There has been a lot of promotion and hype for this end-of-the-year fight, which will be Silva’s first coming off a loss in the UFC.
The question is, where will this card rank in UFC Pay Per View history?
Even though Silva — who is considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time — is headlining his fifteenth PPV, the numbers show he is not a huge draw.
Of the top 20 selling PPV’s in UFC history, Silva is on the list twice, tied for seventh place (UFC 148: Silva vs Sonnen II) with 1,000,000 buys, and seventeenth (UFC 126: Silva vs Belfort) which did 725,000 buys.
Silva and Weidman’s first fight at UFC 162 brought in 550,000 buys in July, but after Weidman’s huge upset over Silva, the UFC has heavily promoted Saturday’s fight, starting with a media tour in two different countries and seven cities in the United States and Brazil with the final pre-fight conference on Thursday.
The numbers show end-of-year fights do not necessarily translate to an increase in buys, with only one of the top five PPV’s coming at the end of the year. (UFC 66: Liddell vs Ortiz.)
Here’s another stat: Silva’s two rematches in the UFC saw him go from 325,000 buys (UFC 77: Silva vs Franklin), to a million buys against Chael Sonnen at UFC 148.
One major factor which could significantly boost sales is the co-main event on the card — Ronda Rousey versus Miesha Tate — a fight which could entice more fans to order the event.
In the first women’s fight in UFC history, UFC President Dana White took a gamble and headlined UFC 157, with Rousey taking on Liz Carmouche in February.
Many were unsure if fans would pay for a main event featuring two women; but the move paid off and the PPV buys were 450,000, which would have ranked fifth out of the past eleven UFC events.
The bad blood between Rousey and Tate should also bolster sales, with both women expressing disdain for the other and no love lost on Countdown to UFC 168: Rousey vs Tate II.
Two huge fights, two interesting rematches, two different fan bases — and a lot of intrigue — should make this end-of-year event a top 20 PPV in UFC history, with number of buys around the the 1,000,000 mark.
David Kano is lead writer for MMA Show News and co-host of The Hollywood MMA Show. You can follow him on Twitter @TheDKano.
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