With the average UFC event scoring somewhere around 300,00 PPV buys and the days of Brock Lesnar bringing in a million PPV buys gone, we ask the question of who is the pay-per-view king? Dana White has said that weltereweight champ Georges St-Pierre is their biggest draw and with each of his last pay-per-views bringing in almost over 800,000, it’s hard deny St-Pierre the crown. The only problem with that assumption is two of those cards have had another title fight on the card, expanding the buys as well. In the absence of St-Pierre due to injury, the question now lingers if St-Pierre is still in fact the top UFC draw for fans.
With the absence of the UFC’s poster boy came the marketing of UFC light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. As with most exciting fighters, people watch him in curiosity to see if he will continue to dominate his opponents. Adding Jones’ title win and two subsequent defenses, he has brought the UFC around half a million buys to date. Most recently however, the highly marketed grudge match with Rashad Evans at UFC 145 has brought in his biggest numbers to date with an estimated 700,000 buys, surpassing his record in his biggest leap yet.
Time will only tell if it was the pairing of Jones and Evans that brought in the big numbers. Evans buy rates are inconsistent because when paired with fan friendly names like Forrest Griffin or Quinton Jackson, he can pull in over one million buys. When he is the bigger name of the two when matched with a fading Tito Ortiz or Thiago Silva he only managed 300,000 buys. At any rate, a new dominant force in the light heavyweight division seems to have brought new life into the pay-per-view market.