An elated Dana White told reporters following last night’s blockbuster UFC 217 card in New York City that the show was on course to exceed all expectations with over a million buys.
“I told some of you guys yesterday that this would do over a million,” White told the assembled press. “I was way wrong. It did over a million. I’ll have a definite answer tomorrow, but it’s looking like we destroyed it.”
From the sounds of things the huge support that GSP enjoys in his native Canada might have been a big factor in achieving this, and looks set to break the record in that region.
“We’re pretty sure this beat Mayweather vs McGregor in Canada,” White said of the current biggest PPV buy rate in the country.
If the event has done over a million buys in total then that’s a huge win for the UFC in what’s otherwise been a disappointing year on the MMA front, with no other event having breached that barrier.
With Conor McGregor having essentially sat out of the Octagon for a year, Ronda Rousey appearing to have fought of the last time and Jon Jones under suspension again the UFC desperately needed another superstar to emerge and though there were doubts at times as to whether he was still as big as a draw as he used to be, it looks like GSP has proven to be that fighter.
However, the UFC also deserves credit for not only relying on the Canadian to sell this event, with two other major title fights also on-board, while Michael Bisping also deserves credits for his role in promoting the headliner.
The thing the UFC still has to master though is how to maintain this newly found momentum into their other events in the coming months, with lining up Conor McGregor’s next fight for early next year being one way they could ensure that fans interest levels remain high going into 2018.