So UFC 106’s PPV numbers are in and they’re not very good: around 350,000 buys. Still, there’s been an undue amount of people freaking out that the sky is falling, MMA is doomed, and the world is coming to an end. Me? I see the silver lining in all this: the days where the UFC can give us shit and pretend it’s ice cream are numbered.
UFC 106 falls right in line with a bunch of the UFC’s other non-title meh cards from this year:
UFC 99 – 360,000 (Franklin vs. W. Silva)
UFC 96 – 350,000 (Jackson vs. Jardine)
UFC 93 – 320,000 (Henderson vs. Franklin)
Explain to me again why everyone thought 106 was gonna pull great numbers? Tito Ortiz? The guy hasn’t been relevant since Chuck wasted him again at the end of 2006, and Dana White literally spent the last two years destroying his value and trash talking him into the ground. And while everyone always says “Forrest is one of the most popular guys the UFC has”, I think that’s more in a “Yeah, I like Forrest” kinda way, not “Let’s buy this Forrest PPV”, especially coming off of two high profile losses.
Anyways, as far as I’m concerned, 350,000 sounds about right, and if the UFC doesn’t like it they can do one of two things: make better cards, or drop their prices. Or do nothing, rough it out with 300k-400k cards until March, and try to come back with a vengeance in the second quarter of 2010. The brand can carry them through dark times like this, and I have no doubt that once their big names are fighting again you’ll see the numbers jump back up to where they were before. For now, take some solace in the fact that Zuffa is learning some important lessons right now about what the fans will pay for.