(“Screw it, nobody’s watching anyway.”)
I know, I know, you’re all antsy to learn how many pay-per-view buys UFC 91 took in, and whether Dana White’s estimate of 1.2 million was either strongly optimistic or batshit delusional. You’ll have to be patient, because numbers from UFC 90 are just coming out now — and they aren’t too encouraging. Says the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
Silva has never been a big main-event draw, PPV-wise. His headlining appearances at UFC 82, 77, and 67 all translated to buys in the 330,000-350,000 range. But in the run-up to last month’s Chicago show, the UFC had been trying extra hard to push him over as a fan-favorite, frequently repeating the talking point that UFC 90 was your chance to see the world’s greatest pound-for-pound fighter in action. The Spike TV special Countdown to UFC 90 brought in a record number of viewers, which was seen as a great sign for the event’s performance on pay-per-view, though MMA Payout points out that the strong viewership could have been due to having a high-rated TNA wrestling show as a lead in.
I’d imagine that many fans simply weren’t sold on Patrick Cote as a legitimate challenger, and figured they’d watch the brutality the next day on the Internet. (It was brutal, all right, though not for reasons anybody could have foreseen.) I’d also assume that the drop in Anderson Silva’s draw is a direct result of the tail-spinning economy, which will certainly have an impact on the UFC’s revenue for future events.
Bloody Elbow says that both of the UFC shows Lesnar was a part of before UFC 91 did about 600,000 buys. Will we see that number double for Lesnar’s first true main event, or will the number drift downward because Lesnar’s novelty has started to wear off and wallets nationwide have moths flying out of them?