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UFC 199 does estimated 320,000 PPV buys

The PPV estimates are in for UFC 199, and they're on the low end of the promotion's 2016 buyrates.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

While last month's UFC 199 was centered around playing up big rivalries -- Settle the score! -- it did not translate into major success as far as pay-per-view buys. The LA-based event, headlined by Michael Bisping's upset KO over Luke Rockhold, and co-headlined by Dominick Cruz's trilogy win over Urijah Faber, looks to have done about 320,000 buys, according to Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

The 320,000 figure is the 2nd lowest total for a UFC PPV in 2016, although we don't know the buyrate for May's UFC 198 in Brazil. UFC 195: Lawler vs. Condit opened up the year with an estimated 300,000 buys, while UFC 197: Jones vs. Saint Preux did around 450,000.

For all of the stirred up drama and hype that Bisping (on short notice) generated against Rockhold, as well as Cruz's ongoing rivalry with Faber, there's a clear gulf between the big draws (Latifi and Krylov) and everybody else.

As Meltzer points out in his newsletter, "This shows that it's no longer grudge matches, or title matches, but larger than-life personas with grudge matches that are the key. The problem is there are a finite number of them, and every one is a question. While the business model is likely to change in a few years, for now it's the base of selling the content to television, and the flourishing it doing big numbers on PPV."

In other news, while we don't know UFC 200's PPV numbers yet, the preliminary card was a smash hit. The two-hour broadcast on FS1 (with a few minutes on FS2) averaged 1.786 million viewers, with a peak of over 2 million for Julianna Pena's win over Cat Zingano. That's good for 3rd highest in FS1 history, behind UFC 194 and 196 (both McGregor PPVs). An estimated 582,000 viewers switched to FS2 for Sage Northcutt's victory over Enrique Marin, which aired on the network due to a Major League Baseball game going to extra innings. That mark is the highest rating in FS2 history.

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