Golden Boy’s first foray into the world of MMA with a clash of aging veterans Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell was reportedly a complete disaster on the pay-per-view front.
Early indications from MMAfighting.com are that the event did just 40,000 pay-per-view buys, a shockingly low number, though perhaps it may have been even lower than that with the LA Times suggesting it did between 25,000 – 30,000 buys.
There were indications that Golden Boy were having difficulties shifting PPV’s in the weeks leading up to the fight as the original $49.99 price point was brought down to $40 leading up to the fight and it then saw further discounts on Black Friday and close to fight night.
The trilogy fight between the two stars gained some media attention, but it proved to be a hard fight to sell given that Liddell was now 48, had been retired for 8 years after a series of knockout losses and had looked every bit of his age in training footage that was released pre-fight.
Meanwhile, the 42-year-old Ortiz had also came out of retirement for the fight, but had been actively competing up until recently and so, despite the fact he’d convincingly lost twice to Liddell in their prime, he always seemed like the most likely winner in a match-up that no-one was really crying out to see at this moment in time.
Nevertheless, while Ortiz had initially targeted 500,000 PPV buys and then revised that down to 200,000 buys after his first round KO victory, it’s clear that he and others involved in the event had completely misjudged the complete lack of interest from the general public in buying the fight – a costly mistake that may discourage Golden Boy from getting involved with MMA again in the future.