The first three months of 2015 have not been without controversy, but nonetheless, a string of blockbuster events has propelled the UFC to their most successful first quarter ever according to the company’s president Dana White.
“The last first quarter was the biggest first quarter in the company’s history,” a bouyant White told MMAJunkie in Toronto yesterday.
It’s not hard to see why. UFC 182 kicked the year off in style with the heavily hyped bad-blood encounter between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier believed to have been watch by 800,000 viewers on pay-per-view.
That same month saw the return of another two huge stars with Anderson Silva Vs Nick Diaz headlining UFC 183, estimated to have done around 600,000 – 700,000 buys.
Then in February came something of a surprise. Everyone know Ronda Rouseys is a superstar, but people weren’t expecting a whole lot from UFC 184 which saw her face Cat Zingano as it was a fight that had been overshadowed by the other two events, while the rest of the PPV card left a lot to be desired after injuries ravaged the line-up.
However, Rousey’s star power had been underestimated and it’s now believed UFC 184 may even have surpassed UFC 183’s buy rate which would be a very impressive achievement.
White is now looking forward to continuing that momentum with a good line-up of PPV shows incoming in the next quarter.
“Our second quarter is looking good, too,” White stated. “In Mexico [UFC 188: Velasquez Vs Werdum], we’re sold out in Mexico. We’re actually going to beat our last gate. The Jon Jones fight [UFC 187: Jones Vs Johnson] is a $6 million gate, which is the fourth-largest in MGM history with us doing fights there.”
Looking further ahead to early in the third quarter, UFC 189: Aldo Vs McGregor on July 11th is being tipped by White to be the biggest event of the year for the company, including a $7 million gate.
So, after an underwhelming 2014, business is suddenly booming for the UFC in 2015, and with fans being treated to lots of must-see fights along the way, long may that continue.