The final fight announced at the UFC’s press conference last week was UFC 229 with the long-awaited return of Conor McGregor against current lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Given the history the two have with one another relating to what happened in Brooklyn, New York the week of UFC 223 the fight has so much attention, it is expected to do very well.
Dana White spoke to TSN about it and said, “We’re looking at 2 million pay-per-view buys.” Outside of the rivalry sparked in Brooklyn for UFC 223, it was also the event that had McGregor removed as the lightweight champion. McGregor has not fought in mixed martial arts competition for over two years and his return has been long awaited by his fans.
His 2017 boxing match against Floyd Mayweather Jr. had him earn more than any mixed martial artist has ever earned fighting and speculation of his return to the sport where he held two titles was cause for concern. White said they had to wait for the legal issues from New York to be resolved before they could move forward getting Nurmagomedov and McGregor to agree to face one another.
“This is a fight between two straight killers. Everybody agreed to this fight, everybody wanted this fight.” –Dana White
While no world tour is planned between now and October White said they would try to do “something fun” before they face off this fall. UFC 229 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and happens just before the UFC returns to New York City in November for UFC 230 at Madison Square Garden. With a main event like Nurmagomedov vs. McGregor and no main event yet announced for Madison Square Garden, one has to wonder what could be bigger than UFC 229.
Do you think UFC 229 will produce the numbers White is expecting?