What do you get when you pair up an undefeated world champion with the biggest draw in mixed martial arts? The answer appears to be a main event for UFC 229 that is set to break revenue and pay-per-view buy records for the company.

UFC 229 McGregor Nurmagomedov
Lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will defend his title against Conor McGregor at UFC 229 Saturday, in an event that is expected to smash the companys pay-per-view records. (Image: Getty)

According to UFC president Dana White, Saturdays lightweight championship fight between current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former title holder Conor McGregor is projected to easily surpass all previous UFC events in terms of both the number of pay-per-view buyers and total revenues.

UFC 229 Could Rewrite Record Books

In comments made Tuesday to ESPN, White said that Saturdays pay-per-view is trending towards 3 million buys. While the UFC doesnt publicly disclose its pay-per-view figures, ESPN noted that there had never before been reports of one of its events reaching even 2 million buys in the past.

But McGregor has always been a special draw, especially when he is paired up with someone who also commands an audience. That was put on display last year, when the Irish MMA fighter made his professional boxing debut against Floyd Mayweather. According to the ESPN report, that fight sold 4.4 million buys.

Now, a battle between the undefeated Nurmagomedov (26-0) and the flamboyant McGregor (21-3) could prove to be the most lucrative event ever for the UFC.

This thing is breaking every record weve ever had as far as numbers go, White told ESPN. If you look at Mayweather-McGregor, the first episode of [online promotional series] Embedded, in 24 hours, did 800,000 views. This one did 1.7 million.

White also said that demand for tickets was at an all-time high. UFC 229 is taking place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and White told ESPN that he believes the gate could reach $17 million, which would be far more than the promotions previous best gate in the city, which came in July 2016 when they took in $10.7 million for UFC 200.

This is the biggest fight weve ever done. Normally, we dont ever sell the section behind me, those are our tickets we comp, White said. This is the first time weve split the media section in half. We sold half that section. Weve never done that before either.

Fighters Trade Barbs at Open Workouts

Both McGregor and Nurmagomedov have done plenty to help build hype for the fight, with both men continuing to stoke the flames during open workouts on Wednesday.

Devastating KO, McGregor told UFC reporter Megan Olivi when asked for a prediction on how the fight would go. Too easy to hit, too flat-footed, too predictable. Im going to knock him clean out.

Talking to a pro-McGregor crowd that booed him from the start, Nurmagomedov went after his opponents Irish heritage.

What about the Irish language? Where is your language right now? Nurmagomedov said. [McGregor] talks them fighting against the English but his grandfather Christopher McGregor was in the English navy.

While most experts are predicting a competitive fight, oddsmakers have given the advantage to the champion. Nurmagomedov is a -160 favorite at Bovada, while McGregor can be backed at +130 to regain the lightweight title.