Venues across Australia are bracing for a Conor McGregor-led boost this Sunday as the charismatic Irishman returns to the Octagon for UFC 246.

Foxtel Business is on-track to deliver one of the biggest-ever UFC events for venues in Australia with fans across the country descending on pubs and clubs to see whether McGregor can overcome Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in his highly-anticipated return.

Kaine Bayfield, Chief Operating Officer of Bayfield Hotels said each of the group’s venues will be showing the event, and that he is expecting the ‘McGregor factor’ to be a major influence on crowd numbers.

“We generally pull a good crowd at Dee Why Hotel and the Light Brigade for most UFC bouts but whenever McGregor is involved both pubs are packed,” Bayfield said.

“We will also be showing the bout at Belrose Hotel which would not normally have a crowd for UFC, but expecting different things for this fight. McGregor bouts are like the GF of the NRL or AFL in terms of pulling a crowd for us.”

Alistair Flower of Flower Hotels agrees that McGregor is extra-special when it comes to bringing people into venues.

“We take all the UFC fights but Conor McGregor draws a crowd like Mike Tyson or Kostya Tszyu did in the late 90s,” Flower said.

“It’s assured success for venues and for us works better than State of Origin or the NRL Grand Final.”

This is McGregor’s first UFC battle since October 2018, so expect his already heightened pulling power to be increased on Sunday with the comeback set to garner huge public interest. What makes this even more enticing is his opponent.

Many UFC fans have been calling for McGregor and Cowboy to meet, but it has never come into fruition until now and both men will be looking to make a statement in this marquee event.

With McGregor making his comeback, fans can be certain the Irishman will be eager to put on a show and prove that he is once again a serious contender for a world title. Cowboy on the other hand is coming off the back of two consecutive losses and he will be hungry to reverse that form slump and putting the brakes on McGregor’s comeback would be a massive statement.

Both fighters are renowned for putting on big-time fights and fans across the country will be massively keen to watch these two get it on, so this is a must-screen event for venues.

The main card starts at 2pm AEDT on Sunday, 19 January so it’s perfect time for Australian venues to take advantage and bring in more patrons. And this is just the start of what promises to be an exciting 2020 for UFC and its fans with Australia’s Alex Volkanovski set to defend his Featherweight title, Jon Jones looking to continue his dominance and huge match-ups coming across the weight divisions.

All Pay-Per-View events are available on Foxtel’s Main Event channel 521. All times AEDT.

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Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.