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Israel Adesanya leads UFC 263 to 600k PPV buys, down from previous two title defenses

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UFC 263: Adesanya v Vettori 2

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) registered approximately 600,000 pay-per-view (PPV) buys for the “Adesanya vs. Vettori 2” mixed martial arts (MMA) event back on June 12 in Glendale, which also featured the return of fan favorite Nate Diaz — who is considered a “Top 5 PPV draw.”

Those numbers come to us by way of Sports Business Journal, though it should be noted that 500,000 of the UFC 263 PPV buys were domestic purchases.

I don’t think anyone at UFC or ESPN is going to be moping around the office after a solid (and profitable) number like 600k, but I also don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest that expectations may have been higher for a card that featured Adesanya, Diaz, and two championship title fights.

Which included Brandon Moreno’s upset win over Deiveson Figueiredo.

Adesanya pulled approximately 700,000 PPV buys for his middleweight title defense against Brazilian rival Paulo Costa at UFC 253, according to MMA Fighting, followed by 800,000 for his “champion vs. champion” showcase opposite Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259.

Not too shabby.

You can also argue that Adesanya and Diaz, the two biggest names in the UFC 263 lineup, were paired off against box-office duds. No question Marvin Vettori and Leon Edwards are world-class fighters, but are they popular enough to compel casual viewers to fork over $70 for a PPV card?

Probably not, especially for those fans holding out for UFC 264 on July 10, featuring the Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor rematch in front of a packed crowd in Las Vegas. It’s no secret that “Notorious” is the biggest PPV draw in UFC history so expect next month’s big shebang to sail past the one-million mark.