Lorenzo Fertitta: Conor McGregor will be UFC's first $100 million fighter

Ryan McKinnell
Cagewriter

Ever since arriving on the MMA scene in early 2013, Conor McGregor told everyone who would listen that the ‘game’ was his.

Conor McGregor leaves the Octagon after his first-round knockout of Jose Aldo. (Getty)
Conor McGregor leaves the Octagon after his first-round knockout of Jose Aldo. (Getty)

He said he would take the belts, the record gates, and the hefty paychecks – and he would do it all in style.

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On Saturday, “Mystic Mac” proved even his most ardent detractors wrong, when he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds.

So, with a new, shiny UFC strap to his collection, a record $10 million gate at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and a rumored 1 million-plus PPV outing, McGregor is well on his way to stratospheric levels of MMA superstardom – in just seven UFC fights no less.

Now, believing in yourself and making outrageous proclamations is one thing. But what happens when your boss – who is also a successful Las Vegas casino mogul – starts singing your praises?

Zuffa co-owner and Station Casinos bossman Lorenzo Fertitta recently told ESPN that McGregor will be “our first one-hundred millionaire.”

Fertitta would go on to say that McGregor’s flashy knockout of former pound-for-pound great Aldo ‘left people wanting more.’

Over McGregor’s short but impressive pay-per-view career, the numbers have increased with each fight: UFC 178 did an estimated 205,000 while UFC 189 came in at 825,000. With Saturday’s UFC 194 hovering around seven figures, McGregor keeps gaining momentum with little end in sight.

At UFC 194, McGregor earned a disclosed $500,000 (plus an extra 50K courtesy of the UFC as a post-fight performance bonus), and that doesn’t include whatever bonuses the UFC will heap upon him behind close doors – and be sure, that will be a considerable amount when his boss is telling everyone that he's going to make a $100 million in his career.

With Hollywood beckoning and the shiny new gold strap attached to his hip, it’s easy to forget that his title is just that – new.

Then again, there are few, if any, like McGregor. And perhaps the man himself put it best at Saturday’s UFC 194 post-fight press conference.

Lorenzo Fertitta (Getty)
Lorenzo Fertitta (Getty)

When asked about Mayweather-Pacquiao comparisons, and his place in the sport, McGregor grinned and let the press have it.

“A $72 million gate [for Mayweather-Pacquiao]?” McGregor asked. “We did $10.1 [million]. I’m catching up. I’m only 27. Them [expletives] are 40. I said to Lorenzo [Fertitta] and I said to Dana [White, the UFC president], I’m bringing these big numbers. I’m bringing these half-a-billion revenue numbers like Mayweather and Pacquiao have done.

“At 27 years of age, I stand here as the unified world champion [with] back-to-back gate records at the MGM. This is trending as the highest pay-per-view of all time for UFC. I’m 27 years of age with every record in the book.”

 

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