UFC 208: Will you buy it?
February 10, 2017
UFC 208 will be the third time that the company has held a show in the state of New York since it legalized professional MMA last fall. Are fans interested in this PPV?
In the main event, Holly Holm takes on Germaine de Randamie for the new UFC women’s featherweight title.
Also, Anderson Silva returns to action taking on Derek Brunson.
UFC 208 will be the second time a UFC card was headlined by women without Ronda Rousey as one of the main eventers. The other, UFC 200, featured Amanda Nunes and Miesha Tate. Of course, that was by necessity with Jon Jones being pulled from that event.
One must surmise the UFC had hoped for another title fight (possibly Diaz-Conor III) to headline this card with Holm as a strong semi-main. With McGregor taking a prolonged paternity leave and Nate Diaz trying out boxing since he claims the UFC put him on ice, fans get the matchup for a new title.
Perhaps this slot was to be for Cris “Cyborg” Justino. But, she was flagged by USADA.
So, it comes down to Holly Holm. While Germaine de Randamie might be a promising fighter, she has only 2 fights since 2015.
Holm is on a 2-fight losing streak which included losing the title to Miesha Tate in March and then dropping a decision to Valentina Shevchenko in late July.
However, the latter fight, which aired on Fox, scored the highest rating for a summer show since the company has been on Fox.
Her main event loss to Shevchenko peaked at over 4.6 million viewers with the broadcast averaging near 3 million viewers. Holm defeated Ronda Rousey in November 2015 to tear down the former undefeated champ’s mystique and essentially end her career.
But, is her appeal enough to draw on PPV?
Anderson Silva’s drawing power is now past its prime and marketing efforts are behind the Holm-de Randamie fight.
There are signs that this event will not draw. There is no sponsor for the Embedded series, which have been lackluster to say the most. UFC 208 is not trending online and the peak viewership of the weigh-ins on YouTube was comparable to that of UFC 206. The event featuring Jose Aldo and Max Holloway drew 150,000 buys and was the lowest rate for 2016.
It appears that UFC 208 will be on par with UFC 206 as its truly a card for the hardcore UFC fans.