There were predictions about how much pay-per-view buys leading to UFC 157 headlined by female fighters would be. Some predicted that a large number, like a 700,000 buy range, of non-MMA fans would buy the event on pay-per-view to see a historic event or to see Ronda Rousey fight. Some predicted that there would be a low 200,000 buy range.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter talked on Wrestling Observer Radio on Feb. 26 about the first early estimates.
“Over 400,000… They’re absolutely thrilled. The show, it was…they had predicted 250, budgeted 250. I shouldn’t say predicted, but I mean, the predictions internally were 250-300. So they blew away their predictions, big time… It’s not as big as I’ve seen some numbers floating around. It wasn’t that big, but if you think about what all things considered, it was enormous. It was a huge success. Actually, the reality is that it was probably…there was a very good chance that the promotion of Rousey was too successful, because she’s been offered a role in the next…whatever it is…the next “Hunger Games” movie that they’re going to film. And once that happens it’s like…you know, who knows? She’s making a lot of money fighting. I don’t know what those numbers are going to be when they come out when they’re released. But she’s making a ton of money. They signed her to a hell of a contract because they really did believe…not necessarily that she’d be this giant PPV draw, but in other ways she’d be incredibly valuable to the company. And so far she has turned out to be more valuable than they expected.”
Meltzer added that the previous event could make even more buys.
“They’re expecting big replay buys. Big replay buys means 25,000-30,000 more than they have right now. It could do mid four – maybe more – but that’s a nice number to say. Put it that way.”
Although Meltzer talked about the buying range that Rousey pulled in, he is concerned about Rousey possibly becoming too big of a star. Her destination will probably be going to be in movies.
“Whether she is successful at it or not, we don’t know. But we all knew she was going to be there. But it’s…it’s bigger in that sense than…bigger and quicker than would be perhaps what UFC would want. I think it’s cool that they do that, but I think they would want it somewhere where she might do some TV or something like that, but not get in the way or her training or her being hungry. You start doing movies… Movies is often, for fighters, the kiss of death. You get pampered and stuff like that and it’s hard to switch off and go to training.”
It’s not definite that Rousey will jump into acting full-time or her lose her drive to fight, but for now that UFC is happy with the buy rate numbers of Rousey’s headlining fight. The UFC does not have many stars that can get in the 400,000 buying range. There are other great opponents for Rousey that could help sell fights in the future. Although Liz Carmouche lost to Rousey, Meltzer said she should still be happy. He said that she should probably be the happiest person to ever lose a title. He pointed out that she made a good amount of money.