It would take a pretty big rock for any MMA fan to miss this week's whirlwind press tour for UFC 189. The main eventers, Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo, have been appearing alongside president Dana White in seemingly every major MMA market and television show that will have them.
McGregor and Aldo are doing their part, spinning out soundbite after soundbite and photo op after photo op in an effort to drive up interest and pay-per-view buys for their July 11 featherweight title fight.
The self-styled UFC 189 World Tour is covering eight major cities, five countries, thousands of miles and countless interviews in order to whip the hype into as heady a froth as possible between now and midsummer. The tour is currently pulling into Toronto.
We will all see what kinds of dividends this will pay when the final numbers come out. (White and McGregor have taken turns one-upping each other with monstrous predictions, including record-breaking live gate and PPV figures.)
But these sorts of efforts, they are not crafted with sunshine and rainbows and Instagram posts. Though the UFC has not released any dollar amounts associated with this media blitz, White noted that the tour might be the most expensive promotional endeavor in the company's history.
Speaking on the UFC Tonight program (h/t Jesse Holland of MMA Mania), White noted the following:
Personally, I think this is the biggest fight of the year. This is a fight the world will be watching. When you have a fight where countries, literally countries care about the fight, it's a big deal. All of Brazil will be watching (Aldo) defend his title, all of the UK will be watching. And then you have Canada, the United States, Australia...It's a big enough deal that we are doing this world tour. I'm gonna go out there and say, we probably spent more money promoting this fight than we have ever spent on any fight in UFC history.
The cameras will continue to roll, and the soundbites will continue to pour in. And UFC officials are surely chomping at the bit for a massive number that will not only rake in big revenues but scatter nagging doubts about the pay-per-view model's general viability in this 21st century world of ours. As always, only time will tell.