UFC 174 drew as little as 95,000 buys according to latest estimates, which puts it as the lowest bought pay-per-view in nearly a decade.
The card which was headlined by Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson defending his UFC Flyweight Championship against Ali Bagautinov, is set to be the lowest bought PPV since UFC 53, nine years ago.
Lowest buys Ever
According to Dave Meltzer at MMAFighting, the latest estimates peg the show at having between 95,000 to 115,000 buys which makes it the lowest ever bought show featuring a champion, lower than than of Jose Aldo-Chang Sung Jung that drew 180,000 at UFC 163.
It marks a huge blow for the UFC and 'Mighty Mouse'. They've spent his last three fights building up Johnson on their Fight Night cards and despite millions of viewers tuning in to watch his fights with John Moraga, John Dodson and Joseph Benavidez, he hasn't won a lot of fans.
The UFC has done everything they could've and Johnson himself hasn't not been exciting. He answered critics who criticised his ability to finish fights by finishing Dodson, the clear number two in the division and even scored a submission over Moraga.
So is it just that the fans don't like Johnson? Or could it be due to saturation of UFC cards, whether it be on PPV or a Fight Night card, that fans are just finding it easier to pick and choose cards?
The numbers on pay-per-views have been dropping consistently for a while and in recent years they've lost two mega stars, Brock Lesnar and Georges St-Pierre to retirement and Anderson Silva is out with long-term injury.
Coupling that with title contenders being pushed out to headline Fight Night cards, PPV cards seem to be sold purely on a champion fighting and don't run as deep as they used to.
No UFC 176
Another point of concern is that with the cancellation of UFC 176 as well, UFC 175 will have to draw big numbers to try and make up some of the deficit of that and now 174 as well.
The last time the UFC ran with Weidman-Rousey as the main eventers, they drew a million buys but their opponents were Silva and Miesha Tate, which are much bigger draws than Lyoto Machida and Alexis Davis, so the UFC can't be expecting to match that.
All in all, this number is a huge concern for the UFC because if anything, it proves that their current model isn't working, especially amongst the lower weight classes. Maybe it's time for a reworking of the business model...
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