UFC 137 may have generated a lot of headlines in the past few months for a variety of reasons, but when it comes to pay-per-view numbers it continued the current trend of producing a sub-par performance.
According to The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, Saturday’s show is estimated to have done in the region of 255-300,000 buys.
For the UFC that’s a massive disappointment considering that at the start of September this was being viewed as one of the promotion’s big draws for the entire year.
What went wrong? A lot! From the original title fight between GSP and Nick Diaz being canceled due to a series of media no-shows from Diaz, to St.Pierre then pulling out of his rearranged headliner with Carlos Condit due to injury on short notice, this was yet another card in 2011 that’s been hit badly by circumstances outwith the UFC’s control.
Losing GSP was the biggest blow and likely cost them several hundred thousand PPV sales based on his past fights which tend to fall around the 800,000 mark.
Still, BJ Penn Vs Nick Diaz was a good fight and it’s a shame that it couldn’t move the needle more than it did.
I remain optimistic that the UFC can pull themselves out of their current PPV slump however as they still have some very big events to come in 2011, most notably Jon Jones Vs Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 and Brock Lesnar Vs Alistair Overeem at UFC 141, while November 12th’s ‘UFC On FOX’ special potentially could introduce millions of new viewers to the sport that could convert into a PPV boost further down the line.