Photo of Nate Diaz (left), Nick Diaz (middle) and Dana White (right) by Esther Lin via MMAFighting.com.
The results of the event may not have been what UFC desired but surely they're happy to see the buyrate.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer (subscription required) is reporting that UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit," which took place on Sat., Feb. 4, 2012, from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, did 400,000 pay-per-view buys in preliminary estimates.
That's a pleasant surprise for an event lacking star power in the traditional sense. Nick Diaz is an Internet darling, sure, but his main event bout against B.J. Penn -- a far bigger star than Carlos Condit -- did just 280,000 buys.
Then again, a championship was on the line this time around (even if it was an interim title), and the event took place on Super Bowl weekend. Add in a three-part Primetime series airing on FX and the "Prelims" special on the same channel garnering a highly respectable 1.4 million viewers on average for a two hour broadcast and maybe this shouldn't be such a surprise.
The event featured Carlos Condit winning a five-round unanimous decision over Nick Diaz in what some consider controversial fashion, as all three judges awarded "The Natural Born Killer" the victory and in turn, the interim UFC welterweight championship and the promise to fight Georges St. Pierre later this year.
But it's gotten wacky ever since.
Diaz abruptly quit the sport in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan before his management team took to Twitter to campaign for an immediate rematch. Initially, the Condit camp refused and proclaimed they're preference was to wait for St. Pierre to recover from a knee injury that will sideline him until November.
Then, suddenly, word got out that the rematch was booked. Indeed, UFC President Dana White confirmed that the bout was in the works and even said Condit was the one who asked for it. That seemed strange enough but then things got even stranger.
Gracie, who had been so vehemently asking for the rematch, quickly changed his tune and said the fight would not be taking place. He refused to elaborate any further but emphatically stated multiple times to multiple media outlets the bout will not occur.
But, again, we still don't know why.
Now, we're in a holding pattern, waiting on more news. But in the meantime, everyone can rejoice with the news that the show performed better than expected at the box office.