Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov are two of the best-known names in the world of Mixed Martial Arts. McGregor is a former two-division UFC champion. He is known for his impeccable striking, savage knockout power, and brash persona.
On the other hand, Nurmagomedov is the former lightweight champion and is considered the best lightweight grappler to have ever graced the UFC Octagon. The two fighters have a long-standing rivalry, which only served to elevate the hype surrounding their fight at UFC 229.
The showdown between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov did spark interest enough to generate a massive PPV for the UFC. While Nurmagomedov vs McGregor eventually became the biggest MMA PPV of all time, how does it stack up against the biggest boxing PPV fight between Mayweather vs Pacquiao? Let’s find out.
The intense rivalry between McGregor & Nurmagomedov
McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov was an intriguing mix of top-level talent spiced with fierce personal animosity. The event occurred at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 6, 2018.
The bout also marked McGregor’s return to the UFC after a brief hiatus. Adding to the hype was McGregor’s status as a former two-division champion and the most enigmatic figure in MMA. Nurmagomedov, on the other hand, had an undefeated record and a dominant fighting style.
Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov had a long-standing rivalry. The hostility between the two fighters was marked by a perpetual war of words. Both fighters resorted to exchanging dismaying insults and threats.
McGregor constantly directed insults at Nurmagomedov’s religion, culture, and identity. Nurmagomedov, mostly reserved, resorted to his own jabs in broken English.
The rivalry took an ugly turn, with the infamous bus attack adding fuel to the fire. In April 2018, McGregor and his team attacked the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn. The target of the attack was a bus carrying Nurmagomedov. Prior to the attack, Khabib had slapped one of McGregor’s teammates and his former best friend, Artem Lobov.
What was the PPV buy rate for UFC 229?
Mayweather vs Pacquiao was tabbed as “The Fight of the Century”. The event took place on May 2, 2015, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The bout featured two legendary boxers with incredible careers and each possessing multiple world titles.
With unparalleled hype and excitement, the boxing event gathered a staggering 4.6 million PPV buys. This makes it the highest-selling PPV in combat sports history. The bout generated an estimated revenue of $410 million.
Albeit, Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov clash indisputably generated extensive interest and excitement, it failed to surpass the PPV legacy set by Mayweather and Pacquiao. The clash of UFC behemoths amassed an impressive 2.4 million PPV buys. The event generated $180 million.
The bout between McGregor and Khabib has solidified its legacy as the most-watched MMA event of all time. This is a commendable achievement in its own right. However, the MMA event failed to reach the unprecedented height set by its boxing predecessor.