UFC 166 went down this past Saturday, entertaining fans with an exciting night of action packed fights. The Heavyweight title beef between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos was settled, and there was a FOTY candidate between Diego Sanchez and Gilbert Melendez.
It would appear that the UFC is cruising through the year with some awesome events, but appearances can be deceptive. According to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Newsletter, The past two PPV’s have performed well under expectation:
“It’s far too early to get an accurate PPV number, but the early trends are, at least to me, hugely disappointing. When Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson did far lower than any Jones show to date, it had the built in excuse of being one week after Mayweather vs. Alvarez.”
“While the boxing/MMA crossover isn’t that large, that event, when you’re talking 2.2 million buys at $75 a head and the fight that everyone was talking about, that is the exception. Dana White has said that the number (which he wouldn’t reveal) was better than he expected, but he’s also a bigger boxing fan than most. “
Considering how great each event in the report was to watch, it seems surprising that they didn’t follow trend for the year. The UFC is set to have it’s most profitable year ever, but declining numbers are not a good sign. Maybe it was the advertising?
“Various sources have pegged it as lower than the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Timothy Bradley boxing match seven nights earlier. No national number has been released for that fight either. Like with Jones, this based on earliest samples, looks to be the lowest Velasquez main event. That’s saying something since his last fight was with Bigfoot Silva, who he had massacred a year earlier, and was on a show with a strong undercard.”
So the same fans that bought PPV to see a squash match between Velasquez and Bigfoot weren’t interested in seein JDS vs. Cain III. I don’t profess to be a marketing or trends expert, but if this decline continues it will have to be addressed somewhere along the line.
The next big measuring stick will be UFC 167 when Johny Hendricks challenges Georges St-Pierre for the WW title. Any ideas as to why sales could be dropping?