The early pay-per-view buy rate estimate is in for last weekend’s UFC 140: Jones Vs Machida event and the promotion will be relieved to see an upturn in the number of fans shelling out for the show.

According to The Wrestling Observer, initial readings suggest that around 480,000 fans purchased the event.

That’s a significant rise from their recent sub-par form with UFC 136, 137 and 139 all having dipped below 300,000.

If true it shows that Jones is developing into a valuable commodity for the UFC, with his fight with Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in September also having drawn 475,000 at UFC 135 in September.

That consistency during a rough time for the company in the pay-per-view market is very significant, and he’s one of the first fighters to have risen up through the ranks to move the needle in this way in a long time. Better still is the fact that at 24 years of age he clearly hasn’t reached his peak yet both in terms of his abilities, his popularity and his box-office appeal.

He’s still some way short of the UFC’s leading PPV stars like Georges St.Pierre who regularly pulls in 800,000 buys and Brock Lesnar who’s proven he can produce over a million consistently, but if he’s certainly well on his way to reaching that status.

In fact, if Rashad Evans can get past Phil Davis at UFC On FOX 2 in January to set-up a long-awaited title fight between the two former training partners turned bitter rivals, then that could be a showdown that can generate very big numbers indeed.

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