Is GSP the UFC’s biggest PPV star?
September 22, 2011
After the UFC 135 press conference yesterday, Dana White told reports that Georges St. Pierre is the biggest PPV star in MMA today. This, despite the numbers reflecting that Brock Lesnar should hold that distinction.
White did state that GSP’s fight style has changed. Nevertheless, White believes he’s the top draw regardless. White might be pushing this statement and its likely to hype GSP’s upcoming fight. But, the numbers reflect that Brock Lesnar is the top MMA draw when it comes to PPV.
Via the Blue Book:
UFC 121 vs. Velasquez – 1,050,000
UFC 116 vs. Carwin – 1,160,000
UFC 100 vs. Mir – 1,600,000
UFC 91 vs. Couture – 1,010,000
UFC 87 vs. Herring – 625K
UFC 81 vs. Mir – 600K
UFC 129 vs. Shields – 800K
UFC 124 vs. Koscheck – 785K
UFC 111 vs. Hardy – 710K
UFC 100 vs. Alves – 1,600,000
UFC 94 vs. BJ Penn – 920K
UFC 87 vs. Jon Fitch – 625K
UFC 82 vs. Serra (GSP regains title) – 530K
The two have shared the same card twice: UFC 87 and UFC 100.
Looking at the numbers, Brock Lesnar is the king of PPV buy rates for the UFC. We should see a huge spike in PPV buys as he takes on Alistair Overeem at the end of the year. But, I believe White is making the point that GSP is the standard for MMA. Definitely, losing to Matt Serra has caused a change in his style and while he is winning, he is not finishing off opponents. Could the GSP decisions reflect the PPV buy rate between the two fighters? Or, is it once again the fact that fight fans favor the heavyweights? In case you were wondering, Anderson Silva has not surpassed a 1 million PPV buys in any of his main events. The highest buy rate for The Spider was 725K last February against Vitor Belfort.