When it comes to PPV buy rates we never really get disclosed true and accurate figures. However the one reliable and lone source for UFC pay-per-view figures has and always will be, Mr. Dave Meltzer.
When people talk of buys, stating this PPV did this amount and this one did that, it is all based on his industry intelligence. The UFC never confirms figures, nor do the broadcasters, however, Meltzer’s time in the PPV business has gone on way before the UFC existed and therefore his estimates and contacts are widely considered as valid and on point.
With that being said, here is what he said via MMAFighting.com about UFC 164:
UFC 164, headlined by Benson Henderson’s lightweight title loss to Anthony Pettis, is currently estimated at doing 270,000 buys based on a variety of sources. The number is an estimated 42 percent increase from the 190,000 estimate for Henderson’s previous pay-per-view main event, at UFC 150 in Denver, against Frankie Edgar.
In between, Henderson headlined two FOX shows. His Dec. 8 title defense over Nate Diaz, helped by heavy promotion during the NFL season, did 5.7 million viewers, putting it in ninth place as far as the most widely watched MMA fights on U.S. television. On April 20, Henderson’s title defense against Gilbert Melendez, without the promotion during NFL telecasts, was viewed by 4.97 million viewers.
It’s clearly early to draw exact conclusions, but it does look like headlining two television matches that drew large audiences did make Henderson into a bigger drawing card, but didn’t bump him into the status of the upper echelon stars.