Earlier today, UFC president Dana White shut down any rumors about Conor McGregor being on the UFC 200 fight card, but that not might be the wisest decision because it could end up costing the company millions of dollars.
According to ESPN, the UFC stands to lose $45 million dollars if McGregor were left off the card.
To put it bluntly, White conservatively has 45 million reasons why he needs to let go of his rage over McGregor and just let him fight — as in $45 million he will leave on the table.
Let’s conservatively say the difference between McGregor-Diaz II and Jones-Cormier II is 500,000 buys. If we believe White’s numbers for UFC 196, plus we give that number a sharp 25 percent haircut given that McGregor lost to Diaz in early March, we’re still at 525,000 more buys. At $70 a pop, that’s $36.7 million in additional gross revenue to the UFC.
Now let’s look at ticket prices.
UFC 196 broke the UFC record for live gate revenue, at $8.1 million. Face value prices for UFC 196, which began as McGregor-Rafael dos Anjos but eventually saw Diaz stepping in, started at $204 and topped out at $1,454. For comparison, ticket prices for UFC 195 (Condit-Lawler) were $104 to $804 — and drew 3,500 fewer fans. The live gate difference between the two cards was $6 million.
That’s a lot of money to leave on the table which makes us believe that the UFC and McGregor will figure out a way to put him on the card sooner or later.