Business Outlook for UFC 92

Money_mediumHeading into UFC 92, things look good for the UFC.  According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription only), they need to break the 489,000 buy mark to break the single year PPV revenue record set by the WWE in 2001, and I believe they will do so fairly easily.

MMA Payout reports that Countdown to UFC 92 did 733,000 viewers Monday night. The number is significantly better than the last, and higher than the average.  The countdown obviously doesn't tell the whole story, but it suggests an interest level.  I believe the countdown special was so effective that most of those viewers will end up purchasing a show with three huge matches.  I'm going to go ahead and predict a buyrate of 600,000, with an outside possibility of a high number if new fans that purchased UFC 91 decide to stick around after such a great show.

The show is expected to do a gate somewhere in the 3 million range, or a little below.  Dave Meltzer reported that they've sold over $2 million worth, and by the time casino buys come in the number will be close to $3 million.  It's not a home run by any stretch, but in this economy it is still a solid number.

The outcome of fights is also crucial to business outlook.  If Frank Mir defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, the UFC has a mega money match in Lesnar-Mir II.  However, that looks unlikely, and Lesnar-Nogueira can do very well too if the fans take to Nogueira coming off the reality show.

In Rampage Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva, the UFC can't really lose either way.  Both guys are marketable, but Jackson is more of a proven draw.  Jackson-Griffin II is a big fight if it ever happens.

Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans is a match that the UFC probably wants Forrest to win.  Forrest can carry a main event against just about anybody at this point.  Visions of Rashad Evans vs. Lyoto Machida for the 205 title probably give Dana White chills regularly.  If Rashad wins, I think it is certain that the winner of Silva and Jackson will get the next shot rather than Lyoto Machida.  Rashad winning is no disaster though, he has the potential to draw in the future with a big win here.

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