...OH, ONE MORE THING - PLEASE BOOKMARK US & VISIT DAILY!
By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The UFC is in the midst of an unprecedented string of pay-per-view business in 2010, and they're well on their way to having the biggest pay-per-view year in terms of buys than any in history.
Dave Meltzer, in a new edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, has updated the numbers for last month's UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans event, and has early trending numbers for the UFC 115 event from earlier this month.
While the early estimates for UFC 114 put it at 925,000 buys, the fourth largest in company history, Meltzer's updated numbers bring it past the one million mark and into a tie for second place with the UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II event from December of 2006 with 1.05 million buys.
It furthers the stature of the biggest non-title fight in UFC history, and with UFC 116 expected to surpass it with the Heavyweight Championship on the line and Brock Lesnar's return against Shane Carwin, the UFC is all but guaranteed at least two events into seven figures this year.
But that's not all, the UFC's massive string of success continued with UFC 115, as Meltzer reports that the numbers they're seeing continue to hold it around 520,000 buys, a massive success for a place-holder event between 114 and 116.
The star power of Chuck Liddell and the clear power of marketing from The Ultimate Fighter led to the fifth straight event with more than 500K buys for the UFC. They're all set to continue this string of business throughout the summer with massive cards in July and August, and they are well on their way to beating they're record of near 8 million buys for 2009.
Currently they are over five million buys on the year, including the Zuffa run "Aldo vs. Faber" event, and will have a legitimate chance to surpass seven million before the summer is out.
Penick's Analysis: The fact that the UFC 115 event was able to get up to the 500K mark is astonishing enough, but UFC 114 breaking a million is insane. It's a testament to the UFC Primetime show and the ability of both Rampage and Rashad to do their part in selling their fight.
With much less of a push for Lesnar and Carwin to this point, that card may not reach the lofty heights of UFC 100, but with Lesnar's return and a final push throughout next week heading into 4th of July weekend, along with it being the last pay-per-view fans will need to purchase for the next month, that card will almost assuredly pass the UFC 114 numbers.
Still, for a non-title fight, what Rampage and Rashad were able to pull in terms of viewership was huge, and a lot of those viewers were likely not the typical UFC fan that were brought in due to the hype of this event. If the UFC hooked a number of them it will mean a continued increase in business going forward.
Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
Interested in joining MMATorch's writing team? Send idea for a theme to your column (for Specialist section) or area of interest (i.e. TV Reporter) along with a sample of writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.