Can Lesnar push UFC to record PPV buy rate?

July 6, 2016

At UFC 100, Brock Lesnar’s defeat of Frank Mir helped the company set a record with 1.6 million PPV buys.  Can Lesnar’s fight on the UFC 200 main card help the company set a record yet again?

Things have changed since July 2009 when Lesnar manhandled Frank Mir in two rounds.  However, the UFC is banking on the Lesnar PPV success to continue 7 years and 100 PPVs later.

Before we discuss UFC 200 surpassing UFC 100 in PPV buys, one has to recall UFC 100 also included Georges St. Pierre defending his welterweight title.  In addition, a young Jon Jones fought on the preliminary card.  Arguably, UFC 200 has a better lineup with 3 title fights as well as Cain Velasquez and Travis Browne in the main card opener.

Lesnar is a PPV magnet and despite the fact he’ll likely be fourth on the card behind the three title fights, many people are buying the card to watch him.

Back in 2010, MMA Payout deduced that Lesnar was the biggest UFC PPV draw.  We note that the post occurred in August 2010, prior to Lesnar’s defeat at UFC 121 to Cain Velasquez.

With Lesnar in the main event, it’s clear that he’s been an overwhelming boon for business.

UFC 91, November 15, 2008: Lesnar v. Couture: 1,010,000 PPV buys

UFC 100, July 11, 2009: Lesnar v. Mir: 1,600,000

UFC 116, July 3, 2010:  Lesnar v. Carwin: 1,060,000

UFC 121, October 23, 2010: Lesnar v. Velasquez: 900,000

UFC 141, December 30, 2011: Lesnar v. Overeem: 535,000

You might recall that UFC 141 was on a Friday night due to New Year’s Eve which likely detracted from the buy rate.  Despite that, the rest of Lesnar’s fights averaged 1,142,500 PPV buys.

In October 2014, the Sports Business Journal compiled a list of the biggest UFC PPV draws.  Lesnar topped that list as well.  GSP, Rampage Jackson, and Chuck Liddell followed in that order.

If we were to factor the Conor McGregor cards, he would crack the list of top PPV draws but Lesnar is still the top draw for the company.  Ronda Rousey events average around 680,000 PPV buys (excluding the co-main event cards with Chris Weidman).

With UFC 200 so stacked with fights for the casual to the hardcore fan, Saturday night’s event should flirt with the company PPV record of 1.6 million PPV buys.  The company’s decision to include Lesnar on this card could help it propel it to near 2 million PPV buys.

Payout Perspective:

It’s been 5 years since Lesnar last fought but Saturday’s event is stacked.  Jones-Cormier, Edgar-Aldo and Tate-Nunes would have given this card nearly 1 million PPV buys but the addition of Lesnar should put this event over the top.  We shall see if Lesnar would like to step back into the octagon after his fight with Mark Hunt Saturday.  Certainly, based on the anticipated huge buy rate, the UFC wouldn’t mind Lesnar coming back to the heavyweight division.

11 Responses to “Can Lesnar push UFC to record PPV buy rate?”

  1. Fight Fan on July 6th, 2016 3:20 PM

    Lesnar is not the same draw he used to be. He is coming back for one thing and that’s a paycheck. While the card may be “stacked” the ufc also has 2 more ppvs within a very short amount of time. People can only afford to buy so many ppvs.

  2. turd on July 6th, 2016 5:13 PM

    i think lesnar was brought back to increase buys and ticekt sales, i even remember this card was not sold out even 3 weeks ago

  3. fight fan on July 6th, 2016 5:15 PM

    Turd that may be true, they want one last big card before the sale to try to show some money. Basically a big pump and dump scam but this one involves the UFC sale.

  4. Fight Fan on July 6th, 2016 8:06 PM

    Jones is off the 200 card, 600k buys prediction

  5. tops E on July 6th, 2016 8:52 PM

    Buyers of rhe ufc having second thoughts? Its a steroid problem sport….

  6. turd on July 6th, 2016 8:53 PM

    serious fight fan i even remember the last fight night they had, they were advertising tickets still available for ufc 200

    also jones just got popped for blood doping

    outside of mcgregor who does the ufc have now that can sell ppvs ?

    ronda rousey is out, i think they will offer gsp big money to come back now

  7. tops E on July 6th, 2016 8:59 PM

    Karma….all dw shenanigans coming back at him lol

  8. turd on July 6th, 2016 9:30 PM

    jon jones has to be the dumbest mma fighter ever he has lost millions because of his narcistic behavior and bad decisions

    he will never get a sponsor again, his only hope to make money is if the ufc lets him fight again

    hes looking at a two year suspension to

  9. Wil on July 8th, 2016 1:46 AM

    the ufc understands star power and promotion and thats why it negotiated lesnar to come back. the UFC isnt selling like it did in the mid 2000s, and with rousey and mcgregor losing, and all the starts from that earlier era gone, it needed names. I am really not seeing the buzz for this one like there was for rouseys fights though.

  10. mmaguru on July 8th, 2016 8:02 AM

    The event will likely do somewhere in the range of 1.1 to 1.2 million buys. But can we please stop claiming that UFC 100 did 1.6 million buys. It did 1.3 million.

  11. jf on July 10th, 2016 6:34 AM

    So, the event set new gate and attendance records and Dave Meltzer said on submission radio that UFC 200 will probably break PPV record from what he knows.

    A lot of anti-UFC trolls look like fucking idiots again this morning.

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