Early PPV Estimates on UFC 217

Georges St-Pierre not only may have proved he still has it in the Octagon, but he may also still have the drawing power. GSP won the UFC Middleweight Championship from Michael Bisping two weeks ago at UFC 217, which also featured two other title changes and a star-stacked card at Madison Square Garden.

Early pay-per-view estimates have the event at 875,000 buys in North America, according to MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer. This would not only be the most bought pay-per-view this year, but the most bought since UFC 207, headlined by Amanda Nunes and Ronda Rousey at the end of 2016.

During the UFC 217 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White had stated the pay-per-view was looking to surpass one million buys, though the 875,000 number does not include any customers who ordered and watched the event online.

Interest in the show, calculated by Google Trends, saw 11 Canadian cities as having the strongest interest in the event. There were many questions as to how the event would draw in Canada, St-Pierre’s home country. GSP was named Canadian Athlete of the Year for three consecutive years (2008-2010), and Canadian cities were strong for UFC pay-per-view purchases during GSP’s previous run with the promotion. Once GSP left the UFC in late 2013, the numbers in Canada began to decline.

There was concern the newer base and more casual MMA fans, brought in by the likes of Rousey and Conor McGregor, would not have the same attachment to GSP. But the numbers seem to quell some of those fears, with White claiming the event broke the pay-per-view record in Canada and had more buys than the McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather boxing match from this past August.

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