PPV History – UFC 160 main event fighters

May 24, 2013

MMA Payout takes another look at the prior PPV history of UFC 160’s main event fighters.  The quick conclusion is that the UFC Heavyweight Division is a big draw for fans.

Bigfoot Silva

UFC 156 Alistair Overeem February 2, 2013 330,000 PPV buys
UFC on FX Travis Browne October 5, 2012 1.1M viewers
UFC 146 Cain Velasquez May 26, 2012 560,000 PPV buys


It’s a surprise that Silva is in this position – a shot at the Heavyweight title and a rematch with Cain Velasquez.  Everyone thought that Alistair Overeem would have destroyed Silva and we would be looking at a dream matchup with Overeem vs. Cain this weekend.  But, Overeem gassed and Silva’s humongous hands spelled the end to the Demolition Man.  Silva will have to avoid a rerun of last year’s bloodbath where Cain mauled him.

Cain Velasquez

Via Wikimedia

Via Wikimedia

UFC 155 Junior dos Santos (W) December 29, 2012 590,000 PPV buys
UFC 146 Bigfoot Silva (W) May 26, 2012 560,000 PPV buys
UFC on Fox 1 Junior dos Santos (L) November 12, 2011 5.7M viewers
UFC 121 Brock Lesnar (W) October 23, 2010 1,050,000 PPV buys
UFC 110 Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (W) February 21, 2010 240,000 PPV buys


Disregard UFC 110 and you can see that Cain is a top tier draw for the UFC.  He’s averaged 733,000 PPV buys since UFC 121.  Factor in the great ratings for the UFC’s first network show and its obvious he’s slightly behind GSP and Anderson Silva in drawing power.

Junior Dos Santos

Via Wikimedia

Via Wikimedia

UFC 155 Cain Velasquez(L) December 29, 2012 590,000 PPV buys
UFC 146 Frank Mir (W) May 26, 2012 560,000 PPV buys
UFC on Fox 1 Cain Velasquez (W) November 12, 2011 5.7M
UFC 131 Shane Carwin June 11, 2011 325,000 PPV buys
UFC 117 Roy Nelson (W) August 7, 2010 600,000 PPV buys


JDS falls in the Cain Velasquez category of UFC fighters that can draw.  UFC 117 was more Silva-Sonnen than dos Santos and UFC 131 was going to be JDS-Brock except for Brock having to bow out due to his diverticulitis.  So, perhaps that’s why 131 did not do as well.  Still, JDS averages about 583,000 PPV buys excluding UFC 131 (518K if you include the Carwin fight).

Mark Hunt

Via Wikimedia

Via Wikimedia

UFC on Fuel TV: Silva v. Stann Stefan Struve (W) March 3, 2013 485,000 viewers(record for Fuel  TV)
UFC 144 Cheick Kongo (W) February 26, 2012 325,000 buys
UFC 135 Ben Rothwell (W) September 24, 2011 520,000 buys
UFC 127 Chris Tuschscherer (W) February 27, 2011 260,000 buys
UFC 119 Sean McCorkle (L) September 25, 2010 295,000 buys


Hunt’s rise to semi-main event status came in part due to an impressive knockout of Stefan Struve.  The fight card, headlined by Wanderlei Silva versus Brian Stann from Japan garnered the biggest rating for a UFC on Fuel TV event.

Hunt defeated Cheick Kongo in Japan at UFC 144.  One recalls that was the return of the UFC to Japan and featured a 4 hour PPV with Benson Henderson defeating Frankie Edgar for the Lightweight title.  UFC 127 featured Jon Fitch v. BJ Penn from Australia in what turned out to be a draw.  We may want to throwout  UFC 119 as the headliner was the ill-timed Mir v. Cro-Cop fight in which everyone was a loser.

Payout Perspective:

The numbers reflect the popularity of the Heavyweight division.  JDS and Cain are at the top of this list as attractive draws for the UFC.  With Hunt and Bigfoot looking to make inroads into the top tier of the Heavyweight division, the recent signing of Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier and Alistair Overeem still around we can see another resurgence of this division.  This annual Memorial Day card is a great way to feature this division and a good way to kick off the Summer.

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