The PPV buyrate for UFC 136 has been the subject of much speculation over the last few days, and with good reason. Despite the card having two title fights (Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard and Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian) and generally being considered one of the most exciting events of the year, all of the trending statistics leading up to the event indicated that the buyrate was going to be, quite frankly, miserable. And while the early estimate isn't as bad as some had speculated - it's still pretty bad. Dave Meltzer discusses it in his Wrestling Observer newsletter (subscription required):
The early estimate for UFC 136 on 10/8 from Houston is about 250,000 buys.
There had been rumors that the early estimate was as low as 175,000, which is nothing short of terrible. Not that 250k is much better. Meltzer puts it in perspective:
This would be the lowest number on PPV for a title match dating back to probably 2005, and this was a show with two title matches and Chael Sonnen’s return against Brian Stann . Two weeks between shows, and coming off a show with what to the public was a far stronger main event (the 9/24 show did almost double this one) also didn’t help.
There's no real way to defend this number. It's just more proof that it takes a very special guy (B.J. Penn) to be a true draw at the lighter weights. Better promotion would certainly help, and the UFC will definitely learn something about card building from this failure, but it's a bit worrying to say the least. And as a guy that is a huge fan of the lighter weights, it's disappointing.