UFC President Dana White was confident that UFC 251 would be one of the most successful PPV events in company history. With three stacked title fights and a main event that came out of nowhere, as well as holding events on “Fight Island”, anything was possible. His dream ended up becoming a reality.
According to The Athletic, UFC 251 on July 11 reportedly ended up generating over 1.3 million PPV buys. While it did not break the record off 2.4 million set by Khabib Nurmagomedov v. Conor McGregor at UFC 229, it is only the fifth time a PPV event has reached that mark. Other events have featured McGregor except for UFC 100 in 2009.
UFC 251 featured Petr Yan beating Jose Aldo for the vacant UFC Bantamweight Title, Alexander Volkanovski retaining the UFC Featherweight Title over former champion Max Holloway, and Kamaru Usman defending the UFC Welterweight Title against Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal was a last-minute replacement as Gilbert Burns tested positive for COVID-19. Masvidal ended up responding to the numbers in a tweet:
“The overwhelming amount of support I have received before, during, and after this journey has been humbling. Still got a lot of goals to meet. All of you that tuned in to see me win, thank you. Those that tuned in to see me lose, thank you.”
The overwhelming amount of support I have received before, during, and after this journey has been humbling. Still got a lot of goals to meet. All of you that tuned in to see me win, thank you. Those that tuned in to see me lose, thank you. https://t.co/4SCJzwHV10
— Jorge Masvidal UFC (@GamebredFighter) July 13, 2020
UFC President Dana White would state before UFC on ESPN 13 just how big the event was. He called Masvidal a true star for coming into the fight on less than ten day’s notice.
“I said it to you guys the other night. I think when you put on a fight – a successful promotion of an event – this is a big melting pot of different things,” White stated, via MMA Junkie. “‘Fight Island’ was a massive star in this thing. Jorge Masvidal was a massive star. Obviously, Usman, the champion and a guy that we’re all starting to realize is tough to beat – and a great card underneath it. It all came together perfectly.”
All UFC PPV’s are featured on ESPN+, with ESPN hosting the preliminary bouts. Final PPV numbers are normally not made public, and the end buyrate at the moment is unavailable.