Despite being one of the biggest heavyweight showdowns in recent memory, it seems that PPV buys for UFC 166: Velasquez vs Dos Santos 3 were very disappointing.
In fact, according to a report from PPV guru Dave Meltzer, the past two UFC PPV events have performed under the organization’s expectations.
“It’s far too early to get an accurate PPV number, but the early trends are, at least to me, hugely disappointing,” Meltzer wrote. “When Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson did far lower than any Jones show to date, it had the built in excuse of being one week after Mayweather vs. Alvarez. While the boxing/MMA crossover isn’t that large, that event, when you’re talking 2.2 million buys at $75 a head and the fight that everyone was talking about, that is the exception. Dana White has said that the number (which he wouldn’t reveal) was better than he expected, but he’s also a bigger boxing fan than most.”
Similarly, early reports indicate that UFC 166 was Velasquez’s least popular main event outing so far.
“Various sources have pegged it as lower than the Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Timothy Bradley boxing match seven nights earlier,” Meltzer continued. “No national number has been released for that fight either. Like with Jones, this based on earliest samples, looks to be the lowest Velasquez main event. That’s saying something since his last fight was with Bigfoot Silva, who he had massacred a year earlier, and was on a show with a strong undercard.”
Despite this, 2013 is on track to be the UFC’s most profitable PPV year since 2010, so it’s not all doom and gloom. Many speculate though that the lack of promotion given to Alexander Gustafsson and the Velasquez/Dos Santos match up in general may have contributed to the poor sales numbers.
Hopefully the UFC will be able to bounce back with their next PPV event, UFC 167, in November. It will be headlined by a welterweight title fight between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks.