The biggest pay-per-view star the UFC has ever had is Conor McGregor. The Irishman has a fan base that is larger than the populations of some nations.
Because of his enormous social media reach and fan base, “Notorious” is able to market anything he wants, not only his battles. Conor McGregor has entirely altered his fortune through business decisions, going from relying on social welfare payments to earning nine-figure salaries.
Conor McGregor made a decision that undoubtedly changed his life by switching to mixed martial arts, but the Irishman did not stop there. Due to his desire for wealth, the former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion made financial decisions that made him a success case study.
— Advisory Excellence (@_aenetworking) September 26, 2022
Conor McGregor worked as a plumber’s apprentice in Dublin, Ireland, before he rose to the status of smack-talking, money-making MMA superstar. He entered the UFC after garnering attention for his high level of striking intelligence while earning roughly $150 each fight in Cage Warriors.
The earnings quickly increased as “Notorious” continued to enhance his reputation by receiving frequent mentions on news channels. Starting in 2016, his pay increased to approximately $3 million per fight. He won $18 million for his six UFC victories over Dustin Poirier, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Eddie Alvarez, and Nate Diaz (twice).
The first UFC fighter to get million-dollar compensation checks for events was Conor McGregor. He earned $5 million from his last appearance at UFC 257 versus Dustin Poirier. These numbers only reflect McGregor’s base compensation for the fights; they do not account for his cut of the PPV sales.
Conor McGregor made his professional boxing debut in 2017, which turned out to be one of the highest-paid debuts ever. On August 26, 2017, he took on Floyd Mayweather in the “Money Fight,” which has been called one of the biggest battles in sports history.
Conor McGregor reportedly earned close to $100 million for the battle, despite losing the fight by TKO in the tenth round. The Irishman undoubtedly made more than five times as much money as his previous largest payday, even if the reported sum was pre-tax.
A staggering 4.3 million people bought the “Money Fight” on pay-per-view, bringing in more than $550 million in income. The Irishman introduced the “Proper No. 12” brand a year later.
Suitable No. 12 Conor McGregor’s first foray outside of combat sports was Irish Whiskey. With the help of the sportsman’s showmanship, the brand made close to $1 billion in sales in its first year.
Additionally, Conor McGregor did a great job at marketing his whiskey. The fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury 2 at the MGM Arena in Nevada in February 2020 was sponsored by “Proper No. 12.” When McGregor and the UFC agreed to a six-fight deal in 2018, Proper No. 12 also agreed to appear as a sponsor on each card the Irishman competes on.
Proximo Spirits paid $600 million to acquire the majority of Proper No. 12 on April 28, 2021. Previously, the corporation had 49% of the equity in the liquor brand. Although the exact amount Conor McGregor made from the contract is unknown, it was likely pretty significant.