UFC 142 sold 225,000 pay-per-view buys according to Dave Meltzer in the latest Wrestling Observer (subscription required). While low, this is quite a respectable number given the circumstances. Firstly the event was held in Brazil and the reduced domestic press coverage for overseas events always hurts business in North America. Secondly the card was headlined by a featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes and the smaller guys have yet to prove themselves as reliable PPV draws.
It's important to also note that Meltzer said some estimates of the numbers for UFC 142 were much higher than the reported number.
Let's look at the reported numbers for recent PPVs for comparison (all estimates per Wikipedia):
- UFC 142 Aldo vs. Mendes 225,000 buys
- UFC 141 Lesnar vs. Overeem 800,000 buys
- UFC 140 Jones vs. Machida 485,000 buys
- UFC 139 Shogun vs. Henderson 290,000 buys
- UFC 137 Penn vs. Diaz 280,000 buys
- UFC 136 Edgar vs. Maynard 225,000 buys
- UFC 135 Jones vs. Rampage 520,000 buys
It's appearing to be just slightly below where UFC 136 (Edgar vs. Maynard III) ended up and would be one of the lowest numbers in years, but all of that was expected, given it was not a strong marquee card and shows that emanate from outside North America generally do a lot worse. This would appear to be the UFC's current baseline number, since this show was from Brazil and was going against the Broncos playoff game. It did better in Canada and Australia. It's possible the late controversy regarding Anthony Johnson's weight called some late attention to the show and may have helped it slightly.