Former WWE superstar Phillip “CM Punk” Brooks received a ton of criticism for both his performance and his $500,000 payday at last weekend’s (Saturday, September 10, 2016) UFC 203 from Cleveland, where he was thoroughly decimated in only two minutes and 14 seconds by Mickey Gall.
Yet while Punk’s sizeable pay, which few UFC fighters currently earn, expectedly riled the roster and potentially inspired them to further seek fair treatment, the early numbers may suggest that Punk earned his keep and then some. According to an estimate from Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting, UFC 203 sold between 425,000 to 475,000 buys.
While that’s a far cry from the million-plus buy cards Conor McGregor has routinely brought in the last year, Meltzer noted that would still be an increase of .75 million and .25 million in additional revenue, as a card featuring only the Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem heavyweight title bout was estimated to bring in 250,000 to 300,000 buys.
UFC 203’s overall number may not appear huge on paper, yet it was still the best-selling UFC PPV of the year other than McGregor’s cards and the heavily promoted but ultimately lackluster UFC 200 card.
Punk’s payday may be many times that of an average UFC fighter, all of whom have a significant amount more relevant MMA experience. He brings the numbers like few have this year, however, so in retrospect, his $500,000 salary was a good deal.
Is that enough to bring him back for another bout? Not if you believe what Dana White said after his fight.