So the PPV estimates are in for UFC 96, and for some reason people are upset about the show ‘only’ pulling 350,000 buys:
The 350K number has to be looked on as somewhat of a disappointment. No one would expect Rampage to draw on the level of the company’s top PPV draws, like GSP, Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar, or Chuck Liddell, all of whom have shown the ability to do near or over 500k buys every time out. The other end of that range would be top card guys like Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva, who have drawn in the lower 300K range for most of their UFC tenure. A fair expectation would be for Rampage to fall somewhere in the middle, at about the 400 to lower 400K level, but Rampage as a draw on PPV would look to fall in the latter group, despite his being positioned by the UFC to do better numbers.
While the UFC has a few aces up their sleeves that draw no matter who they’re fighting, for the most part MMA is like dancing: it takes two to tango. While Quinton Jackson is a big star for the UFC, he still relies on a good dance partner to pull the numbers. And Keith Jardine is pretty much the opposite of that. Most of us were still sore about him wrecking the main event at UFC 88 -how dare he win in boring fashion!
Honestly, considering the lack of a title fight, one-name headline fight, the C-list starpower used and the half-assed promoting of it, I’d say 350k is a pretty damned good number. It’s right around what a card like this deserves (even still a little high), which is good for the fan. It means that the UFC is less likely to give us a big scoop of shit and try to call it ice cream in the future.