On one side you’ve got a bunch of fighters complaining about pay and fans complaining about ticket and PPV prices. On the other, you’ve got the baseline numbers for UFC Pay Per Views dropping. Maybe this is why Dana White seems so reluctant to raise his prelim fighters out of MMA serfdom:
Dave Meltzer is reporting that industry sources are pegging UFC 162’s sales at 550,000. That’s a match for UFC 159, headlined by Jon Jones vs. Chael Sonnen and a distant second to the best selling event of the year so far, UFC 158 [GSP vs Diaz] which did around 900,000 buys.
In less good news, Meltzer is also reporting that UFC 161 (Dan Henderson vs. Rashad Evans) did a very weak estimated 150,000 buys. That’s comparable to some of the worst UFC PPV performances in recent years, including UFC 147 featuring Rich Franklin vs Wanderlei Silva 2.
That’s a pretty big drop from the days where PPVs almost never did under 300,000 buys. This might seem somewhat worrisome for the ‘Sky is Falling’ contingent of MMA fans who still waiting for the bottom to drop out on the sport, but in a way this is actually good. People are voting with their wallets, and what they’re telling the UFC is they aren’t willing to pay for PPVs that aren’t up to snuff. The result: better pay per views cards.