finish by TKO due to strikes after a competitive start to the fight.