Welcome back to the Fight Business Podcast, your weekly show dedicated to the business-side of mixed martial arts.
In this episode, host Patrick Auger breaks down the biggest stories from the past two weeks, including Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement, reported PPV buys for UFC 254, and how Bellator has suddenly pivoted.
1:54 – Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement
14:56 – UFC 254 PPV buys
23:43 – Bellator changing direction?
32:01 – Can promotions benefit from specific fighters winning titles?
43:23 — PFL “lawsuit” update and latest news
Deiveson Figueiredo and Valentina Shevchenko defend their titles tonight! Watch PPV main card -- LIVE HERE -- starting from 10 pm ET.
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Khabib Nurmagomedov’s retirement
Auger comments that the only way for the UFC to lure Khabib Nurmagomedov out of retirement is a real legacy-improving fight and the only one that comes to mind right now is Georges St-Pierre.
UFC 254 PPV buys
Doing more than 600k reported buys is still a success on ESPN+ but it doesn’t classify as “superstar” status for Nurmagomedov. That’s more Jon Jones level where he appears to not really have broken through into mainstream but instead has become a major star within the sport.
Bellator is clearly shifting direction. Previously was focused on signing young up-and-comers and grooming them inside the promotion but now they’re focusing on signing more established names and being more willing to let older fighters go.
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.