Whether it was because of the UFC marketing machine, or predictions from fighters and pundits that Chris Weidman could defeat the seemingly unstoppable force know as Anderson Silva, it looks like UFC 162 was a pretty huge success.
According to early figures released by the promotion, the card drew 12,399 people to the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, which pulled in a sizeable gate of $4.862 million. UFC President Dana White relayed similar numbers last week when he was informed of a report, which said ticket sales were weak. As a result, the UFC 162 gate will sit third on the all-time list of MMA cards to be held at the Las Vegas venue.
Now in terms of the really big dollars, yes, pay-per-view sales, Dana White said in the post UFC 162 media scrum that the card was “trending” at 800,000 buys. That’s a lot, and likely way above what the promotion had hoped to pull, considering that the only Silva fights that have drawn higher were his UFC 101 fight with Forrest Griffin, and of course his massive rematch with Chael Sonnen at UFC 148.
The promotion would have likely been happy with a buy rate that was significantly less, when you consider several months ago, plenty of people were calling for a bout between Silva and Michael Bisping, or even Cung Le. The reason being, Weidman was still a relatively unknown fighter. Weidman also hadn’t fought since last summer, and regardless of how impressive he looked when he blasted through Mark Munoz, MMA is a sport with a bad short term memory.
The only other card this year that’s believed to have done better, in terms of PPV, is UFC 158. That card featured Georges St. Pierre taking on Nick Diaz and likely did just under 1,000,000 buys.
When asked about how huge a rematch between Silva and Weidman could be during the scrum, White gleefully noted that the fight should pull a ridiculous amount of PPV buys (well over a million). Now if they can just get Silva to agree to a rematch…