The next two pay per view offerings #UFC208 and #UFC209 will give us an interesting idea of the state of play for the new ownership of the UFC. A lot is riding on Holly Holm carrying the main event for UFC208 and while there are a number of excellent fighters on this card. There isn’t necessarily a lot of interesting fights on this card. Although we hope this is not the case.
UFC209 though will be the real bell-weather for the organisation though. If the card holds to fight night – the two main events are mouth-watering prospects. are re-match between Welterweight champ Tyron Woodley and Wonderboy Thompson and the lightweight interim decider between Khabib Nurmamogedov and Tony Ferguson. Whatever you views on the star quality of these 4 guys, you can’t argue about their MMA credentials and what they bring to fights.
I think this could be a break-out night for the undefeated Nurmamogedov. I think he has a so far under-appreciated fan-base around the world especially in Russia. I think behind the scenes as has been document in some media outlets the UFC are laser focused on unlocking the Russian and Chinese markets in the next 12-18 months.
I am going to stick my neck and predict that UFC209 will surprise MMA media around the globe and hit between 700-800,ooo pay per view buys. I’ll largely put this on an inkling that Nurmamogedov is going to finally start drawing a fan-base around him. It will be interesting to see what the PPV charge across different carriers will be for the fight across the globe for this event.
I am not as hopeful for the UFC208 fight card and i can see this fight night really struggling to break into significant 6 figure numbers – but we shall see on that one i suppose.
An interesting aside to all of this is final PPV for UFC205 in MSG. On the night Dana White was reported to have said that it was trending to break all previous PPV records. However the final number was 1.3 million which was at least 200,000 shy of the Mcgregor vs Diaz 2 Fight. It is a fact that has been glossed over in recent weeks. On such an iconic night, with such a stacked card – I’m surprised that this didn’t break through the 1.5 million mark.