UFC 117 delivered a quality night of fights and a main event between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen that will be talked about for years to come.
UFC president Dana White had even more good news to share afterwards though as he revealed after the fight that the buy rate for the event is on course to exceed expectations.
“Trending tonight was insane,” MMAJunkie report White as saying after the event. “We think we did a big number tonight – a really big number. If not one more [expletive] person buys this pay-per-view, I’m happy as a pig in [expletive]. That’s how well we did.”
“We have a little formula, and we know how to calculate what we think we’re going to do,” White continued. “It was a ‘holy [expletive]’ moment again.”
If White is on point here then this is exciting news for the company, especially since just a few months ago the event’s headliner Anderson Silva, who has never been a particularly notable draw on PPV, appeared to have damaged his reputation with a lackluster fight at UFC 112 with Demian Maia.
The ‘X’ factor on this occasion though was undoubtedly Sonnen who’s months of trash-talking appears to have turned the fight into a ‘must see’ attraction amongst MMA fans, both casual and hardcore. The fact that the UFC had stacked the rest of card full of meaningful match-ups like Fitch Vs Alves and Dos Santos Vs Nelson is also likely to have helped.
The question everyone is asking now is whether Sonnen will be afforded an immediate rematch with the champion. Assuming we are looking at a home run here in terms of pay-per-view sales then Sonnen will surely be in pole position to get a second chance to defeat Silva, and given the dramatic nature of their first encounter a rematch looks set to be even bigger than the first.
Watch Dana discussing the PPV numbers at the post-fight press conference courtesy of MMAWeekly below.
Update: Read the early PPV buy estimate here.
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