Conor McGregor vs. Jorge Masvidal: Still a PPV draw despite 1-5 record
Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal are the two biggest draws on the UFC roster by far at the time of this writing. Despite their in-cage struggles, McGregor and Masvidal still gather incredible amounts of attention that translates over to pay per view sales. Both fighters have sold over a million pay per views in a single event. While there are some far fetched rumors going around about the two super stars coaching the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, it makes me scratch my head at how two fighters who are a combined 1-5 since 2020 can still be such big draws.
Conor McGregor and Jorge Masvidal: Recent Struggles
Conor McGregor has not been the successful fighter everyone thought he was after he knocked out Eddie Alvarez in 2016. He went on to make infinity dollars (give or take) against Floyd Mayweather. The spectacle itself sold over four million buys and got both McGergor and Mayweather paid quite handsomely.
But since his return to mixed martial arts, Conor McGregor was notoriously dominated by Khabib Nurmagomedov which erupted in an all out brawl at UFC 229. Fourteen months later, he returned and fought and defeated the ghost of Donald Cerrone, being the lone win of his return. After that, he dropped two straight to Dustin Poirier, one by knockout and the other by doctor’s stoppage due to his leg snapping in half.
On the other hand, Masvidal has been winless since 2020. His meteoric rise started when he knocked out Darren Till and got into a brawl back stage with Leon Edwards. Then he doubled down and flying-knee’d Ben Askren in five seconds. Finally, he and Nate Diaz tricked everyone with the BMF title fight. After that, it was down hill. A boring loss to Kamaru Usman and the epic knockout from Kamaru Usman followed by a five round domination by Colby Covington have plagued Masvidal.
But these two are sure fired draws despite their recent struggles with wins. They will sell pay per views. They could revitalize a struggling The Ultimate Fighter series. Despite their 1-5 record in the current decade, McGregor and Masvidal are still bonafide superstars.
Another loss for one of these fighters will surely do any interest from the general population in. McGregor has lost too often in his comeback and Masvidal has waning interest despite him begging for a third title shot which would, admittedly, do well. But the time for them to fight is now. The winner has a revitalized career and the loser is, well, the loser.
In MMA, we’re used to the best fighting the best. It’s how the sport was conceptualized in 1992 when the UFC held the first event. Since then, it’s mostly stayed true. Prospects don’t get protected. The champ doesn’t get tune ups. Main events are (mostly) top tier adversaries with title implications.
But at 1-5, McGregor and Masvidal is a break from that. It’s a break from the norm. It also makes a hell of a lot of money.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.