2020 has obviously been a very strange year for the world, and that includes the UFC. The promotion was looking to further establish their ESPN platforms going into the year, and had events penciled in for nearly every weekend over the course of the 52 weeks. While Covid-19 did its best to stifle sports across the globe, the UFC sorted it out and minimized its losses by running empty-arena shows in locations such as Florida, Vegas, and Fight Island (Abu Dhabi).
While we don’t get the inside info on buys that we used to when they were mostly offered through cable companies, it seems that the promotion ended up selling a lot of ESPN+ PPVS over the course of 2020. And one particular show, before Covid took hold, seems to be the best-drawing event of the year.
If you ask Conor McGregor, anyway.
The Notorious One took to social media today to congratulate the promotion on its 2020, and of course, give himself some props for drawing over 1.4 million buys for UFC 246 back in January:
Congrats to the @ufc on a well fought 2020! The only sporting company on the planet to come through the entire year! Incredible!— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) December 21, 2020
I am honoured to secure their highest PPV of the year with McGregor Vs Cerrone.
Congrats Donald, and also on his double submission win last night. #No1 pic.twitter.com/Xvh76Gki3U
According to that attachment, the show did 1,353,429 buys. The headliner saw McGregor stop Donald Cerrone in just 41 seconds.
While other event numbers are unofficial (and let’s face it, this one is too - the only person verifying it is Conor), the promotion did have some other big scores too. UFC 251, featuring Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal on top, reportedly drew well over one million buys as well.
McGregor returns to the Octagon for the first time since the Cerrone fight when he meets Dustin Poirier in the UFC 257 headliner on January 23rd.