Following UFC 203, the consensus has been that CM Punk won’t be back in the Octagon anytime soon. But, now that estimates regarding the card’s pay-per-view sales have come out, some folks may be changing their mind.
According to a report from MMA Fighting.com, the Cleveland event is believed to have generated between 425,000 and 475,00o PPV buys. Now, that figure isn’t massive, but, when you consider only UFC 196, 200 and 201 are believed to have sold more this year, that’s not too shabby.
UFC 203 featured Punk’s MMA debut, which saw the pro-wrestling star quickly lose to Mickey Gall. It also included a heavyweight bout between champion Stipe Miocic and Alistair Overeem. Miocic took Overeem out in the opening round. So, obviously the title fight was a big draw too, but as the aforementioned report from Dave Meltzer notes, Miocic’s win over Fabricio Werdum in May didn’t crack the 300,000 PPV mark.
So, one could conclude that Punk was responsible for a lot of PPV buys here, even though his UFC signing took place back in 2014. Now that the UFC has some evidence of his drawing power, will the promotion bring him back for one more bout? Even though Punk was badly outgunned by Gall? And a second fight likely won’t generate as much interest?
It will be interesting to see what goes down here. There’s no doubt the UFC will take some serious heat from hardcore fans and fighters if Punk is brought back.