Over the past week, featherweight champion Jose Aldo and brash Irishman Conor McGregor have been paraded halfway across the world for a world tour event to promote the "biggest featherweight fight in history." While that slogan appears to be a promotional tactic to generate hyperbole, it appears that the UFC executives, including President Dana White, believe it to be the case.
"This thing is going to go in seconds," White told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani. "It will do a $7 million gate. When we were in Toronto, we did 65,000 seats, or 56,000, one of the two, for a $12 million gate. This is 16,000 seats for a $7 million gate.
One half of the UFC 189 main event, Conor McGregor, was also asked about the figure and confidently confirmed that it met his own expectations of the event as well. He even added that he plans to earn more than that gate in his fight purse.
"Money-wise? (I will make) more than the gate. I will make a hell of a lot of money."
Given that the expenses behind a World Tour of this scale, White clearly believes that he is promoting the biggest fight of the year on that date.
"We ain't out her spending the money cause we didn't expect it. That was my vision: this thing was going to be the biggest fight of the year and coming off the biggest first quarter that this company has ever had. Ever. That is saying a lot because we've had some pretty good years. This first quarter was the best in this company's history.