Estimated PPV buys for UFC 225 better than initially reported

Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Colby Covington

UFC 225 was one of the best cards of the year so far, both in terms of name value and in terms of actual action. So, when the Los Angeles Times reported that the card sold a paltry 150,000 pay-per-views, we were all left scratching our heads.

Well, according to the ever-reliable Dave Meltzer, who is an expert on such things, the actual number of UFC 225 pay-per-view sales is probably closer to 250,000 — still not great, but certainly better than originally reported by the LA Times.

“Industry sources with knowledge of the number pegged that, as of the end of last week, it was estimated at doing about 250,000 buys, a number that would combine both the traditional television purchases and the streaming purchases,” Meltzer said in a report for MMA Fighting. “That would be lower to what would be expected for the show.”

In his report, Meltzer did not seem surprised by the card’s relatively low sales, given that none of the card’s top four fighters, Robert Whittaker, Yoel Romero, Colby Covington and Rafael dos Anjos, have a history of headlining blockbuster pay-per-views. He also notes that the presence of pro wrestler CM Punk on the PPV main card is likely to have boosted buys by a noteworthy margin — but certainly not to the extent that Punk’s 2016 UFC debut did. 

“A 250,000 number likely indicates Punk had some positive impact, but nothing compared to the interest in his first fight back in 2016,” Meltzer said. 

In the UFC 225 main event, UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker defeated Yoel Romero via hard-fought decision. This bout was originally supposed to be title fight, but was demoted to a five-round non-title fight when Romero missed weight.

In the UFC 225 co-main event, Colby Covington captured the UFC interim welterweight title, backing up weeks of trash talk with a decision defeat of Rafael dos Anjos.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/19/2018.