Khabib Nurmagomedov’s defeat of Conor McGregor at the Ultimate Fighter Championship at T-Mobile Arena in Nevada on Oct. 6 did not mark the end of the night’s action. The excitement continued following the fight, when an altercation occurred between McGregor’s and Nurmagomedov’s teams. 

Although McGregor lost the fight and instigated the antics that occurred after the match with racially insensitive language and violence, he and his team will profit greatly. In addition, the UFC, which supposedly disapproves of the post-fight skirmish and blindly supports McGregor, stands to gain even more than he does.

Prior to the fight, it was clear that Nurmagomedov remained the favorite for the lightweight championship. After all, he has been wrestling with bears since the age of seven in order to solidify his groundwork. Khabib’s father referred to his fights with the bear as “a test of character more than exercise.”

While Nurmagomedov’s victory and the way in which he silenced the outspoken McGregor was truly impressive, his post-fight brawl garnered much more attention. Just moments after clinching the fight with a chokehold and forcing McGregor into submission, Nurmagomedov launched himself out of the Octagon and onto McGregor’s team.

In all fairness, McGregor’s teammate Dillon Danis did call Nurmagomedov a “Muslim rat” during the fight. McGregor has crossed the line many times as well, taunting Nurmagomedov’s religion and father in the pre-fight press conference and launching a dolly, a platform on wheels that holds heavy objects, into Nurmagomedov’s shuttle bus.

Looking ahead, the payouts of each of the contenders as well as the future of the UFC are both in question due to the events that occurred in the brawl.

The end of the night’s melee confirmed two things: negative headlines tend to produce positive returns at the box office and increased attention for the UFC, and both fighters will probably be punished for their actions by the Nevada Athletic Commission and the UFC. Both fighters may not receive their purses in full, especially Nurmagomedov, who started the brawl.

The fight was billed as the biggest event in UFC history, in part due to the publicity surrounding McGregor’s attack on Khabib’s shuttle bus. In fact, four of the UFC’s highest-selling pay-per-view events have been headlined by McGregor.

However, “it’s a bad night” for the sport, UFC President Dana White said in a post-fight interview. While White expressed disappointment when speaking to the media, the fight will be extremely profitable for the UFC considering the frenzied support of a potential rematch and increased interest in the sport.

Aside from the $54.99 and $64.99 costs for the live event through pay-per-view, ticket prices on the AXS ticketing site ranged from $2,505 on the high end to $205 on the lower end, not including fees, according to Forbes.

Those prices were from August, so ticket prices naturally rose as Oct. 6 approached. The average ticket price for a UFC fight is $360, with ticket prices typically ranging from $116 to $691, according to Excite.  

The UFC is not taking any responsibility for the post-fight ambush, and, with the significant increase in interest in the sport due to McGregor’s meteoric rise to fame, any ideas that the post-fight antics would negatively affect the UFC’s business can be put to bed.

White silently condones McGregor’s outwardly bad manners and poor behavior, encouraging his antics behind the scenes because he knows that McGregor is his money maker.

Prior to the fight, McGregor’s was set to earn $3 million, while Nurmagomedov’s payout was $2 million.  

White first claimed that the Nevada Athletic Commission was considering keeping Nurmagomedov’s entire payout over the post-fight feud. White said that Nurmagomedov “should not be able to keep his whole purse.”

White also supported the golden child, McGregor, when McGregor himself threw a dolly into Nurmagomedov’s shuttle on April 5, sending two members of his team to the hospital. According to White, the Commission will undoubtedly hit Nurmagomedov with a large fine, which would be close to $250,000.

At the post-fight press conference, Nurmagomedov discussed McGregor’s comments about his father, religion and country and apologized for his participation in the brawl.

“First of all, I want to say sorry to athletic commission, Nevada, sorry to Vegas,” Nurmagomedov said in a press conference. “This is not my best side. I am a human being.”

McGregor did not press charges against any of Nurmagomedov’s teammates. The sad truth is that the UFC unfortunately does allow, and indeed condones, racially insensitive language and abuse.

McGregor may profit following the uncalled-for skit. While the pay-per-view numbers did not crack the predicted three million mark, they well surpassed two million according to White, netting McGregor close to the estimated $50 million plus the sponsorship money from Proper No. 12 Whiskey, a deal awarded to McGregor by the UFC.

When it comes to the UFC, even if McGregor loses, he still wins. When McGregor is involved, not only will he receive a large payout, but the UFC will also continue to flourish, with a reputation only bolstered by drama and trash talking.

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