Was Bellator’s debut pay-per-view as successful as they say? UFC president Dana White doesn’t think so.
Initial reports suggested that Bellator MMA’s debut pay-per view did in the neighborhood of 50,000-65,000 buys, which was considered a success in today’s MMA market. However, shortly after, Bellator claimed that the show did around 100,000, an overwhelmingly successful number for the company.
Dana White isn’t buying it.
“It shocks me, because no it didn’t,” said White of the PPV number while at a pre-fight scrum for UFC 174. “I knew the real number before they knew the real number. Did anyone ever find out the gate? No, nobody ever got back on the gate?”
White wasn’t finished, however:
“He (Bjorn Rebney) doesn’t know what his gate was but he did 100,000 pay-per-view buys? Can you imagine having a night where you guys ask me, ‘hey, what’d you do for a gate tonight?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know.’ When will you know? ‘I won’t.’ It’s like, yeah you don’t want to give out your gate, and yeah you probably don’t want to give out a real pay-per-view number either. That’s why you guys are asking me if I give a s–t about what they’re doing and if we’re trying to go the same night to destroy them. I’m doing two events the same night sometimes on opposite ends of the world.”
The number was particularly surprising, and drew skepticism due to the pay-per-view market being down. UFC’s average pay-per view sales were actually the highest since 2010, but were heavily carried by PPV juggernauts Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, who will miss all of 2014.
Bellator hasn’t commented on when a possible follow-up pay-per-view could be.