The main event of UFC 113 is the long-anticipated rematch of the Lyoto Machida vs Mauricio “Shogun” Rua title fight from October of last year at UFC 104. That fight, which saw the champion Machida retain his light heavyweight belt in a close and somewhat controversial decision, drew an enormous amount of fan buzz and a healthy pay per view buyrate of 500,000. Tonight’s rematch is pulling in notably less fan buzz than that first encounter, yet the number of pay per view buys is expected to be similar. Taking all of the numbers into account, Tapology’s pre-fight prediction for UFC 113 pay per view buys is 490,000. 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.
Light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida defends his belt in the main event, and is drawing by far the most fan buzz for the event, exactly twice that of the challenger Mauricio Rua. While the 28.2 score for Machida is healthy and impressive, and in line with what Georges St-Pierre received for his UFC 111 title defense, it is notably down from a buzz score of 39.2 when Machida last fought Rua at UFC 104. Separately, however, the co-main event between Paul Daley and Josh Koscheck is not providing that much additional punch for the card, and is less than the co-main event buzz from UFC 111 (Mir/Cawin) and UFC 112 (Penn/Edgar).
|Fighter||Pre-Fight Buzz Score|
The combined score for the four main and co-main event fighters is 62.2, almost exactly in line with the score from last month’s UFC 112 event in Abu Dhabi. That card came in with an estimated 500,000 pay per view buys according to trending estimates from the Wrestling Observer newsletter, slightly outperforming Tapology’s pre-fight estimate of 440,000. The combined buzz score for UFC 104 (Machida-Rua 1) was 81.1 and came in with a below expected 500,000 buys in comparison to the huge level of buzz. The amount of buzz and activity surrounding UFC 104 was something of an oddity, and it turned out to be a poor predictor of pay per view sales. That should not be the case with UFC 113, with Machida’s level of buzz coming back down to normal levels.
As a result, when we plug a score of 62.2 into the model, we get an estimate of 490,000 pay per view buys, a good night’s business for the UFC and in line with both the first Machida-Rua fight as well as the most recent UFC 112 card.
|Event||Main & Co-Main Event |
Pre-Fight Buzz Score
Pay Per View Buys
|UFC 112||58.1||500,000 (trending estimate)|
|UFC 113||62.2||490,000 (pre-fight prediction)|