Ten Greatest UFC PPV Draws of All-Time: Best Average

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 23: British Ultimate Fighting Champion Michael Bisping (L) and US fighter Forrest Griffin pose with models for photographs during the photocall to announce the arrival of Ultimate Fighting Championship bouts in the UK. 23 February, 2007, Manchester, England. Ultimate fighting, a mixture of martial arts is claimed to be one of the world's fastest growing sports and the largest championship in Britain is to be staged at Manchester's MEN arena on 21st April. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Here’s Part Two of the all-time UFC PPV buyrate data that I’ve been playing around with. In Part One I broke down the top ten UFC draws of all-time. In Part Two I list the top ten fighters based on average buyrate per PPV. Enjoy! (Hint: the picture above is more than just eye candy, honest!)

Top Ten UFC Draws of All-Time: Best Average Buys Per PPV

(career PPV buyrate averages as one of the headliners of a card – all buyrates are estimates – only fighters with at least five headlining appearances included) *updated after UFC 124

Average
1 Brock Lesnar 1007500
2 Michael Bisping 670417
3 Georges St-Pierre 649167
4 Rampage Jackson 641429
5 Rashad Evans 612857
6 Lyoto Machida 591667
7 Keith Jardine 557000
8 Wanderlei Silva 552500
9 Frank Mir 520900
10 Forrest Griffin 511818

I promised you some surprises on this list, so hopefully I didn’t disappoint. Let’s tackle the name that sticks out like a sore thumb first – Michael Bisping. I guess it is not totally shocking that Bisping is in the top ten, but the fact that he averages the second most buys in UFC history is a jaw-dropper. So let’s look a little deeper into his numbers and see if we can find an explanation for this, shall we. Bisping has had six “headlining” slots on UFC PPVs: UFC 78, 83, 85, 100, 110 and 114. However, the only PPV that he actually fought in the main event on was UFC 78, when he lost to Rashad Evans. That event, which took place in 2007, sold 400000 PPVs. The other ten PPVs that the UFC put on in 2007 averaged 462900 buys, so Bisping-Evans sold slightly less than average for the time period it took place in. Bisping’s high overall average buyrate is mostly the result as being a headliner at UFC 100 (Lesnar-Mir, GSP-Alves) and 114 (Rampage-Rashad), two of the top selling PPVs in UFC history. So while Bisping no doubt is a popular fighter who helps sell some PPVs for the company, it is more in a secondary role, not as a main-eventer.

The next name that will be sure to surprise you is the recently released Keith Jardine. Let’s see if we can explain this high average away also, or if it is legit. The Dean of Mean’s first headlining PPV was a co-main event match versus Forrest Griffin on the first UFC PPV that sold over one millions buys (1050000 to be exact), UFC 66. While Jardine-Griffin was a compelling fight, the main reason this event sold so highly was because of the main event, Tito Ortiz-Chuck Liddell II. The rest of Jardine’s PPV events used for this data only sold between 350000-475000, so the reason you see him on this list is thanks for the immense hatred between Ortiz-Liddell, and our desire to see them beat the crap out of each other. So no chance the UFC will go out of business as a result of cutting Jardine loose.

The rest of the top ten isn’t too surprising. Brock Lesnar is a stud – but we knew that already. Whether the recently dethroned champ can still gross $50 million plus in PPV revenue for the company without the belt around his waist is yet to be seen, but no doubt the UFC is praying he can. If not, the billionaires might have to settle with being multi-millionaires.

LONDON - JANUARY 17: (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) (L-R) Brothers and co-owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship Frank (L) and Lorenzo Fertitta (2nd R), UFC president Dana White (2nd L) and photographer Kevin Lynch attend the 'Octagon' private view at Hamilton's gallery on January 17, 2007 in London, England. The exhibition showcases work by Lynch documenting the world of Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) events. (Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)