UFC 251 was expected to be a lucrative success and that appears to be the case.

The pay-per-view event kicked off the Fight Island events this past weekend with a stacked card that saw three title fights.

The most anticipated fight, of course, was the new welterweight title headliner between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal — one of the biggest stars in the promotion today — notably stepped in on six days notice which meant the event was going to garner much more interest.

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UFC president Dana White even claimed it was trending higher than a Conor McGregor fight and it looks like that was the case according to The Athletic who report it generated approximately 1.3 million buys on ESPN+.

UFC 251 Shows Masvidal Is A Draw

That puts it as one of the highest selling pay-per-views in promotional history as UFC 229 aside, it generated the most buys since UFC 202 in 2016 which featured the rematch between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz.

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Masvidal — who previously had a pay dispute with the UFC for not being paid his worth for what he brought in — certainly feels vindicated by his stance as he commented soon after the report came out.

“The overwhelming amount of support I have received before, during, and after this journey has been humbling. Still got a lot of goals to meet. All of you that tuned in to see me win, thank you. Those that tuned in to see me lose, thank you.

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“I want to thank God for allowing me to be able to provide for my family during a time of crisis and the best is yet to come #theresurrection”

It’s now a certainty — Masvidal clearly moves the needle.

What do you make of the number of buys UFC 251 generated?

Experienced freelance sports writer covering mixed martial arts (MMA) extensively for the last few years. Likes a good body shot.