It has emerged that the UFC were paid a “huge” amount by the Abu Dhabi government to stage Conor McGregor’s return to action.
UFC 257 was a roaring success as Dustin Poirer kicked his way to victory over McGregor in the main event on Fight Island, which is on Yas Island, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Millions tuned in to watch the Notorious suffer his fifth career defeat, with the event boasting the title of the second most PPV’s sold in UFC history.
But the UFC also received a huge payday from the Abu Dhabi government, according to reputable fighting reporter Dave Meltzer.
He wrote in his Wrestling Observer newsletter: “An interesting question, given the nature of the revenue, is if ESPN is kicking any money into McGregor or if it’s all coming from UFC, since the windfall he’s bringing is going to ESPN.
“UFC got a huge figure from the Abu Dhabi government for its three shows over eight days, largely based on bringing in McGregor.
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Abu Dhabi also have a reputation for shouldering most event costs they host.
UFC chief Dana White all but admitted that it was unlikely he’d get McGregor on another card soon, though he said he hoped that it would spur him on to get even better.
“Look, there is two ways this goes – hungrier or I'm done, he's got the money,” he said in the post-fight press conference.
Moment Dustin Poirier’s wife Jolie thanked 'life-saving' Conor McGregor after fight
"This is like Rocky III, when you get offered a 300 foot yacht, it is tough to be a savage when he is living like he is.
"When he was a young kid he was hungry, now he has got everything he ever wanted so I don't know, it goes this way or that way."
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