While we will never know the truth of the matter, the 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 his subscription based newsletter about last weekend’s UFC 141 event.
Because of the holiday, our early PPV numbers are somewhat sketchy but early industry estimates have ranged between 750,000 and 810,000 North American buys, which would be slightly higher than most expectations. The show probably would have hit the 1 million mark if it was on New Year’s Eve. The original plan was to do a New Year’s Eve show from Abu Dhabi, but when that fell through, they booked the MGM Grand. Because the strip in Las Vegas is shut down from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, it really would be impossible to run a show like they do in Las Vegas on that night. It would be either the second or third biggest number in UFC history drawn by a non-title match. Rashad Evans vs. Quinton Jackson holds the record at around 1 million, Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz II was second at 775,000, and please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by claiming the Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski heavyweight title match on that show was really the main event.
The show appears to have done the most buys in the U.S. for any PPV show since Lesnar’s prior fight with Cain Velasquez, and it may have done the biggest number overall since that time, although the Georges St. Pierre fights with Josh Koscheck and Jake Shields may slip ahead overall because of the strong Canadian numbers. Sketchy trending information indicates it appears to have set the company record for any show in Australia.
Some of the strongest markets were Edmonton, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Honolulu, Vancouver, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Calgary, Toronto, San Antonio, Charlotte, Columbus, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kansas City and Phoenix.
UFC 141 took place this past Friday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The end-of-year pay-per-view featured former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar and newly signed heavyweight stand-out Alistair Overeem in a one-sided beat down handed down by Overeem.