Estimated 250,000 PPV Buys for UFC 230
UFC 230, the Madison Square Garden card headlined by Daniel Cormier’s first UFC Heavyweight Title defense against Derrick Lewis, earned an estimated 250,000 buys per a report from MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer.
The numbers were down from the 375,000 from July’s UFC 226 — where Cormier defeated Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title — and January’s UFC 220 — which saw Miocic retain against Francis Ngannou and Cormier retain the light heavyweight title against Volkan Oezdemir. UFC 226 and UFC 220 are the two biggest pay-per-view numbers for the UFC this year outside of UFC 229.
In addition to coming just four weeks after the Khabib Nurmagomedov-Conor McGregor showdown, the event also faced competition from the Alabama-LSU college football game — the highest-rated NCAA Football game of the season — and a short buildup for the main event.
The UFC originally booked Valentina Shevchenko vs. Sijara Eubanks for the women’s flyweight title, but the bout was scrapped following negative reaction throughout the MMA community. Meltzer estimates the bout would have given UFC 230 less than 100,000 buys. It did not help a heavily anticipated Nate Diaz vs. Dustin Poirier bout was canceled and the main card, full of middleweight bouts, was shuffled around when Luke Rockhold dropped out due to injury.
The UFC then booked Cormier-Lewis despite earlier statements from Cormier he wouldn’t be ready to fight until January and Lewis’ medical suspension from UFC 229 and lack of desire to challenge for the heavyweight strap.
Cormier has not drawn big pay-per-view numbers outside of his two fights with Jon Jones, and despite being a two-division champion, Lewis may not have been seen as an appropriate title challenger — despite Lewis’ rise in popularity from his UFC 229 post-fight interview and the UFC 230 main event build up.
The pay-per-view estimates, Meltzer also states, go with the current state of the business, where people may not purchase a UFC pay-per-view every week but can come out in big numbers for the biggest fights.
Original Story: MMA Fighting