UFC 251 generated the highest number of buys for a pay-per-view event since the legendary UFC 229 when Khabib Nurmagomedov clashed with Conor McGregor.
The organization estimates that there were around 1.3 million buys, which is far less than for UFC 229. Back then, there were 2.4 million PPW packages sold, which is the organization’s absolute record. Still, it is the biggest number since that event, and the organization, as well as the participants, are more than happy once hearing the news.
Considering that PPW cost for the spectacle in Abu Dhabi was $64.99 for old subscribers, and $84.98 for new but counting in ESPN’s annual subscription, you can get the picture of how big of revenue from this source was. Plus, multiple oversea TV networks bought the rights for transmission and many other sponsorship deals.
Breaking: UFC 251, headlined by Kamaru Usman-Jorge Masvidal, generated approximately 1.3 million pay-per-view buys on ESPN+, multiple sources tell The Athletic. The debut of Fight Island in Abu Dhabi produced the most UFC PPVs since Khabib-Conor in 2018https://t.co/VsiYpzK9T6
— Mike Coppinger (@MikeCoppinger) July 13, 2020
There were three fights for the title involved, with pretty attractive names in participating. That, as well as the fact that there aren’t many interesting events in the world of sport (apart from European soccer, there are virtually no big competitions), drew a lot of attention.
Max Holloway and Jorge Masvidal were considered to be the most attractive fighters on the card, and their matches were the ones that interested fans the most. It is no wonder why Masvidal thanked his fans after hearing the figures, as he knows that a vast part of those PPW buys was precisely because of him.
“The overwhelming amount of support I have received before, during, and after this journey has been humbling,” Masvidal wrote. “Still got a lot of goals to meet. All of you that tuned in to see me win, thank you. Those that tuned in to see me lose, thank you.”
By the way, Masvidal accepted the offer for participating at the event just six days before the match, and from the moment once his involvement at the UFC 251 became official, the PPW sales hit the ceiling.
In the meantime, he received a new multi-fight contract from the UFC, which now guarantees him some fights under much better financial conditions.
As for Holloway, he didn’t say anything about the numbers, but focused himself on trying to calm down his fans after a controversial loss against Alexander Volkanovski. The Blessed posted his second straight loss against the Aussie, but we need to say that unlike the first event, this one should have ended in his favor. The judges made a massive mistake on Saturday night.
“Life isn’t fair. It’s even more unfair for many many other people in the world than it will ever be for me. People are unemployed right now with no end in sight, and it’s not their fault,” Holloway explained.
Life isn't fair. It's even more unfair for many many other people in the world than it will ever be for me. People are unemployed right now with no end in sight and it's not their fault.
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) July 13, 2020
He wanted to raise awareness about the everyday struggle ordinary people have, and that his situation is far less problematic.
About the upcoming events in the UFC, we have UFC 252, which could eclipse all the previous records set when talking about the number of PPW, ratings, and money. It is the third and the final part of the rivalry between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier.
The event is scheduled for August 15, at the UFC Apex facility in Las Vegas, Nevada, and after its announcement, the entire MMA community exploded. This rivalry is the closest one to Khabib – Conor, and that is why we might see some unreal figures in all the areas.
Two more interesting fights are booked for this event, Junior dos Santos vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Pedro Munhoz vs. Frankie Edgar. Of course, we can expect at least one more blockbusting fight to be added to the main card.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.