Conor McGregor’s star power continues to grow, and his fight with Nate Diaz is making UFC 196 one of the biggest pay-per-views in the history of combat sports. Tickets are in high demand, and they are being sold for unusually high prices for the event at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Seats for UFC 196 are still available through Ticketmaster a day before the PPV, ranging from $304 for the cheapest tickets to $1,454 for ringside seats. The middle-tier seats can be had for anywhere between $454 and $954, and tickets are going for more than usual on the secondary ticket market.
Tickets at Vivid Seats can be purchased for as low as $256 for seats in the upper bowl of the arena, and the median price of tickets on the website is $890. Tickets for UFC 197, which will be headlined by Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones on April 23 at the same venue, have a median price of $453, with the least expensive ticket going for $168.
Considering the performances of the previous PPVs that McGregor has headlined, it should come as no surprise that UFC 196 is generating so much interest. McGregor’s featherweight title fight with Jose Aldo highlighted UFC 194 at MGM Grand Garden Arena, and the announced attendance of 16,516 helped the event generate a live gate of $10.1 million, ranking second in UFC history. Only UFC 129, which featured an attendance of nearly 56,000 fans at Rogers Centre in Toronto, generated more money in ticket sales.
While UFC doesn’t release numbers for individual PPV’s, UFC 194 is expected to have sold more than 1 million buys, ranking in the top three in terms of all-time sales. When Jones defeated Cormier in their first fight at UFC 182 14 months ago, the PPV reportedly drew 11,575 fans at MGM Grand Garden Arena, totaling a live gate of $3.7 million.
McGregor appears to have surpassed Ronda Rousey, who had been UFC’s biggest star until she lost to Holly Holm at UFC 193. UFC paid him $500,000 to fight Aldo, in addition to sponsorships and the portion of the PPV revenue he earned. UFC CEO and Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta has predicted that McGregor will be the first UFC fighter to make $100 million.
Diaz hasn’t fought on PPV since UFC 141 in December 2011. Nearly 14,000 fans attended the event, which was headlined by Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem. UFC 196 marks the first time that Diaz will be in the main event of a PPV, nearly nine years after making his debut with the company.
UFC 196 also features Holm vs. Miesha Tate. Holm is defending the women's bantamweight title for the first time since beating Rousey at UFC 193. That PPV reportedly generated over 1 million buys in front of more than 56,000 fans in Australia.