Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) did some Bellator-esque numbers for its UFC 173 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which took place over Memorial Day Weekend (Sat., May 24, 2014) and featured a monster upset in the main event, as TJ Dillashaw toppled Renan Barao to claim the 135-pound throne.
The event scared up 200-250,000 PPV buys, according to Dave Meltzer.
With the plethora of free UFC televised events, the consistently large pay-per-view numbers from the mid-2006 to 2010 period are only going to be hit when the public sees an event as major. Now more than ever, the biggest shows have remained strong, but shows without a strong main event or deep card, are seeing people pick and choose. The 200,000 to 230,000 range is where the featherweight and bantamweight title matches, as well as some lightweight title matches, have been doing over the last two years when they are the singular headlining fight.
That's probably not a shock to most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans, as the "Barao vs. Dillashaw" event was light on star power, save for the co-main event that featured Dan Henderson's "Sin City" shellacking at the hands of ex-heavyweight Daniel Cormier.
UFC 175, which is just around the corner, is expected to double those numbers as "Weidman vs. Machida" (full fight card here) features two championship title fights over Fourth of July Weekend.