UFC 236 was a pretty fantastic event that had two unforgettable bouts to close the show. Unfortunately, not as many tuned in as the UFC had hoped for.
In the co-main event, we saw the first of two interim champions be crowned. This one in the middleweight division featured Kelvin Gastelum taking on Israel Adesanya in a war for the ages. In the end, Adesanya would take home the title via unanimous decision after coming on strong late.
Following up the great action was a phenomenal rematch that saw featherweight champion, Max Holloway return to the lightweight division for the first time in eight years. Standing in his way was the first man to defeat him, Dustin ‘The Diamond’ Poirier who would go on to do so again as he also won by unanimous decision.
However, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer News (via Bloody Elbow), the event’s buyrate is not looking so good as he recently shared that, “there is talk that [UFC 236] did well under half of the 200,000 number that would be what one would have predicted the show to do had it been a television PPV.”
UFC 236 was the first UFC pay-per-view to be aired exclusively through the ESPN+ app. Therefore to now watch pay-per-view events, viewers must purchase an ESPN+ subscription plus the pay-per-view itself.
For the inaugural event using this method, viewers had several technical issues that gave them fits prior to getting their streams up and running. As the service requested users to purchase the event through their desktops rather than directly through the app, UFC President Dana White clarified things after the event concluded.
“The next one will be much better,” he said during the post-fight presser. “The next one, you’ll be able to purchase right through the app. It’s gonna get easier, it’s gonna get better.”
This whole new process, of course, garnered criticism from the community and continues to.
With the report of the numbers coming in as low as they could be, it would make UFC 236 the lowest selling pay-per-view event for the promotion of the last 15 years alongside UFC 224 which only did an estimated 85,000 buys.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/7/2019