A look back at the PPV buy rates for UFC 156 fighters

February 1, 2013

As we head into the annual Super Bowl weekend PPV, MMA Payout takes a look at the previous PPV history of the main and co-main eventers.

We start with the challenger to the Featherweight title, Frankie Edgar.  For purposes of this discussion, we look at his PPV appearance since winning the Lightweight title in Abu Dhabi from B.J. Penn.

Frankie Edgar  PPV Buy History

UFC 112 – v. Penn – 500K PPV Buys
UFC 118 – v. Penn II – 535K PPV Buys
UFC 125 – v. Maynard II – 260K PPV Buys
UFC 136 – v. Maynard III – 225K PPV Buys
UFC 144 – v. Henderson – 325K PPV Buys
UFC 150 – v. Henderson II – 190K PPV Buys

A look at Edgar’s last 6 opponents shows that he’s had 3 rematches.  His fight history also reflects the popularity of BJ Penn as those PPVs hit 500K and 535K PPV buys respectively.  What I find disappointing is UFC 136 and UFC 150.   Those rematches should have received better buys considering the  quality of the first matches.  UFC 136 stands out because it had a good supporting undercard (Aldo-Florian and Sonnen-Stann).

Jose Aldo  PPV Buy History

UFC 129 – v. Mark Hominick – 800K PPV Buys
UFC 136 – v. Kenny Florian – 225K PPV Buys
UFC 142 – v. Chad Mendes – 235K PPV Buys

Aldo transferred over from the WEC and his first UFC appearance was at UFC 129.  The 800K is due in large part to the huge stadium show for the UFC which featured GSP.  Thus, its not like Aldo was a PPV feature although he was a part of the co-main event (he also faced Canadian Mark Hominick).  The other two shows Aldo appeared on are not strong PPV numbers (which include being on the same card as Edgar at 136).  Random fact: Aldo has yet to fight in Vegas for the UFC.

Rashad Evans recent PPV Buy History

UFC 98 –  v. Lyoto Machida – 635K PPV Buys
UFC 108 – v. Thiago Silva – 300K PPV Buys
UFC 114 – v. Rampage Jackson – 1.05M PPV Buys
UFC 133 – v. Tito Ortiz – 310K PPV Buys
UFC 145 – v. Jon Jones – 700K PPV Buys

We take a look back at a recent history of Rashad Evans.  As you can see from his headlining fights, Evans has been a reliable PPV draw.  UFC 108 was injury-plagued as Lesnar-Carwin and Anderson Silva-Vitor Belfort were scheduled to be on the card at one point or another before the event.  As for 133, Ortiz was a late injury replacement.

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira recent PPV Buy History

UFC 114 – v. Jason Brilz – 1.05M PPV Buys
UFC 119 – v. Ryan Bader – 295K PPV Buys
UFC 140 – v. Tito Ortiz – 480K PPV Buys

Little Nog was on the same card as Evans when he finally got a chance at Rampage Jackson.  Notably, that PPV went over 1M PPV buys.  After that, his performance was memorable only for the fact that it was against Tito Ortiz on a card where Jon Jones defended his title.

Alistair Overeem UFC PPV Buy History

UFC 141 – v. Brock Lesnar – 535K PPV Buys

Antonio Silva UFC PPV Buy History

UFC 146 – v. Cain Velasquez – 560K PPV Buys

The last two co-main eventers have a limited UFC history.  Alistair Overeem scored a win against Brock Lesnar in a squash.  Silva was battered by Cain on a card which featured JDS v. Mir.

Numbers via MMA Payout’s Blue Book

Payout Perspective:

The purpose of this exercise was to take a quick look at the PPV draws of the main event fighters.  Its interesting that the UFC decided to bill Aldo-Edgar as a “superfight” without giving much billing to Evans-Little Nog or Overeem-Silva.  Certainly, the UFC could be making an effort to push the Featherweight divisions.  With the success of last week’s UFC on Fox event, it would make sense.  Yet, its the names and the heavyweights that seem to make the PPVs.  Overeem’s lone appearance on UFC PPV was against Brock Lesnar.  That PPV drew 535,000.  While not astronomical, its a decent figure that one would think the UFC could push with his return.  Although a popular fighter, Frankie Edgar is not a draw on PPV.  Jose Aldo is not either.

But, if a card with Edgar-Aldo does well, the UFC will have proved its marketing correct and the prior PPV history numbers a thing of the past.  It would be a good pattern for the lighter divisions considering Mighty Mouse-Dodson hit a high of 5.2 million viewers on network television.  We’ll watch and see.

