Post-UFC 117 there was a major buzz about the potential for the event to have exceeded expectations considerably in terms of the pay-per-view buy rate.
At the post-fight press conference Dana White stated that they were now anticipating ‘a big number’ after viewing the trending statistics leading into the show headlined by Anderson Silva Vs Chael Sonnen.
Later that week the Wrestling Observer suggested the buy rate was believed to be in the region of 1 million, which would have been a remarkable success given that on paper the title fight wasn’t an obvious ratings winner.
Unfortunately it appears that the trending for the event has been somewhat misleading. The Wrestling Observer are now stating that UFC staff have been told the figure is more likely to be in the ballpark of 600,000 buys.
Given the excitement over a potential blockbuster rating this is somewhat disappointing news, but it should be stressed that 600,000 is still an excellent result that still exceeds many people’s expectations. It also continues a remarkable run for the UFC over the past six months in which they have yet to dip under the 500,000 PPV sales barrier.
There’s also a sense that, given the dramatic nature of the first fight, that a potential rematch between Silva and Sonnen could be set to do even better numbers for the promotion.