There was a lot of buzz following UFC 128 thanks to Jon Jones impressive destruction of Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, but it seems the event might not have been a major draw for fans on pay-per-view.
According to The Wrestling Observer the early estimates for the event in New Jersey average out at around 445,000 buys, a little lower than anticipated for an event headlined by a title fight.
By way of contrast, Shogun’s two title fights with Lyoto Machida in 2009 /2010 pulled in 500,000 and 520,000 buys respectively.
It should be stressed that these are preliminary readings, and the final number may be higher or lower, but I’m not surprised by these early numbers.
Jones is undoubtedly a superstar in the making, but it may have taken until this demolition of Shogun for him to really get him over with the casual fans.
With the level of interest now being shown in the 23 year-old, and the fact that there’s going to be a lot of hype surrounding his next fight with former team-mate Rashad Evans, I think we’ll see better numbers for his first title defense later this year.