Conor McGregor's return meant big business for the UFC.
According to Dave Meltzer of MMAFighting, UFC 229 did just under 2.4 million buys on pay-per-view, setting a new record for the company. Accounting for late buys, the final number should be over 2.4 million. Meltzer reports that 1.9 million came from traditional pay-per-view and another 70,000 to 480,000 came via streaming pay-per-view.
Dana White was confident leading up to, and after, the event that the show would by the highest selling UFC pay-per-view of all-time. The previous record was held by UFC 202, which featured McGregor against Nate Diaz for the second time. That event did 1.6 million buys on pay-per-view.
McGregor now has five of the top six most bought UFC pay-per-views in company history. His last five fights have all done over one million buys. His boxing bout against Floyd Mayweather in August 2017 did 4.3 million buys and is still the second biggest pay-per-view event of all-time.
McGregor's return was extremely successful in terms of business, but the Irishman fell short in the main event, tapping out in the fourth round to Khabib Nurmagomedov. The event was highlighted not by the fight in the cage, but the melee that followed the main event.