Written by: PHamm
2016 was a banner year for the UFC financially.
Not since the reign of Brock Lesnar has the promotion seen a fighter, or fighters, consistently sell a million ppvs. Ronda Rousey, considered by Dana White to be the most famous MMA fighter of all time, burst onto the UFC scene in 2012 after a stint in Strikeforce. No doubt the UFC made a lot of money. However, with Rousey’s star clearly diminishing with brutal back to back losses, one must think the new ownership is feeling a little uneasy after spending billions of dollars on the promotion. If there’s one thing that the new ownership has made clear – they are in this to make money!
Which brings us to the UFC’s current “Golden Boy” in Conor McGregor. McGregor’s PPV numbers are as impressive as anything MMA has seen, even surpassing Brock Lesnar’s numbers. As impressive as the ppv buys and million dollar purses may seem, they are small potatoes compared to the amount of money that a fight with Floyd Mayweather would generate for both the UFC and McGregor, especially McGregor. So what’s the hold up ?
Dana White went on national radio last week and offered Floyd $25 million to fight Conor McGregor. Why would Dana offer him only $25 million to fight McGregor when Mayweather has made more boxing lesser names ? Dana made the offer knowing there was no way Floyd would accept. Again, why ? I’ll tell you why…
The UFC does NOT want Conor McGregor to fight Floyd Mayweather. The UFC’s motto has always been to never co-promote. The UFC has always considered themselves to be the biggest show in town, and rightfully so. However, a Floyd Mayweather fight is a whole different animal. Floyd will not fight if the money is not right, which almost certainly means he will want more than 50% share of revenues on top of a lucrative fight purse. With all of this money going to Floyd, shouldn’t the UFC still want to make the fight ? Won’t the UFC brand grow even bigger by simply co-promoting with Floyd Mayweather ?
Keep in mind that if this fight ever goes down, it will be a boxing match, not an mma fight. There is ZERO chance McGregor beats Mayweather in a boxing match, that’s just the simple truth. Therefore, by accepting Mayweather’s demands, the UFC will make anywhere near as much as a fight of this calibre should generate for them. On top of that, how will fans perceive McGregor’s fame ? There is a risk that by losing to Mayweather in convincing fashion that the McGregor brand could see a significant decline. With rousey out of the picture, can the UFC afford to lose their sole remaining cash cow ? One might say he recovered from the Nate Diaz loss just fine, but that was when they still had rousey waiting to come back. With Rousey now (most likely) gone, McGregor has become the sole cash cow.
Conor McGregor will continue chasing this fight because it is the best thing for him financially. However, this is where you see the difference between Conor’s brand and Mayweather’s empire. Mayweather is his own boss, he calls his own shots. Conor does not, and sadly never will as long as he is under the UFC’s control.