In 2017, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) staged the event of the year with a matchup between 29-year-old Conor McGregor and a 40-year-old Floyd Mayweather, who came out of retirement for the event. The event was the largest in the history of combat sports, generating over $600 million in revenue. UFC’s global fan base grew to more than 278 million in 2017, with programming now reaching 1.1 billion households in 163 countries. Ratings have been on the rise since at least 2015, when it pulled in around $600 million and saw its ratings rise 38.5% year-over-year. Both numbers are largely thanks to an increasing acceptance of ultimate fighting by mainstream sports fans, a trend that has been boosted by UFC's partnership with Fox Sports. The partnership, struck in 2011 for $700 million, has allowed UFC to reach a wider audience and has opened the door to better sponsorship deals.