UFC 111 in New Jersey broke the trend of lackluster pay per views for the UFC with an estimated 770,000 buys. While Saturday’s UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi will not approach those levels, it is still poised to deliver a healthy follow-up on the heels of that card. With two title fights and notably strong fan interest in middleweight champion Anderson Silva, there is more buzz surrounding UFC 112 than was the case for the under-performing UFC 108, 109, or 110. Taking all of the numbers into account, Tapology’s pre-fight prediction for UFC 112 pay per view buys is 440,000. Breakdown below.
Tapology translates the volume of online interest for the main and co-main event fighters into an absolute “buzz score” in order to model a pay per view forecast. The higher each individual fighter’s buzz score, the more people who have been searching and reading about that fighter online in the days leading up to the event.
Middleweight champion Anderson Silva headlines the event by defending his belt against Demian Maia, and it is in fact those two who are generating the majority of interest for the card. While there have been questions about pound-for-pound contender Silva’s drawing power among casual fans, his years of dominating performances may finally be paying off. Silva is generating twice the buzz as fellow title-holder BJ Penn, who defends his lightweight belt against Frankie Edgar in the co-main event. While Penn has been a pay per view darling in his last few outings, the UFC 112 marketing machine has focused more on Silva, perhaps leading to this disparity in buzz between the fighters.
|Fighter||Pre-Fight Buzz Score|
The combined score for the four main and co-main event fighters is 58.1, 24% lower than the 77.3 score seen for the UFC 111 event featuring Georges St-Pierre against Dan Hardy. That card came in with an estimated 770,000 pay per view buys according to trending estimates from the Wrestling Observer newsletter. That card slightly outperformed Tapology’s pre-fight estimate of 650,000, and an argument can be made for momentum and carry-over interest moving from one UFC event to the next. At the same time, internationally held pay per view events that air in prime time in the U.S. on tape delay have historically not been the greatest performers.
As a result, when we plug a score of 58.1 into the model, we get an estimate of 440,000 pay per view buys, a big dip from UFC 111 levels, but still a solid performance for a card where maximizing pay per view sales has probably taken a back seat to operational execution and logistics in a new expansion market for the UFC.
|Event||Main & Co-Main Event |
Pre-Fight Buzz Score
Pay Per View Buys
|UFC 111||77.3||770,000 (trending estimate)|
|UFC 112||58.1||440,000 (pre-fight forecast)|
Post-event pay per view numbers are based off of the great analysis that can be found at MMAPayout.com as well as the Wrestling Observer newsletter.