The early estimates for the number of UFC 157 PPV buys are in and it appears that the event was a huge success according to Dave Meltzer via (Wrestling Observer):
Over 400,000….they’re absolutely thrilled. The show, it was…they had predicted 250. Budgeted 250, I shouldn’t say predicted. But I mean, the predictions internally were 250-300. So they blew away their predictions, big time. It’s..uh..yeah..it’s not as big as I’ve seen some numbers floating around, it wasn’t THAT big, but if you think about what all things considered it was enormous. It was a huge success.
I wrote back in December that Ronda Rousey had the star power to carry a PPV:
IF the UFC 157 event does anywhere near 250-300,000 PPV buys it would have to be considered success. Rousey will be on major promotional outlets while promoting this fight. In fact, she’s already been making the rounds on shows like Jim Rome, and I’m sure she’ll be on ESPN and more. The fact that the UFC owns the footage to her fights means they can use it on those promotional networks to showcase her ability inside the cage. Finally, the UFC 157 event will feature a title fight and for whatever reason, events with title fights always seems to do OK with relation to who’s on the card.
I dont’ want to brag, but there were a TON of skeptics regarding Rousey’s ability to carry a PPV. So you’ll see that I was spot on with the internal estimates that the UFC had going into the event(according to Meltzer). According to the early estimates, the final buyrate may blow those estimates out of the water. The fact of the matter is the entire event was built around the Rousey/Carmouche fight, and BOTH ladies did an unbelievable amount of media and interviews to promote it. Think about it, Liz Carmouche was virtually when the bout was first announced, but most people had at least heard of her just days going into the event.
Some people will try to give credit to Dan Henderson and Lyoto Machida for some PPV buys. Obviously, both fighters are names in the game, but neither are proven PPV draws. Also, how many times can you recall Henderson or Machida doing interviews? Did you see them on ESPN, CNN, Jim Rome, and Larry King Live?
What about Urijah Faber?
These two women deserve the majority of the credit for the success of the event. We have to obviously give a tip of the cap to the UFC marketing machine, because the buzz for this event really started to pick up about 2 weeks out with the very well done UFC Primetime series. The co-main event between Henderson and Machida was a dud, yet nobody really cares because the women delivered in the main event.
Give credit where credit is due. The only question now is can the UFC replicate that success with Rousey again? Of course, it would be much easier if Rousey’s next opponent is Miesha Tate. The two already have history together with a little bad blood to top it off. Tate will fight Cat Zingano in April at the TUF 17 Finale with the winner expected to face Rousey for the UFC women’s bantamweight title.
Stay tuned, the UFC may have a new PPV star on the roster.