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The McGregor effect: UFC 229 almost sells out within three minutes

Conor McGregor hasn’t fought since boxing against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 and his last Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) outing was nearly two years ago – but he remains the biggest draw in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

The Irishman’s fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 229 on Oct 6 was an almost instant sell-out after tickets were put on sale to the public last Friday.

Prices ranged from $205 up to $2,505 for the event at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and, according to mmafighting.com, within just three minutes only a few hundred tickets, all in the most expensive sections, were available.

The pay-per-view event is already second-largest gate in UFC history, surpassing the Nevada MMA record, set at UFC 200 of $10,746,248.

UFC has come under fire for turning a blind eye to McGregor’s misdemeanours. In July he pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct for an incident at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

But after falling television ratings, McGregor’s return has given the sport a boost it desperately needs.