Brock Lesnar. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
UFC 91, which took place on November 15 and featured former professional wrestler Brock Lesnar defeating UFC legend Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight title, has reportedly generated over 1 million pay-per-view buys, temporarily making it the second most successful UFC PPV event in history.
UFC has not made a public announcement of the buys for UFC 91, but privately, Dana White has told people the number is right at the 1 million mark. Two others have confirmed that at least this is the number UFC is talking about internally, with the actual figure being pegged at 1,010,000 buys.
It was stated that if they do well in late reported buys, they have a solid to good shot at beating the 1,050,000 mark set in 2006 by Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz, and are not publicly saying anything because they want to announce it was the biggest ever, which at this point, is something they can’t say. Keep in mind our trending patterns came in at 800,000 to 850,000 buys. Lesnar seems to be the one person whose drawing power never gets fully reflected in early trending patterns.
It’s not that surprising that the event did so well. Randy Couture is historically one of the UFC’s biggest all-time draws and Brock Lesnar’s signing extended the UFC’s mainstream reach ten-fold. However the number of buys the event did is pretty amazing considering the lack of advertising in the weeks leading up to the show.
When the event was first announced, Couture, Lesnar, and UFC President Dana White went on a media blitz for one week, hitting up various television sports networks, radio shows, and the like to promote the event. However after the initial foray, the UFC really didn’t do that much in terms of publicity for the show with the exception of spots on ESPN and a few radio shows during the week of the event.
All signs point to UFC 94 being the UFC’s next opportunity to really advertise for one of their marquee fight cards. Commercials for UFC 92 have been shown often and on multiple networks over the last couple of weeks but it was the latest season of “The Ultimate Fighter” that was doing a lot of the work in that regard.
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