Though trending data ahead of UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor pointed to 3-million-plus pay-per-view buys, UFC president Dana White admitted on Monday that it didn’t live up to that magic mark.
Just a quick scan through social media feeds and Youtube videos would be enough to indicate the enormity of Conor McGregor’s return to the octagon to challenge UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov on Saturday in Las Vegas, but White had said early on that the UFC 229 event was expected to do more than 2 million PPV buys.
As the excitement for the bout grew following a special press conference with McGregor and Nurmagomedov at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, expectations rose with the excitement.
In the final days before the event, White indicated that the latest date was trending for a potential monster return of more than 3 million PPV buys on Saturday.
That apparently didn’t happen, although White was pleased with the outcome.
“The pay-per-view numbers are starting to roll in, so I’m in a much better mood than I was on Saturday,” White told TMZ Sports on Monday.
“We didn’t do 3 million (pay-per-view buys), but it’s so hard to crack 2 million. Even (Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield) was at like 1.995 (million buys). Things like that didn’t crack 2 million. We’re way over 2 million, so I’m happy.”
What the final tally will be for pay-per-view buys likely won’t be known for a few weeks, but by now, White certainly has enough information that, while the upper end of the spectrum wasn’t reached, UFC 229 did large enough numbers to make it the best selling pay-per-view event in UFC history.