The early pay-per-view estimate for last weekend’s UFC 126: Silva Vs Belfort event is in, and shows the event is believed to have done in the region of 700,000 – 750,000 buys.

The news comes from the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer who says the two estimates come from both trending data and an independent cable estimate.

It should be stressed that this is very much an estimate and not concrete figures, but if it proves to be accurate it’s a relatively good showing for the UFC who’s PPV offerings tend to average closer to 500,000, though have been known to spike upwards of 1 million for major fights.

On paper UFC 126 was a very strong card, featuring not only the 185lb title fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, but also Rich Franklin Vs Forrest Griffin and Jon Jones Vs Ryan Bader.

Even the undercard featured some quality fights, and that reflected in the ratings for the hour long preliminary shows on Spike TV which picked up an average of 2 million viewers, breaking the channels previous record of 1.7 million for the prelim broadcasts.

When all that is combined it’s perhaps a little disappointing that UFC 126 didn’t push closer to the one million barrier, but it should be pointed out that despite his almost unparalleled talent, the headline star on the card, Anderson Silva, has never been the PPV draw that other notable champions like Georges St.Pierre and Brock Lesnar have been in the past.

So, all in all this appears to have been a successful event all round, and with several more stacked events lined up for the coming months it appears that the UFC are on course to do big business in 2011.