Early PPV estimates for UFC 226 are not great

Stipe Miocic, Daniel Cormier, UFC 226

Despite its being one of the most stacked cards of the year thus far, it seems that UFC 226 did not sell as well as expected.

According to a report from MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer, who is an expert on such things, early estimates suggest the Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic headlined card sold something in the area of 400,000 pay-per-views — far from a home run.

“The expectation going in was that this would be the biggest show so far this year,” Meltzer said in his report on MMA Fighting. “But the most preliminary of pay-per-view estimates have the show doing a little under 400,000 buys. There are those who believe the loss of Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega hurt interest, but Cormier vs. Miocic on its own should have been able to do bigger numbers.”

Viewership numbers for the preliminary card were not optimal either, per Meltzer.

“The prelims prior to the pay-per-view did 668,000 viewers on FOX Sports 1. The number was almost identical to UFC 225 on June 9, which did 667,000 viewers.

“It’s not a good sign because the pay-per-view main event, with light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier beating heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic in a rare champion vs. champion fight was supposed to be far bigger than the Robert Whittaker vs. Yoel Romero main event in June.

“The UFC did lead FS 1 to the top spot on cable sports networks, and it was the third most-watched sports telecast on Saturday night. The show trailed NASCAR on NBC at 4,437,000 viewers and Major League Baseball on FOX at 2,217,000 viewers.”

These UFC 226 numbers represent the latest disappointment in a downward trend in UFC viewership and PPV sales. What do you think the cause of this trend is? Is it the absence of big stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey? Is it a sign that the PPV model is outdated? Join the conversation in the comments section below.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/11/2018.