The early pay-per-view estimate is now in for the recent UFC 131: Carwin Vs Dos Santos event and according to The Wrestling Observer it points to a buy-rate in the region of 325,000 – 335,000.

It should be stressed that these are still based on preliminary data, but if true the figures are slightly up on the 300-325,000 that purchased UFC 130 back at the end of May, but still some way below average overall for the promotion.

Initially the UFC 131 had looked to be a sure-fire PPV hit with headliners Brock Lesnar and Junior Dos Santos coming off a stint coaching on The Ultimate Fighter season 13. However that series of TUF suffered from sub-par ratings on Spike TV, and then Lesnar was forced off the card due to a recurrence of his diverticulitis illness.

That lead to Shane Carwin stepping up as a late replacement – producing a match-up that hardcore fans were excited by, but without Lesnar’s presence hundreds of thousands of extra PPV buys went abegging.

The card was also plagued by other injury call-offs which reduced the overall quality of the main card, such as former TUF season 6 winner Mac Danzig pulling out of his fight with Donald Cerrone, eventually being replaced by newcomer Vagner Rocha, while Carwin moving to the main event meant that a fight between another two newcomers in Dave Herman and Jon Olav Einemo was also featured on the PPV portion of the show.

After a difficult period at the box office the UFC will be hoping for an upturn in business in the second half of 2011, and with big title fights like Jon Jones Vs Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, GSP Vs Nick Diaz and Cain Velasquez Vs Junior Dos Santos to look forward to, there’s every chance that could be the case.