UFC 259 was supposed to be a big show for the promotion and that’s what it proved to be in terms of pay-per-view sales.
Sports Business Journal reported on Wednesday that the card drew in an estimated 600,000 buys on the ESPN+ streaming service, with an additional 200,000 buys outside of the United States, making for a total of 800,000. UFC 259 featured a championship tripleheader topped by Jan Blachowicz’s light heavyweight title win over middleweight champ Israel Adesanya.
If nothing else, signs point to Adesanya being a viable draw, His main event win over Paulo Costa at UFC 253 reportedly generated 700,000 worldwide buys. Blachowicz was the co-main on that card when he won the vacant belt against Dominick Reyes.
So far it’s been a great start to 2021 for the UFC on pay-per-view. The Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier rematch exceeded one million buys (well... with some technical problems) and while we don’t know the figures for UFC 258, the numbers for 259 are quite strong and also indicate that despite the ESPN+ increase and the PPV increase to $70 it’s not really stopping customers from hitting the purchase button.
Up next is UFC 260 on March 27th. That card features Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou in a heavyweight championship rematch, while Alexander Volkanovski defends his featherweight crown versus Brian Ortega. You would think that is also a show the UFC is keen to heavily promote, particularly with the storyline of Jon Jones likely facing the winner.