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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The UFC had a surefire pay-per-view hit in the originally scheduled UFC 151 main event. Jon Jones had drawn over 700,000 pay-per-view buys in his previous fight against Rashad Evans in April, and a matchup against longtime MMA vet Dan Henderson seemed to be another highly entertaining matchup for Jones.
However, Henderson suffered a knee injury, and that ultimately resulted in Jones fighting later in the month at UFC 152. This time, he took on Vitor Belfort, a fighter who hadn't competed in his division in five years, and wasn't seen as much of a threat to the young Champion. Because of that, it was hard to see just how well the bout would draw on pay-per-view.
Penick's Analysis: The UFC may have done better on pay-per-view for the short run putting Jones in against Chael Sonnen on the UFC 152 event, but I'm not surprised with this number at all. The UFC 152 event would have done much worse than 450,000 buys without Jones on the card, so the fact that he still drew what has been around his average outside of the Evans fight is still a positive. He's not a star that can sell a million on his own, not yet. But he's still one of the most bankable fighters the UFC can book right now considering the numbers posted by many others. Even Anderson Silva needs a bankable opponent to draw, and Jones is in that stage of things at this point. This isn't a bad number, and considering what could have been for UFC 152 without Jones, it definitely had an effect.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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