The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Saturday’s UFC 225 PPV in Chicago drew less than 150,000 buys on Pay Per View according to an industry official.
UFC 225 featured the return of former WWE star Phil “CM Punk” Brooks to the octagon. Punk lost to Mike Jackson via unanimous decision after going three rounds.
Just a week before the fight, the MMA community was criticizing the UFC for pushing Alistar Overeem vs. Curtis Blaydes to the prelims on FS1 and instead putting Punk vs. Jackson as the first fight on the main PPV card. Punk and Jackson were both 0-1 going into the fight.
UFC President Dana White shot back at critics for the decision, arguing that Punk was still a draw on Pay Per View for the company. White wasn’t completely off in thinking a card with Punk could do repeat business for the company. Punk’s fight fight for the promotion at UFC 205 in Cleveland drew an estimated 450,000 buys on Pay Per View.
Despite the low estimated buyrate, the UFC still did strong business with the fight card last weekend in Chicago. The show drew an estimated gate of $2.55 million with 18,117 fans in attendance. This was the most attended card and highest gate to date for UFC in Chicago. It was also the most attended non-basketball event for the United Center.