25 Mar 2011 10:30:17 AM
(“Your numbers are a little weak in the swing states, Jon. We’d like you to consider wearing this American flag pin.” Pic: ESPN)
Even as MMA hardcores continue to cream their collective jeans over the unbelievable awesomeness of new light heavyweight champion Jon Jones, early estimates indicate UFC 128 didn’t quite live up to expectations in the sales department. Stalwart fight journalist (and the kind of dude who keeps track of this stuff) Dave Meltzer reports his numbers show Saturday night’s pay-per-view notching between 415,000-470,000 buys, which puts it pretty much exactly on the nose of the UFC’s “average” buy rate of 445K. What’s that mean exactly? Well, to borrow a phrase from Scott Coker, it means UFC 128 didn’t really “move the needle” with casual fans.
Naturally, some of the people who get paid to have opinions about this kind of thing (dudes like us) will see this as a failure on the part of Jones himself. After all, the UFC did everything it could to market this PPV behind the 23-year-old phenom, including both a “Countdown” special and the heretofore unseen “In the Moment” documentary on SpikeTV. To this notion, we’d like to say: Not so fast. Even as a website that’s occasionally been quasi-critical of the sport’s new Christ figure, we think it’s pretty unfair to hang this particular PPV’s disappointing showing on Jones. Don’t forget that he didn’t become a full-on breakout superstar until AFTER he crushed Mauricio “Shogun” Rua to win the strap, you guys.Read More ADD COMMENTS (51) DIGG THIS