UFC Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor Defends His Pay-Per-View Buy Records in Twitter Row With Showtime Executive Steven Espinoza…
Conor McGregor is back at it again folks. The Irishman just can’t keep off Twitter these days. This time he’s united forces with UFC President Dana White to attack Showtime executive Steven Espinoza in a row over pay-per-view buys.
The feud ignited when Espinoza revealed how many PPV buys were sold when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas last August. These figures have been of interest to fans and journalists alike because of the high-profile nature of the event. Arguably it was promoted more for its value as a spectacle than for its actual competitive nature.
However, the controversy arose when Espinoza squashed Dana White’s statement that the event broke all fight records. Earlier this week, White told Yahoo! Sports that the event sold 6.7 million.This figure would have broken the all-time record of PPV buys. However, Showtime’s Espinoza cited a much lower figure, creating a furious Twitter exchange, with McGregor getting involved.
Tell The Truth!
Espinoza came out in staunch defence of Showtime on Twitter. The official numbers for the event, as revealed by the promotion, was 4.3 million buys. This places Mayweather – McGregor second in the record books behind Mayweather – Pacquaio. The latter event sold 4.6 million buys.
Sounds like he's upset because we committed the cardinal sin of telling the truth (when we released the accurate total for N. American PPV buys on MayMac).
Strange that telling the truth, in a press release vetted by all parties in advance, is something to be "despised" for. https://t.co/rFxKXz0Bjz
— Stephen Espinoza (@StephenEspinoza) January 5, 2018
Needless to say, Dana White does not like being proven wrong. He told Yahoo! Sports:
“The thing did over 6.7 million buys and if the service didn’t drop, we would have gotten closer to 7 million. The way that they handled that press release and what they did – I didn’t trust them before and now I despise those f-king guys. The Showtime guys, I’ll never work with them again. Ever.”
One thing about Dana White is that the man has the memory of an elephant and holds more grudges than the North Korean government. It’s fair to say that he’s going to stick to his word on this one. So he’ll have been happy when his number one asset got involved.
McGregor really does not like when his achievements are criticised. He came out aggressively, as much to defend himself as the organisation that he is contracted to. Allegedly the difference in numbers is primarily because Showtime only cited North American numbers, not global figures.
Shut your weasel mouth. Who gives a fuck about the North American numbers when we are the GLOBAL KINGS you shmuck. WORLDWIDE. No.1! https://t.co/tq5Gj1Os7Y
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) January 5, 2018
Still Not Done
Perhaps because McGregor made it personal by calling him a ‘weasel’, Espinoza came back again. He contradicted the UFC Lightweight Champion, denying that it was No.1 in worldwide revenues. Considering McGregor made a figure of roughly $100 million dollars from the fight, you would assume that he is relatively happy, even if he did fail to break the all-time record.
This row between Showtime and the UFC comes at an interesting time because Dana White has previously stated that the Zuffa brand that the UFC comes under, is looking at making a foray into boxing. It’s likely that this spat between the two promotions is more about trying to damage the other’s credibility than it is about actual numbers and records.