Dana White says UFC 229 is trending close to 3 million pay-per-view buys

Featuring the grudge match between UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor, UFC President Dana White has long touted UFC 229 to be the biggest event in promotion history.

Now, White predicts the event will be even bigger – 1 million pay-per-view (PPV) buys bigger.

“I told you guys we were trending at close to 2 million pay-per-view buys,” White told ESPN [H/T Sherdog]. “We’re closer to 3 million now. We’re trending close to 3 million pay-per-view buys for this fight.”

The prediction is based off a number of metrics, some of which White claims to be already beating out those of the blockbuster boxing bout between McGregor and Floyd Mayweather.

Also, White indicated the travelling army of British and Irish fight fans who bought tickets have helped boost the event to be the UFC’s second-biggest gate ever.

“This thing’s breaking every record we’ve ever had as far as numbers go,” White said. “If you look at Mayweather-McGregor, the first episode of Embedded in 24 hours did 800,000 views. This one’s at 1.7 million in 24 hours. I could just go on for days with numbers and how it’s scaling. It’s gonna be big.

“Obviously Conor’s been gone for a couple years and he’s coming back and taking on the biggest, nastiest, toughest guy out there right now. Undefeated, 26-0, never lost a round. Khabib is the guy. Conor is so big and famous and people love watching him fight because this is the stuff he does. He goes right after everybody. He doesn’t care. If you’re a fight fan you love it.

“Massive ticket sales from the U.K. and Ireland,” White added. “This is also the largest gate in Vegas we’ve ever done and the second biggest gate ever in UFC history. This thing’s gonna come in at $17 million. [Madison Square Garden] was $18 million.

“This is the biggest fight we’ve ever done. We don’t ever sell the Zuffa section, the section behind me. No fighters got tickets to this fight. Daniel Cormier will be there. He bought three tickets. I bought tickets. [UFC owner] Ari Emanuel bought tickets. Everybody paid for their tickets. This is the first time ever we split the media section in half. We sold half of that section and the other half is media. Never done that before either.”

UFC 229 is set to take place in Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Saturday October 6th. 

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes

Jake Hughes is an MMA writer who has covered the sport since 2013 for publications such as Vice Sports, Fightland, Sherdog and now Fighters Only, where he serves as freelance digital editor.