Yesterday it was revealed that UFC 173, which was headlined by the bantamweight title bout between TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao, did an estimated 200,000 pay-per-view buys. While it was not a home run by any means, the number was likely expected and is not all that bad in the long run.
Today’s numbers are a much different case, however, as rumors are circulating that this past weekends’ UFC 174 event, which featured the flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov, did not eclipse 100,000 pay-per-view buys. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer spoke about the early estimates yesterday:
It’s too early to get accurate numbers, but every indication we’ve gotten was very bad, and that it showed a steep decline from UFC 173, which was among the lower numbers of the last eight years. UFC PPV shows usually range from 200,000 to 500,000 Google searches after the event, and are usually in the top few searched for items in the country. A bad show may only do 100,000. Bellator’s show last month hit 100,000. A big show can top 500,000, with the shows that hover around 1 million buys usually doing anywhere from 1 million to 5 million searches. This show did less than 20,000, unheard of for a PPV.
While the numbers are simply an estimate and a rumor, it is evident that the show had dismal numbers to match the equally dismal fights on the card. If it comes to light that the UFC 174 pay-per-view did in fact sell less than 100k buys, the UFC may think twice about their continued ventures into the pay-per-view market.
As confirmed yesterday, Bellator’s inaugural pay-per-view, which featured Rampage Jackson, King Mo, Michael Chandler, and Tito Ortiz sold 100k buys. It will certainly be interesting to see Dana White’s take on the UFC 174 pay-per-view numbers at the next media conference.