The UFC is well behind last year’s record setting year for PPV buys mostly due to the absence of its number one draw in Brock Lesnar. So the UFC has been forced to lean on unproven(PPV wise) fighters to headline events which hasn’t gone so well with only two PPV’s doing over 500,000 PPV this year.
Jon Jones has headlined one PPV event which took place in his last outing when he challenged Mauricio “Shogun” Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 128. That event drew a modest PPV buyrate of near 450,000 buys. The UFC has hopes of Jon Jones becoming the next Georges St-Pierre, a fighter with a rapid rise through the ranks to become a bonafide star and PPV draw.
Jones certainly is a talented fighter and seems to have that ‘it’ factor in that fans either like him or dislike him. He’s fighting a guy at UFC 135 in Rampage Jackson that has some name recognition, and has also fought on several PPV events that have had massive PPV buys.
Jones has enjoyed a huge push from the UFC in regards to marketing, particularly after his win over Ryan Bader and definitely leading into his fight with Rua which only took place about 6 weeks after the Bader fight. The UFC is billing his fight with Jackson as ‘old school vs. new school’ so it’ll be interesting to see what the reaction is after Saturday night. On paper this event is relatively dependent on the main event as the rest of the card is pretty weak and a co-main event that involves a fading legend taking on a guy who took the fight on short notice.
So this is a great opportunity to see just where Jones is in regards to becoming a legitimate PPV draw. What’s the over/under on this card? 400K?