Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer is reporting early returns on UFC 91 pay-per-view buys range from 800,000-850,000 purchases. While Couture vs. Lesnar did not quite hit the 1.2 million mark Dana White openly predicted, UFC 91 ranks only behind UFC 66 Liddell vs Ortiz 2 in terms of PPV buys.
The Dana White media machine provided the public with enough UFC Kool-aid to make people want to spend $44.95 on the bout. Although the UFC 91 card had many exciting finishes, as a whole it did not have much star power outside the main event.
For example, UFC 66 had Andrei Arlovski, Forrest Griffin and TUF 3 winner, Michael Bisping to help attract fans in addition to the excitement of the Liddell vs. Ortiz main event. An undercard with a few big names on there could have been enough to put UFC 91 over the one million buy mark.
The ESPN coverage certainly helped hype the main event but putting all their eggs in one basket left the UFC short of their goal. However, with the live gate drawing $4.8 million, combined with over 800,000 PPV buys, UFC 91′s overall numbers stack up as one of the most successful ZUFFA LC. events of all time.