UFC 66 has stood as the UFC’s unofficial all-time record holder for total buys for over two years. With 1.05 million pay-per-view buys and a main event of Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz battling it out for a second time it looked as though that record would stand for quite some time.
However, there are rumblings that the record could be about to be broken.
Fast forward to November 2008 and a perfect storm had hit the UFC. A freight train named Brock Lesnar was going to fight a returning hero in heavyweight champion Randy Couture.
Even though UFC 91 fell just short of the record with 1,010,000 buys it put the wheels in motion as the UFC was about to embark on a two month stretch that could quite possibly see the record broken twice.
UFC 92 anchored by two title fights and a grudge match between Wanderlei Silva and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson did a reported 1.2 million buys. If that number proves to be correct it would have crushed the previous record.
Last Saturday’s dream match-up of welterweight champion and lightweight champion was boosted by a special 3 part series entitled UFC Primetime which was modeled after HBO’s “24/7”. This special consisted of three 1/2 hour shows that followed both fighters as they trained and also gave the fans a deeper introspect into B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre’s rise to prominence.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, UFC president Dana White is estimating that UFC 94 will become the top selling pay-per-view in company history with over 1.3 million buys. The show drew 14,885 fans which is a new record for a UFC fight held in Sin City. The gate reportedly drew an astounding $4.3 million which is good for sixth place as far as live gates are concerned.
White went on to add that the MGM Grand where the card was held was looking to add more seats at the last minute due to the overwhelming demand. Other casinos in the area were calling up looking for tickets due to an amazing 300,000 people who came in to Las Vegas over Super Bowl weekend.
This is just further proof at the rapid rise of mixed martial arts and is a true testament to the hard work that White and the rest of the UFC has put into helping this sport grow.