If you thought Urijah Faber was upset that he was relegated to the prelims and denied a spot on the main card of this weekend's (Sat., July 5, 2014) UFC 175 pay-per-view (PPV) event, you're sadly mistaken.
In fact, "The California Kid" asked to headline the preliminary card -- which airs on FOX Sports 1 -- opposite Alex Caceres.
Because more people will tune in to watch his free fight as opposed to having to dish out the coin to watch it on PPV. And the recent slump in PPV sales for the Las Vegas, Nevada-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, supports his claim.
Faber broke it down to Submission Radio:
"You know, for me it actually makes a little more sense. It's the main event on the free card, the FOX Sports 1 card, so you know I think as far as exposure goes, I'll probably get a wider view for more viewers that don't have to pay. I think the PPV numbers haven't necessarily been as high as they used to be, so for me it makes more sense. I'm the featured fight on the free card right before the PPV, and I don't get piece of that PPV anyway, so I'd rather more people watched the fight."
Faber added that the "cheapskates" outnumber those who are willing to open up their wallet to catch a couple of fights.
"I actually asked to be on the main event of the free card because that's a fight that everybody's gonna see for free. And all the cheapskates aren't gonna be able to watch the PPV card. So for me, it makes more sense to get the exposure, because it doesn't affect me either way as far as pay goes."
Indeed, the numbers for the last two UFC PPV events weren't all that impressive.
UFC 173 -- which featured a title fight that saw T.J. Dillashaw dethrone then-bantamweight champion Renan Barao -- barely pulled in over 200,000 buys.
Meanwhile, UFC 174 -- which was spearheaded by a flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov -- is rumored to have pulled in far, far less.
While numbers for preliminary action are rarely reported, UFC Fight Night events on FOX Sports 1 have been strong and steady for the past few showings. Though Faber will be fighting on the prelims, you can expect plenty of people to tune in for his bout against "Bruce Leeroy" given his popularity and drawing power.
As for UFC 175 itself, a pair of intriguing title fights lead the charge as middleweight champ Chris Weidman defends his belt against Lyoto Machida in the main event, while Ronda Rousey defends her 135-pound title against Alexis Davis in the co-headlining act.
With heavy hitters like those, UFC can expect a spike in PPV buys.