When Sean O’Malley stopped Aljamain Sterling in the UFC 292 pay-per-view (PPV) headliner earlier this month in Boston, capturing the bantamweight title in the process, UFC President Dana White whispered in his ear, “Kid, you have no idea how much money you’re going to make.”
He also has no idea how much money he’s not going to make.
UFC 292 finished between 300,000 and 350,000 pay-per-view (PPV) buys, according to insider information fed to former bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo. That would leave UFC 292 in the neighborhood of UFC 262 with roughly half of what UFC 288 sold.
O’Malley was expecting to double that number.
“Guess what, guys, I have friends at ESPN. I’m not gonna say who but Sean O’Malley did anywhere between 300,000 to 350,000 [PPV buys],” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “That’s it. That’s all Sean O’Malley made in pay-per-view buys. Is 350,000 pay-per-view buys — is that a surplus or is that down? The other guy who will probably more than likely know is Aljamain Sterling.”
O’Malley’s “tricky” contract left him without any PPV points for UFC 292.
“Everyone was projecting that this event was one of the biggest of the year,” Cejudo continued. “It’s not true. So, my question is to Sean O’Malley: Do you have that sauce to sell, to be a pay-per-view superstar? Yeah, you just won the belt but you would imagine you’re fighting in Boston against a current champ who has gone down and got wins over legends, how big is the name of Sean O’Malley? Yeah, does he have a following through Instagram? 100 percent. But can he sell pay-per-views?”
Perhaps that social media status isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The UFC PPV business is now controlled by ESPN after its blockbuster deal back in 2018. We also have to consider that Cejudo, who is lobbying for his own bantamweight title fight, is the only available source (by way of super-secret insider) for the UFC 292 metrics.
Maybe he’s right, or maybe he’s “back on the bottle.”