Dana White is never shy to let the world know when the UFC does well and he appears to have a lot to crow about after this weekend.White is claiming that the overnight results showed UFC 190 trending better than UFC 189. That would make it easily Ronda Rousey’s biggest performance on pay-per-view as UFC 189 is believed to have done between 800,000 and 1 million buys.
That would make it a breakthrough performance for Ronda. Her last bout against Cat Zingano is estimated to have done 600,000 buys.
If she beat Conor McGregor’s numbers at UFC 189 that would make her the biggest star in the UFC.
According to Dave Meltzer at MMA Fighting, Google searches for Rousey, UFC 190 and Correia” topped 5.8 million searches from Thursday to Saturday, with more than 5 million alone on Saturday night.” Google searches have correlated strongly with pay-per-view purchases in the past.
For context, according to Meltzer, the Mayweather-Pacquiao topped 10 million and a normal UFC pay-per-view will fall between 200,000 and 500,000. UFC 189 got more than 1.3 million searches, mainly for Conor McGregor.
As for the UFC 189 numbers, the UFC is publicly claiming it did over 1 million buys. Here’s what PPV combat sports guru Dave Meltzer is hearing from his sources in the cable industry, via the Wrestling Observer newsletter (subscription required):
The 7/11 show with Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes has been almost impossible to get a number on because of such wide varieties of cable estimates. The figure going around in the cable industry last week was 950,000 buys. UFC, which never releases numbers publicly, did so for the first time, listing on its web site in a McGregor article, that the show broke the U.S. gate record with $7.2 million and listed it as doing 1 million buys on PPV. But as noted, there have been sources pegging it significantly lower as well as higher, because it seems to have been super high in some places and nothing special in others, making normal estimates difficult. I know of cable systems that did average business for the show, and others that did business that would have indicated a 1 million buy show. Most of the normal indicators were very strong, many being higher than anything since UFC 168, but the TV ratings for the prelims, which are usually a good indicator, were only average. The idea of 847,000 total TV viewers watching the prelims and 1 million homes ordering the main card immediately strikes you as something that makes no sense, which, combined with some cable numbers that simply don’t fit into a 1 million buy pattern, make me skeptical. But if you look at almost every other indicator, it’s the TV number that doesn’t fit the pattern, not the PPV number.
It appears the UFC has broken out of the doldrums that gripped it in 2014 after the retirement of superstars Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre. That’s despite the flameout of light heavyweight champ Jon Jones early this year. Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey have clearly emerged as a new set of superstars for the promotion.
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