It's no surprise that early estimate have UFC 129 pushing one million PPV buys. It was the first UFC event in the province of Ontario, the first UFC stadium show. It was headlined by Georges St. Pierre, backed by a three-part Primetime series, and featured two title fights at the top of the show. Then Randy Couture announced he would retire after the event, win or lose.
Yahoo! Sports writer and Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer brings more tidbits on the financial and attendancenumbers from the show (subscription required):
- The 55,724 fans at the Rogers Centre more than doubled the previous attendance record of 23,152 set at UFC 124, headlined by St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck. Pride Shockwave 2002 (headlined by Kazushi Sakuraba and Mirko Filipovic) remains the number one attended MMA fight of all-time at 71,000. (Meltzer notes that other Pride and K-1 events listed above 55,000 are exaggerated.)
- The final gate number is $12,075,000. Shockwave 2002 held the previous record at $7,400,000. UFC 100 held the previous North American gate record at $5,441,290.
- The final gate number increased by more than half a million dollars due to a devaluation in the US dollar versus the Canadian dollar between the sale of tickets and the actual event.
- UFC 129 holds the record for largest gate in the history of Toronto for any event. The show may hold the record for the entire country of Canada, but no gates were reported for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
- UFC 129 is expected to be on of the two largest PPV buys in Canada with UFC 100 holding the previous record. UFC 124 and UFC 94 currently hold the number 2 and 3 spots. (See a pattern?)
- The US numbers do not show the same level of interest as St. Pierre's prior defenses against Penn, Koscheck, or even Dan Hardy. Ratings for the Primetime show dropped "significantly" each week. Makes the focus on Shields as a threat even more regrettable in hindsight.