Last month, boxing superstar Canelo Alvarez signed a landmark deal with streaming service DAZN. The said contract guarantees the Mexican champion $365 million for 11 fights, giving him at least $33 million per fight.
For Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya, this kind of deal could actually give MMA fighters the same leverage to earn the same lucrative payday, especially for someone like Conor McGregor.
“That’s the beauty of being free agents. “If you have somebody behind you who’s looking out for your best interests individually, absolutely — why not?” De La Hoya told Luke Thomas on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “There’s guys out there who are phenomenal, phenomenal fighters. That can have those types of deal.
“You take a look at Conor McGregor or you take a look at these fighters who are big, household names. Imagine if Conor McGregor was an independent contractor. He can easily get a deal like that on a DAZN or an ESPN+. But obviously they’re with UFC and UFC just works differently.”
At the same time, De La Hoya recognizes that there is still a need for the traditional mediums like television to create new superstars.
“As it moves into the age of streaming, it could be very dangerous for a fighter who’s not known. For the fighter who the fan doesn’t recognize. Yeah, you can get buried on all these different platforms.
“I strongly feel that we still need linear TV in order to identity these young fighters, in order to build these young fighters into household names,” he added. “You still need that linear TV, but these deals are incredible, what’s taking place with ESPN+, with DAZN.”
De La Hoya will be making his debut in the MMA on November 24th, as the promoter for the third fight between UFC Hall-of-Famers Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz. The event takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.