When the UFC finalized the plan to make Ronda Rousey the headliner of UFC 157 there were many fans and analysts that were certain that the company had just made a critical mistake. There was no way in hell that women fighters, let alone the first women fighters to step foot inside the UFC octagon, could pull successful PPV numbers or push enough event tickets to sell out a venue. Everyone was claiming that the women just didn’t have enough popularity or appeal to match the same numbers that the male fighters pull.
At first it seemed that all the critics were right. First, the ticket sales started out slow. Second, it seemed that the interest in the card didn’t just seem silent but it actually drew a backlash from some fans and even other fighters. And third, Rousey was fighting Liz Carmouche, so there wasn’t a big, dramatic storyline behind the fight beyond the fact that it was the UFC’s first female fight. But things started looking better as the event inched closer.
The coverage began to grow, main-stream media started gaining interest, ticket sales escalated as the event approached, and both Rousey and Carmouche did an excellent job promoting the fight for what it was: the first female UFC fight ever, nothing more.
All of a sudden it seemed as if all the worry surrounding the card had vanished. All that was left to do was for the woman to put on an exciting fight and for the fans to show their interest by buying the fight. Both of those things happened!
Dave Meltzer, the MMA industry’s wiz with PPV numbers and ratings, estimated early that PPV numbers for the card would pull somewhere in the 200,000-300,000 buys, similar to the numbers that Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar pull. That number has apparently been crushed.
Meltzer now believes that Rousey has drawn somewhere between 400,000-500,000 PPV buys for her history setting UFC debut against Carmouche. Meltzer is also stating that DirecTV has claimed that UFC 157 has sold more HD Telescast buys than any other UFC PPV in the history of the company. That is saying something huge! In other words, Rousey, in terms of PPV buys, may be for real.
Meltzer explained that if Rousey can continue her winning ways and keep defending her UFC strap successfully that she can easily become the UFC’s fifth biggest PPV draw. Currently the list consists of GSP, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez, and now Ronda Rousey.
So what do you all here at BJPenn.com have to say about this? Agree? Disagree? How popular and powerful of a pull is Ronda Rousey in your opinion? Let’s hear it Penn Nation!Tags: Anderson Silva, Cain Velasquez, Dave Meltzer, gsp, jon jones, Liz Carmouche, mma, MMA NEWS, PPV, ratings, Ronda Rousey, ufc 157