UFC 200 sales look set to prove how much they missed Conor McGregor
The Dubliner remains a hugely valuable draw for the organisation14:00 Friday 15 July 2016, 14:00 15 Jul 2016
UFC 200 faced a number of problems in the buildup, from the loss of Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz as one of the main events, to the late doping test that ruled Jon Jones out of his bout with Daniel Cormier.
All those troubles look to have had an effect on the pay-per-view (PPV) sales that the event was able to drive, despite the fact that the gate was reportedly over $10 million.
Speaking on ESPN Radio, Dave Meltzer confirmed reports that current figures for UFC 200, while still strong, were not as high as UFC 100, nor did they reach the records set by recent events which featured Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.
At the moment, Metlzer confirming my report that trends for UFC 200 indicate it did not top UFC 100 or recent McGregor or Rousey PPVs #ufc— MMA Supremacy (@MMASupremacy) 14 July 2016
Despite being the probably biggest PPV in terms of talent that the organisation has hosted, Brock Lesnar became the biggest draw at the event given all the withdrawals.
Meltzer notes that McGregor's falling out opened the door for Lesnar to return, and it may have hurt all parties involved: "it was just a power play that was so ill-conceived and so ill-advised, and it screwed him out of the show and it hurt UFC too. I think if Conor was on the show, it would have done bigger numbers than it did."
With the sale of the UFC taking place recently for a figure in the region of $4 billion, the decrease won't be very welcome news for the new owners.
Lesnar himself won't mind too much however, as he is set to take home a record purse, no matter what the final figures of PPV sales are - a guaranteed $2.5 million, which could rise as high as $8 million. The previous highest was Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
However, with UFC 202 around the corner in August, there's a chance for Conor McGregor to once again prove that he's the sport's biggest star at the moment.
As for the Fertitta brothers, Meltzer suggested that they might want to invest their newfound billions in an NFL team, but that would have to take the form of them financing a stadium, as they're involved in a number of casinos in Las Vegas and therefore could not get involved in the team itself.
The lower than record numbers don't look set to have a huge effect on the UFC however, as a possible bidding war in 2018 for the rights may well be another big coup for the company and its new owners, according to Meltzer: "is popularity growing? Who the hell knows, but revenue is growing in the short term, it looks like that's going to happen."
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