It’s been a week since UFC 203 featured everything from Miocic’s KO of Overeem, Werdum’s defeat of Browne and Tarverdyan, and of course, CM Punk’s lopsided loss to Mickey Gall. There’s no doubt that the former WWE star was the centerpiece of the pay-per-view, even though he was neither the main nor co-main event. Punk’s MMA debut was predictably not competitive, but he banked $500,000 in show money, and presumably made more through PPV sales.
While initial reports had UFC 203 potentially trending towards 650,000-800,000 buys territory, MMA Fighting’s Dave Meltzer has it pegged lower, but still higher than recent non-McGregor, non-Rousey, non-UFC 200 PPVs.
“Current early estimates for Saturday's UFC 203 have it doing in the range of 425,000 to 475,000 buys. While not monster numbers, that would be the UFC's best pay-per-view numbers so far this year for a show not headlined by Conor McGregor, or UFC 200.
One would have figured a show headlined by Stipe Miocic vs. Alistair Overeem for the heavyweight title to do around 250,000 to 300,000 buys. That's based on UFC 198, where Miocic challenged Fabricio Werdum for the title, with a far stronger undercard, which is estimated at doing just under 300,000 buys.
In other words, Punk probably brought in anywhere from 125,000 to 225,000 extra buys, meaning he generated added revenue of somewhere between $3.75 million and $6.75 million for the company. So for all the criticism of the $500,000 base pay Punk earned for his debut, along with a possible percentage of pay-per-view that was Punk's deal ended up being a financial bargain.”
CM Punk (real name Phil Brooks), who is on a multi-fight deal with the UFC, says he still wants to continue fighting, but Dana White suggested that if he were to do so, “it probably shouldn’t be in the UFC.” While UFC 203 wasn’t a mega PPV, will the Punk bump be enough to justify another Octagon appearance? Furthermore, will the fanbase that was curious enough to watch him the first time be willing to tune in for a 2nd fight? I guess only time will tell.