- Conor McGregor suffered the first knockout loss of his career at UFC 257.
- The event generated 43M social media engagements and 100,000 mentions for the UFC during fight week.
- According to the Sports Business Journal, UFC 257 had 1.2M buys in the United States and 400K globally, or a total of 1.6M PPV buys.
Conor McGregor lost to Dustin Porier at UFC 257 but losing the fight is just one aspect of the sport. The loss that McGregor suffered in his MMA record was the only setback in what was otherwise a highly successful event for the UFC.
Win or lose, McGregor continues to be the central figure that transcends the sport.
Winning With a Loss
Win or lose, Conor McGregor remains a pivotal character that has transcended an entire [email protected]MMA generated 22.7 million online engagements during #UFC257 and had almost 2x more mentions than @DustinPoirier.
Our data featured in @SportsPro: https://t.co/GrTWnEFpTW
— Nielsen Sports (@nielsensports) January 27, 2021
While it was Poirier who knocked out McGregor and picked up the biggest win of his MMA career, it was McGregor who drew 10 times more online engagements than Poirier at 22.7M against 2.3M during the build-up to UFC 257. The Notorious also topped the Diamond in mentions by a factor of 1.7, getting 76,000 mentions on fight week, and 49,000 during the event.
McGregor’s massive social media following of more than 56M also gained 439,000 new followers. On the other hand, fighting McGregor enabled Poirier to add 520,000 new followers to his own social media accounts. For a fighter who is trying to promote his charity The Good Fight Foundation and sell his Louisiana Hot Sauce, that’s a massive victory for Poirier.
Consequently, UFC 257 was also a huge social media victory for the UFC. According to the Nielsen Sports data, the organization generated 43M engagements and close to 100,000 mentions throughout fight week. With the UFC using social media metrics to gauge potential PPV buy rates, it’s obvious that the promotion had a PPV hit last weekend.
UFC 257 Was a PPV Hit
Overseas buys are set to take total PPV sales past 1.6m, though UFC 229 remains the MMA promotion’s most popular event with 2.4m buys #UFC257 #SportsBiz https://t.co/mE8dW3V4Jr
— SportsPro (@SportsPro) January 26, 2021
According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, UFC 257 fetched a cool 1.2M buys in the United States and another 400K internationally. Although the numbers pale in comparison with UFC 229 which fetched a record 2.4M PPV buys, earning 1.6M buys in the first event of the year is pretty impressive.
In 2020, there were only two PPV events that topped the 1M PPV hit mark. UFC 251: Usman vs Masvidal was the top grosser of 2020 with a total of 1.3M PPV buys. The only other event to hit the mark was UFC 246 where McGregor fought Donald Cerrone. That event had 1M PPV Buys. UFC 253, headlined by Israel Adesanya came in third with 700K buys. UFC 249 where Tony Ferguson fought Justin Gaethje also had 700K buys while Khabib’s last fight at UFC 254 only garnered 675K PPV buys.
Seven out of the Top 8 grossing PPV events in UFC history, including the Top 5, were headlined by Conor McGregor. UFC 196, where he lost to Nate Diaz, had 1.3M PPV buys. McGregor asked for an immediate rematch and it happened at UFC 202. That event generated 1.6M PPV hits. Imagine what a trilogy fight against Dustin Poirier will make.
McGregor Still Favored over Poirier
Conor McGregor opens up as a favorite in a potential trilogy fight with Dustin Poirier:
Conor McGregor -140 (5/7)
Dustin Poirier +120 (6/5)
(odds via @betonline_ag) #UFC257 pic.twitter.com/typhVRrouY
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) January 24, 2021
Despite getting knocked out last weekend, the best UFC betting sites are picking McGregor to beat Poirier in a trilogy fight. According to BetOnline, the Irishman is a slight -140 to beat The Diamond in a third meeting. But Poirier isn’t even whom the oddsmakers favor to be his next opponent.
According to SportsBetting.ag, the frontrunner to win the next McGregor sweepstakes is Nate Diaz at +200. Just like in his matchup with Poirier, McGregor and Diaz are 1-1 and similarly, it needs closure via a third fight. Diaz though, has not fought since November 2019, when he lost to Jorge Masvidal in the BMF title fight.
Other betting favorites to fight McGregor next are Justin Gaethje (+300), Tony Ferguson (+600), Jorge Masvidal (+800), Michael Chandler (+1000), and Charles Oliveira (+1200). McGregor is just 5th in the current oddsboard to be the lightweight champion by the end of 2021 at just +800. But then again, having McGregor on the opposite corner is what really matters.