Report: UFC 165/166 PPV Numbers Were Disappointing


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?

  • The UFC just doesn't carry as much weight as it once did. By cutting extremely talented fighters such as Fitch and Okami for not being exciting enough, the ufc loses it's air of "the Olympics of mma". No longer are we, the fans, guaranteed to be able to tune in and see the absolute best of the best pitted against each other.

    Furthermore, title shots are seemingly handed out at random. I'm a HUGE Chael fan, but how can the ufc maintain credibility and hand him a LHW title fight? The draw of this organization for me was always knowing I would get to find out who the very best in the world is. Now it's being replaced by this weird WWE vibe and I think fans are responding. Just my opinion.

    • Really, so the ufc champs arent the best in the world? So Fitch and Okami actually had a chance to win the belt before they were cut.

      • I think he's just saying they are losing the credibility through releasing guys based on excitement. The guys like Fitch and Okami are capable of title shots and far better than many that stayed. Throwing in Chael title fights worsens the situation and scrambles rankings to no credibility making it a "who do you wanna see fight" show.

    • pretty interesting point of view, bro, but i think the real reason ppv numbers are plummeting is because no one is ordering ppv anymore. they are streaming it for free on free fight websites. i personally know handfuls of people that stream.. i found since there's no guarantee on a great fight, i shouldnt have to pay 60 bucks for hd ppv. i blame joe silva for that mostly.

  • So you're telling me less people watch ufc because fighters like fitch and okami got cut?, if they were the ' absolute best' , then they werent cut in the first place.

    • Not that they are the absolute best, but they were ranked fighters. And if the ufc is willing to cut them, what's to stop the ufc from cutting guys like Rory. All I'm saying is, there's less of the feeling that the ufc has all the top fighters, and will continue to be that way. But don't get me wrong, their talent pool is still unbelievably deep.

  • The president we have now (Owe Bama) has destroyed our country. 49% of Americans are on Govt assistance by design to bankrupt our country. 90 million are unemployed of a 350 million population. Obozocare has wiped out even more jobs demanding business owners sign up for employees or pay penalties, under their original healthcare millions are losing the Ins. coverage they once had. Its a rolling nightmare.
    Of course people arent buying 55 USD PPVs. The UFC keeps getting richer as the demographics for the population are getting poorer.
    The UFC will have to change their over priced PPVs to a changing market.

    • I watched UFC 166 at a restraunt the other weekend and it sucked, screaming people 12 tv screens 1/2 on football and baseball, and they didnt have volume to hear anything. Oh well Dana cant gripe, they have to do something to adapt. Like I had to adapt. If they put on 3 events in one month, its goin to be worse. I cant afford 165$ a month to see some fights, screw that.

      • You need a better paying job bro haha.

        • And I'm just messin with you… ***** you can't afford them. I work in the oil field. I can buy anyone I want but there are people I work with that have the same complaints as you. It's ridiculous to me if you're making 6 figures and living paycheck to paycheck blaming Obama for life's problems. Don't know your situation but I find it funny the president made it to lowkick again.

          • *the word was opposite of blows haha.

          • People making 100k+ are in the top twenty percent in the USA income wise. Consider yourself advantaged compared to 80 % of the population. I was laid off 3 weeks ago due to conditions I listed above directly. I have a job interview early next week and have worked extremely hard to get it. I consider my self lucky and fortunate. I've set aside the luxuries for now until Im am back earning the same if not better, I suspect better. Thanks for your input. Have a nice day.

          • Good luck man. We all have to make sacrifices. The people that don't want to are the ones that have us in these situations. I doubt that Obamacare was designed to get you laid off but I'm sure there was someone above that couldn't stand to lose a dollar… Like I said though. Good luck on the job and I hope you can afford to put some away for the hard times man. I'm still cheap and still watch at restaurants sometimes though haha.

          • Thanks man, Im keeping a positive attitude. For anyone else having hard times remember "If you're in a room neck deep in poop, all you can do is keep your head up!" lol

        • Hey man if it was PPV here in Ireland It would be out of my expenditures list. Can't do much when there are virtually no jobs and the only ones available pay 1400-1600/month.

      • @entity..I was also at a pub restaurant and this fu-ck-wit who came into the pub late after the main card fights have already started decides to stand in front of our table… I never pay for PPV, I use the money I would spend on a PPV on beers, steaks lunch etc…Pub pays the UFc so I guess indirectly I am kinda supporting the UFC. I can't justify $50 on a PPV.

    • You can't be serious. Go to reddit if you wanna talk politics this is LOWKICK where we discuss MMA not your bullcrap political agenda and half wit Obama puns.

      • LMAO with a name like Apocalypse, I would expect you to be on theinside and not one of the low information voters who caused this mess. 2ndly, it IS related to why the UFC is seeing smaller numbers. Especially when the last card was awesome! Save your anger and insults and spout them in the mirror IF you voted for that POS. By the way, WTF are you gonna do about it big guy?

        • Don't make judgments about me from a couple of sentences "big guy" I have no intention of getting into some political tiff. It's frustrating when I see it's impossible to escape politics I couldn't give two shits about. Also in case it wasn't obvious this is the internet, I'm not gonna do anything nor did I say I would.

      • He was talking MMA, we don't just talk about moves. We talk about all things relating and he was talking about PPV prices. I hope to see you standing your ground and talking down all the articles on here where we discuss MMA business so you don't look like a hypocrite.

  • Yeah who can when only one of the cards will be worth the price. Too many events. The cards used to be stacked, now we have Tim Kennedy vs. Rafael Natal headlining an event. At least its on FS1.

    • I agree with both Mike and entity, the economy is a big factor along with the increasing number of event…In 2007, you'd be hanging out like a meth addict waiting for the next UFC fight….Tim Kennedy vs Natal may be a great fight but those guys don't have the drawing power….

  • LMAO at the Okami and FItch cuts link. I think I'm a perfect example of why the buys are less. I stream ALL my favorite sports for free now, I pay for my internet but if I find a way to hijack that I will lol. In all seriousness I think part of it is over saturation, I've said before when the SF fighters came and when the WEC fighters came over, it was an opportunity to have the same amount of cards but more stacked. The UFC game plan is to have more, more and more cards. I haven't checked but I'd assume the Fox deal means more free fights too. I haven't done the math and can't because the UFC don't release PPV numbers but maybe the UFC have, a lot more PPV's a decent number vs less PPV's at a higher number, which will make them more money ? Also where are the "modern day" Randy's, Chucks, Rampages and even Forrest and BJ who were allegedly 500k + draws. The LHW run of 1 time champs brought in so much money for the UFC. So in the end it's not about the sport as a whole or the UFC as a brand it's about the individuals that draw people in on a regular basis. On a personal note every year that goes by, more and more people I know ask me for illegal websites, they just can't afford to pay for sports on cable or satellite anymore let alone PVV events.