The upside of Conor McGregor's UFC 257 loss
24 Jan 2021
UFC 257 comes to a close with Conor McGregor getting another loss on his record.
There's more to be said on Dustin Poirier's growth as a fighter, and whilst the detractors have being building for some time, it makes you wonder if at this stage, is a loss for McGregor such a bad thing?
It's not a secret he's been pulling big pay-per-view numbers for some time now. His match up with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 for the UFC Lightweight Championship had a buy rate of 2.5 million on pay-per-view. Without taking away from Khabib's popularity, he occupies at least 4 more positions in the UFC's top 10 PPV sales.
Similarly, that's not to take away from Dustin Poirier - someone whose evolution as a fighter and MMA record holds some of the top names in the sport.
So, is having a rematch in the pipeline really such a bad thing?
You might argue that it's not like he's going through the division crushing opponents on a tear as he did in his pre-Champ Champ days. But, whilst he's still able to pull big numbers (UFC 257's early predicted buys at 1.5 million) and cut a profit from the PPV sales, McGregor's brand is still able to earn big money in the octagon.
He's handled defeat gracefully before, and rematched for what was then the highest spot in PPV sales (before his rematch with Khabib, at UFC 202 - Nate Diaz Vs. McGregor 2) to exact a loss and still fans and media alike are keen to mention a rematch nearly 5 years down the line.
Making a decent $5 million against an old foe in Dustin Poirier, whilst taking a loss, isn't such a bad thing when you're taking a cut of those buys. The question of a rematch ups the intrigue and potentially the buy rate for McGregor and Poirier alike, and keeps a level of interest around McGregor.