6 Responses to “A look back at the PPV buy rates for UFC 156 fighters”

  1. Brain Smasher on February 2nd, 2013 12:27 AM

    Now you see why Dana push Frankie down to 145. 155 has always been a decent draw. But Frankie for some reason kills it. Better to move him down where someone can bring in more buys. 145 isnt expected to be a draw so he fits right in. The UFC is really trying to push the small divisions. That is why Johnson/Dodson got such a strong co main event. They wanted to bring in the viewers to see the smaller fighters. Diaz/Bendo didnt get that strong of a co-main. I wouldnt put a semi retired Penn on Jacksons level of drawing ability. Penn was a consistant draw but never had the mega events that Jackson had. Shogun/Vera didnt have nothing to support it. I believe Varner was the co-main.

    I think the reason they are pushing this title fight is they have higher hopes for Aldo. Aldo is going to make them money in Brazil anyway. But they are going to push him in the US since he is already going to be around a long time. They are not losing anything while they try to grow him like they did Anderson Silva. But Frankie really sint contributing anything and if he wins i dont see them pushing him. But you have to make a big deal out of this fight to make people care if Aldo wins. At one time Anderson Silva was the worst drawing headliner in the UFC and the UFC started pushing him real hard right before his James Irvin fight.

    Im not a big fan of Frankie. BUt it is hard to believe he does so poorly on PPV buys. He is worse than Silva used to be. The UFC brand draws many PPVs but Frankie seems to make people actually not buy it. It would actually be better not to put his name on the poster. Its a shame so few people so those fights with Maynard and Bendo.

  2. Jason Cruz on February 2nd, 2013 7:37 AM


    I’ve always found the lack of draw for Frankie amazing. He gets so much support and is a crowd favorite but just looking at PPV buys, he does poorly. If Aldo can stay healthy and returns to that explosive form he showed in the WEC, he can really be a draw for the sub-155ers and boost the Featherweight division.

  3. BrainSmasher on February 2nd, 2013 10:10 AM

    I agree. Tonight’s fight will be interesting. I like to believe everyone has a flaw in their game. Aldo is like many other gifted athletes in MMA. He is a beast but like Vitor and Penn that way of fighting can’t last more than a couple rounds. If he doesn’t finish Frankie early he will lose a decision or it will be a razor thin decision. Lucky for him Frankie is easy to get to early. Which I think Aldo will. He is much faster and a better finisher than Gray. SO if he hurts he he will put him away. IMO

    I think one think that hurts Frankie is him being a East Coast fighter. East coast events have always done poorly for some reason and this is who the UFC has pushed him to. Not sure how many events he has fought on the east coast but I do remember he was on 118 in Boston. To he Is being push to fans who are hard to get on events that few are watching. Not saying that’s why he isnt GSP in PPV buys but it might explain why he is so far from other small champions. Typically a new champ will get some of the old champs following. That didn’t happen when he beat Penn. A very drastic decline from Penn. It’s hard to completely explain. I’m sure his struggle to decisively beat people doesn’t help.

  4. hello what on February 2nd, 2013 4:26 PM

    How can Rashad Evans vs Rampage be 1.05 million buys? Thats inaccurate.

    Rampage complained in the interview that he was told and paid for 800k buys. And in response Dana said that all UFC fighters that have PPV deals have audit rights, meaning they can bring in auditors and check the numbers any time they want. This meaning that they have never lied about their PPV numbers to their guys. Rampage, who also doesn’t have much of a reason to lie, has mentioned multiple times that the number was 800k.

  5. Brain Smasher on February 2nd, 2013 11:25 PM


    First let me say Jackson has many reasons to lie and crazy peope dont need reasons for their actions. What was his reason for his rampage in his truck? He hasnt have to have a reason but likley if there is one it is he is always bitching about money and being destructive to his career.

    Also this is likely a reason he mentioned being paid for 800K buys and if it is the case it just shows how ignorant Jackson is. Every UFC PPV contract i have seen. Which is basically the Couture, Overeem, and Alverez contracts. PPV cut doesnt kick in until they reach the 200K buy mark. So if the PPV sold 1 million. With the 200K not counting towards the PPV cut. Then Rampage got roughly $1-$2.50 for 800K PPVs as he should have been. Overeem was rumored to not start until after the first 500K buys. Couture was a little different also. But the last contract we know of was Eddie Alverex and it doesnt count the first 200K. What we do know if Ramapage is getting a cut of ALL PPV buys when no other known fighter has ever got all Buys. So its safe to say he isnt getting the first 200K.

    It just shows Rampage is an idiot who doesnt even know his own contract and how the PPV structure works. All he knows is he was paid for 800K and assumes that was all that was sold. The UFC figures their Brand would draw that 200K and doesnt count it. The fighter gets what he arguable added to the event.

  6. Weezy02 on February 3rd, 2013 7:24 AM

    Trust me. If Quinton thought he was not getting a fair shake business-wise, he would sue. Don’t doubt that for a second.

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