Conor McGregor Just Made Nate Diaz A Very Rich Man

I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we’d undoubtedly take a brutal ass whooping from a professional fighter if we stood to make millions on it. We go to the hospital, get a relaxing morphine drip, maybe get some sympathy booty from the nurses who just saw us get our shit pushed in on TV. Besides our faces swelling to beyond recognition and possible CTE that will make us want to shoot ourselves in 20 years, it would be a lucrative night to be fighting UFC 196, win or lose.

And that it was, bro. That it was.

You may remember Conor McGregor telling CNBC before last night’s fight that he expects to “breeze past the $10 million mark.” You may also remember the Irishman taunting his opponent’s UFC earnings, by mocking Diaz’s last fight’s meager $40,000 purse by declaring “I wipe my ass with that money. I tip with that money.”

Diaz’s response was excellent.

“Who gives a fuck? What is this, the money channel?”

(That joke is a half-step up from a ‘toilet store’ gag. Which is why I respect it.)

The fact of the matter is is that the UFC 196 fight made Conor McGregor ‘fuck you money’ rich and made Nate Diaz ‘screw you money’ rich.

No, no, Nate. I said ‘screw you’ money. Don’t bring obscenities into this.

Conor just pulled in $1 million for last night’s loss just for showing up, the largest purse in the history of the sport, surpassing the $800,000 earned by Anderson Silva at UFC 183 last year. He also received a cool $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus and a $40,000 Reebok sponsorship, according to MMA Manifesto–all totaling to $1,090,000.

Diaz, whose combined professional winnings sums to an estimated $2 million, earned $500,000 for fighting, plus a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus, $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus, $20,000 Reebok sponsorship–all totaling to $620,000.

But we’ve yet to even mention revenues from pay-per-view and ticket sales.

Although the PPV numbers have yet to be released at the time of me writing this, according to Business site City A.M., previously reported figures indicate that once an event gets over 100,000 buys each fighter earns $1 from every purchase, but that rises to $3 when that hits 500,000 buys.

If we’re using McGregor’s 13-second Jose Aldo knockout back in December as a benchmark– which amassed 1.2m pay-per-view buys, the second-highest in UFC history–Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz would have added $2.3 million more to their purse/sponsorship winnings, assuming their PPV deals are equal.

Oh, yes. And they get a fat cut of the ticket sales. The McGregor Aldo fight garnered the highest gate receipts in its history at $10.1 million. And considering the median price for a seat at last night’s UFC 196 hovered around $890 in the days leading up to the fight and 9,000 fans showed up just for the weigh-in, its safe to deem the two events comparable. Each competitors cut of the ticket sales hasn’t been made public, but I think it’s safe to tack on a couple more mill to final haul.

Bottom line, I don’t think McGregor was speaking in hyperbole when he said he’s going to breeze past $10 million. But his opponent not only punched his ticket into the multi-millionaire club, he got an invaluable W to go with it. Can’t put a price tag on that.

P.S. Don’t you wish someone would hand you $10 mill for losing? I lose everyday and I’m up to my eye balls in debt. The luck of the Irish I guess.

[h/t City A.M.]

Matt Keohan Avatar
Matt’s love of writing was born during a sixth grade assembly when it was announced that his essay titled “Why Drugs Are Bad” had taken first prize in D.A.R.E.’s grade-wide contest. The anti-drug people gave him a $50 savings bond for his brave contribution to crime-fighting, and upon the bond’s maturity 10 years later, he used it to buy his very first bag of marijuana.