May’s UFC 130: Rampage vs Hamill event appears to have struggled to gain traction as far as pay-per-view sales go according to a new report from The Wrestling Observer.
The site says that initial estimates place the event at around 300 – 325,000 PPV buys, some way short of what the promotion would usually hope to produce for a numbered UFC event.
You don’t have to look too far to see why the show failed to capture the public’s imagination – injury woes and suspensions were once again a thorn in the UFC’s side.
The original line-up was expected to feature a lightweight title rematch between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard in the main event slot, but both fighters picked up injuries. Meanwhile ‘Rampage’ Jackson was originally scheduled to face Thiago Silva, but the Brazilian was then suspended for faking a pre-fight urine sample prior to his last fight.
Matt Hamill was drafted in as Silva’s replacement to fight ‘Rampage’ to a less than enthusiastic reception from fans, and was then thrust into the main event to replace Edgar Vs Maynard.
Unfortunately for the promotion this weekend’s UFC 131 event has suffered similar problems, with Brock Lesnar, currently the biggest PPV draw in the sport, bowing out of the card due to a recurrence of his Diverticulitis condition meaning that this is another show that looks certain to underperform at the box office.
This is nothing new to Dana White and Co. as they went through a similar downturn in the second half of 2009 due to an unprecidented number of injuries to key fighters, though theyll be hoping this current blip doesn’t last quite as long as that one did.