Report | UFC 251 was the biggest UFC PPV since Khabib vs. McGregor

Kamaru Usman, Jorge Masvidal, UFC 251
Image via @ufc on Intsagram (photographer not listed)

Last Saturday’s UFC 251 card on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi was reportedly a major success in terms of pay-per-view numbers.

According to a report from Mike Coppinger of The Athletic, the card generated roughly 1.3M pay-per-view purchases, making it the most successful UFC pay-per-view since UFC 229 in 2018, which was headlined by Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.

“UFC 251, headlined by Kamaru Usman-Jorge Masvidal, generated approximately 1.3 million pay-per-view buys on ESPN+, multiple sources tell The Athletic,” Coppinger reported. “The debut of Fight Island in Abu Dhabi produced the most UFC PPVs since Khabib-Conor in 2018.”

UFC 251 was headlined by a welterweight title fight between champion Kamaru Usman and short-notice challenger Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal stepped in to replace Gilbert Burns, who tested positive for COVID-19 a week ahead of the fight, on six days’ notice.

The card also featured a featherweight title fight between champ Alexander Volkanovski and challenger Max Holloway, and a bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo.

Ahead of UFC 251, UFC President Dana White claimed the card was trending to rival a Conor McGregor fight in terms of pay-per-view buys. It appears he was not exaggerating.

“This is one of the most successful events we’ve ever done, if you look at the numbers and what’s going on,” White said of UFC 251

“I was just telling those guys—I just left the fighter meeting—this thing is trending off the charts. This thing is trending higher than a Conor McGregor fight,” White added. “The only thing thing this fight is comparable to is Conor-Khabib. Let me give it to you this way, I’ll give you an interesting stat: our UFC store, we’ve sold more merchandise already, now, than we did in all of 2019. We already beat 2019. This thing is trending as big of a fight as I’ve ever seen in my entire career.”

See the full results from the UFC 251 card below:

UFC 251 Main card

  • Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision
  • Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway via split decision
  • Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo via fifth-round TKO
  • Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade via split decision
  • Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant via first-round sub (armbar)

UFC 251 Undercard

  • Jiri Prochazka def. Volkan Oezdemir via second-round KO
  • Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski via split decision
  • Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry via first-round sub (anaconda choke)
  • Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision
  • Marcin Tybura def. Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision
  • Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision
  • Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision
  • Davey Grant def. Martin Day via third-round KO