The UFC had high hopes for UFC 162’s pay-per-view sales, but while the estimates now coming through are solid, they’re not quite what they’d been anticipating.
In the immediate aftermath of Anderson Silva’s shock loss to Chris Weidman, UFC president Dana White claimed that the trending date suggested that they were looking at around 800,000 buys for the show, but according to The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer it’s now looking like being closer to 550,000.
That’s the same figure that UFC 159’s Jon Jones Vs Chael Sonnen title fight delivered, making it joint second out of the seven PPV shows this year, but some distance behind the whopping 950,000 buys for UFC 158: GSP Vs Diaz.
White has talked about the rematch between Weidman and Silva, which is set for the end-of-year UFC 168 event on December 28th as potentially being the biggest fight they’ve ever put on, but this may temper that excitement just a little.
However, there’s still plenty of reason to be optimistic about the rematch breaking the million barrier given the high level of interest from fans to find out whether lightning will strike twice, or a re-focused Silva will reclaim his crown, while a co-main event female title fight between TUF 18 coaches Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate will help the card pack a strong one-two punch.
Meanwhile, word has also filtered through from Meltzer that UFC 161 delivered a dismal 150,000 buys. The event was headlined by a light-heavyweight fight between Dan Henderson and Rashad Evans that failed to spark fan’s imaginations, and that lack of enthusiasm appeared justified given the largely forgettable fight that then occured between them.
Things could have been so much different if the card hadn’t been ravaged by injuries. The original plan called for a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Eddie Wineland and a co-main event starring Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua Vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, with Hendo Vs Evans being merely another fight on the main card before the aforementioned bouts fell due to injuries.
Unforunately it leaves UFC 161 with the dubious distinction of being one of the least viewed pay-per-view events in the promotion’s history.