UFC 191 wasn’t exactly filled to the brim on Saturday night, with little promotional push or interest in the pay-per-view event headlined by Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight title defense vs. John Dodson. Unfortunately for “Mighty Mouse”, his decision win over Dodson was a total disaster as far as ticket sales. While the reported attendance was 10,873, the live gate of $1.3 million is (per MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn) the lowest total for a Vegas-based UFC pay-per-view in 11 years:
UFC 174 numbers blamed on World Cup
UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson believes the potentially low UFC 174 numbers could be attributed to the World Cup.
UFC 191’s reported gate of $1.3 million is the lowest for a Las Vegas-based UFC pay-per-view card since UFC 49 in August 2004.
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) September 6, 2015
The only thing UFC 49 and UFC 191 have in common is the presence of Joe Riggs.
You can also obviously conclude that the UFC handed out plenty of comp tickets on fight night. When you combine an unpopular champion with minimal marketing and a main card without any considerable modern day draws, the end result isn’t “prettier than a motherf**ker”. Here are Johnson’s last 4 gate totals:
vs. Dodson (Las Vegas) – $1.3 million
vs. Horiguchi (Montreal) – $668,000
vs. Cariaso (Las Vegas) – $2.2 million (Note: Card had Cerrone-Alvarez and McGregor-Poirier, original main event was Jones-Cormier)
vs. Bagautinov (Vancouver) – $1.14 million
As things stand, Johnson is the holder of the lowest Vegas PPV gate and worst selling PPV of the TUF era (UFC 174 vs. Bagautinov). One must wonder if we’ll see Johnson headlining another pay-per-view for the UFC, and instead return to cable shows (or Fight Pass). Johnson hasn’t even been a co-main event for any of his title defenses, so perhaps putting him in that slot suits him better. He’s making history inside the Octagon with his phenomenal championship success, but sadly when it comes to dollars and cents he’s making history for all the wrong reasons.
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