Nobody was holding out great hopes for UFC 191’s pay-per-view numbers on Saturday night, but it seems that even the live gate suffered as well.
With the gate reported to be around $1.3 million that would make it the lowest Las Vegas live gate for a UFC PPV card in 11 years dating back to UFC 49: Belfort Vs Couture in 2004.
The numbers confirm once again that despite being utterly dominant in his weight class, flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson just isn’t a draw among MMA fans.
It’ll be interesting to see if the UFC now looks to change up it’s strategy going forward with ‘Mighty Mouse’.
For instance, with Las Vegas being the fight capital of the world and the UFC’s home base fans there are used to seeing the biggest name fighting there regularly, so perhaps it’s not the best market for someone like ‘Mighty Mouse’. Instead he may be better suited to a city that’s starved of high-level UFC events and so would be greatful to pay to see any kind of title fight action they are offered.
Pay-per-view wise it’s tougher though and the most obvious solution would seem to be to have Johnson fighting in the co-main event slot underneath another title fight.
Another option would be to return to their old model which saw Johnson often being used to front the ‘UFC On FOX’ shows – doing so on three occasions in 2013.
Having said all that, Joe Rogan was declaring Johnson as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world on Saturday night with Dana White saying he didn’t neccessarily disagree with that assessment, while on the official rankings he’s currently No.2 on the P4P list, so maybe they’ll just continue to grit their teeth and continue to have him headline PPV shows just on the principle that he deserves to be there on merit.