UFC 175 is reported to have sold between 500,000 – 545,000 pay-per-view’s according to MMAfighting’s Dave Meltzer who derived the figure from estimates coming from various cable TV sources.
If so, that makes it the biggest UFC PPV of the year so far, beating out UFC 172: Jones Vs Teixiera which drew 350,000 PPV buys.
The numbers are roughly what were expected for an event that had widely been perceived as one of the year’s best cards with middleweight champion Chris Weidman defending his belt for the first time since beating Anderson Silva twice, while woman’s bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey was also in action against Alexis Davis.
500,000 buys isn’t anything to write home about compared to what the UFC has achieved in the past, but the circumstances are different this year with their two biggest PPV stars Anderson Silva and Georges St.Pierre out of action, meaning that they are now having to build up new stars like Weidman, Rousey and Jones, and it’s not something that happens overnight.
It’s possible the event could have drawn a bigger audience if they had been able to keep their original fight card intact as there was heat surrounding Weidman taking on Vitor Belfort as opposed to Lyoto Machida, and there had been a huge amount of buzz regarding a fight between TUF Brazil coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva which ended up being scrapped.
Overall, the first half of 2014 has been something of a disappointment for the UFC in terms of it’s pay-per-view business, but they have reason to be optimistic that their days of doing big numbers aren’t over.
Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier’s much talked about brawl earlier this week at a promotional event for UFC 178 in September has generated a huge amount of buzz even in mainstream circles and turned it into the ‘must-see’ fight of the year, while the recently announced return of Anderson Silva in a ‘superfight’ with Nick Diaz at UFC 183 in January of next year is also set to be a guaranteed blockbuster.