UFC 159: 'Jones vs Sonnen' pay-per-view estimated at just over 500,000 buys

USA TODAY Sports

The UFC 159 pay-per-view estimates are in, and they appear to have hit or exceeded modest expectations. Get the details below.

Who said squash matches don't sell?

The numbers are in, according to MMA pay-per-view (PPV) expert guesstimator Dave Meltzer, who believes the most recent (April 27, 2013) event for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) beat expectations.

"Preliminary estimates for UFC 159, headlined by Jon Jones' successful light heavyweight title defense against Chael Sonnen, indicate pay-per-view buys coming in between 520,000 and 550,000."

Meltzer also mentions that UFC's budgetary prediction for the show was 500,000 buys, so that's good news.

If the numbers are correct, that would make UFC 159 the second biggest seller thus far in 2013, falling behind only the PPV blockbuster that was UFC 158, which featured a serious grudge match between Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and challenger Nick Diaz.

UFC 159 did not feature the same type of grudge match despite being headlined by Chael Sonnen, one of MMA's most prolific trash talkers. Both Jones and Sonnen were amicable during filming of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 17, although the gloves finally started to come off in the lead-up to the event.

Just moment's ago, UFC commentator Joe Rogan discussed the phenomenon that is Sonnen while speaking with Dan Hardy on his podcast:

"The dude got starched by Anderson Silva and goes, 'That's only the beginning. I'm going to fight the light heavyweight champion,' and he actually does. You've got to respect the guy's ability to sell shit."

Despite Jones being a near 10-1 favorite over Sonnen according to the Vegas oddsmakers, the fans still bought in. There's no telling about the lasting power of those buys, however, as UFC 159 featured some of the strangest moments in the promotion's history with several bouts marred by eye pokes and gruesome injuries.

Did you get your money's worth?

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