Dana White: I expect UFC 100 numbers for Silva vs. Sonnen IIPosted on June 26, 2012, 04:13 PM by Mike Drahota
Speaking at yesterday's UFC 148 media conference call, UFC President Dana White declared high hopes for the card that arguably the most anticipated rematch in MMA history, Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II. White was not bashful in his declaration of expectations for the event:
"There's no doubt that we expect over 1 million buys here. We expect UFC 100 numbers."
The bar has been set quite high for the UFC by its President, who has already set the comparisons to 2009's summer blockbuster in motion. The question is, can these numbers be attained in 2012, as injuries, rescheduling, and an overall higher number of cards lend to the lower number of UFC pay-per-view buys. This debate is a tough one to predict, however, for a number of reasons.
While pay-per-view numbers have been down as of late, UFC 148 does have a high level of star power. Featuring the pound-for-pound king in Anderson Silva and his longtime, ultra-popular nemesis Chael Sonnen, the rematch of their epic UFC 117 battle from 2010 will generate heat like few MMA fights could today. There has been so much hype, promotion, and trash talk that missing the event is quite unthinkable for any relatively serious fan of MMA. Silva himself took to the microphone yesterday, speaking out against his opponent with words we have never heard fly from the champion's mouth. He appears motivated beyond belief and focused on bad intentions. The buzz surrounding this Middleweight title fight is electric right now.
On the other hand, UFC 100 featured two of the sport's biggest-ever stars, Brock Lesnar and Georges St. Pierre, in title fights. A million pp-per-view buys is a tough goal to reach for the UFC these days, last seen in October 2010 when Lesnar lost his title to Cain Velasquez in the first round. Can the UFC reach this lofty position next week in Las Vegas? The two headlining fighters have certainly done their part to show how they hate each other, something that always lends to the interest in a particular fight. Is Dana White on point here or is one million just a number that cannot be reached this summer?