UFC 225 may have been one of the most stacked cards of the year to date, but that didn’t translate into good pay-per-view numbers on Saturday night.
That’s the word according to The LA Times, which claims that industry sources have pegged the buy rate for UFC 225 in Chicago at less than 150,000.
That’s a real blow for the promotion given that the card featured middleweight champion Robert Whittaker going up against Yoel Romero and former lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos fighting Colby Covington for the interim welterweight strap.
On top of the that, the UFC had also went against their better judgement and had former pro-wrestling superstar CM Punk competing on the PPV portion of the card in the expectation that he would draw a crowd, while other notable stars like Holly Holm and Andrei Arlovski were also on-board.
Furthermore, there was a strong lead-in to the PPV with Alistair Overeem Vs Curtis Blaydes headlining the prelims on FS1 and a good line-up supporting it.
So, the numbers suggest that giving CM Punk a second chance was a big mistake (as if that wasn’t obvious enough from the quality of the fight itself), and that despite his impressive form in the promotion, Whittaker has yet to resonate with the UFC fanbase as a must-see star.
In all fairness, very few fighters do, and as such it’s perhaps just as well that the UFC have now secured a more lucrative TV deal with ESPN that will help cushion the blow of PPV numbers that continue to fall below expectations.