The UFC has been suffering from lower than average PPV buy rate for a number of their recent cards and it appears that last months UFC 110 event is set to continue the trend.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer forecasts show that buys for the event could fall within the 215,000 – 240,000 range.
It’s important to stress that these numbers are based on trending estimates rather than hard facts, but if they prove to be true then these are some of the lowest figures we have seen in the UFC for some time.
Though disappointing it’s not overly surprising. The main event consisted of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira Vs Cain Velasquez – an intriguing encounter for hardcore fans, but neither are major PPV stars for the promotion at this time.
To my mind it was the kind of fight that would have made a perfect co-main event, but due to the injury crisis that has had a major impact on the promotion in the past six months or so, it had to serve as the main event.
A similar story affected the previous two cards, with Rashad Evans Vs Thiago Silva at UFC 108, and Randy Couture Vs Mark Coleman at UFC 109 appeared more suited to featuring second on the bill, but they were forced into the headline sport and ratings suffered as a result.
Meanwhile the card that remained relatively untouched by the injury problems, UFC 107 in December, had a lightweight title fight between BJ Penn and Diego Sanchez, back up by a solid co-main event in Frank Mir Vs Cheick Kongo, and went on to post strong estimates in the region of 620,000 buys.
The good news for the UFC here is that they have now got over the worst of their injury woes and from UFC 111 through to the summer they have a series of stacked cards that should put the pay per view numbers back in the region they had become accustomed to in the past.
It is becoming clear though that with a general increase in the number of high profile MMA events on offer to fans these days, that the average fan is now becoming more discerning over the events that they are willing to lay down their hard earned cash on.
It will be interesting to see how that affects other organizations such as the WEC and Strikeforce as they also begin to tackle the pay per view market.