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Upcoming UFC Cards and Their Box Office Potential

UFC 120: This one will be free, and it’s pretty likely to draw somewhere between 2.5 and 3 million viewers on Spike. I’m a Dan Hardy fan, so I’ll like this, but the rest of the card is missing big time star power.

UFC 121: It’s Broctober, that means the pent-up demand for big stars will find an expression among fans here. It’s time to “release the hounds,” and love him or hate him, Brock Lesnar is a drawing card like no other in MMA. Expect something like 1 to 1.1 million PPV buys for this one. Cain Velasquez isn’t of the same magnitude when it comes to star power among casual MMA fans, but the cognoscenti know what kind of talent he has, and they’ll open their wallets in hopes of seeing Lesnar toppled.

UFC 122: Another free card, this one will fall flat on it’s ratings ass. With Nate Marquardt taking on Yushin Okami in a non-title fight as the headline event, fans will take care of last-second Christmas shopping and ignore this like they would an ugly girl at the bar early in the evening.

UFC 123: Lyoto Machida and Rampage Jackson are still big time draws, and the styles the fighters bring to this fight are intriguing enought to justify something approaching 1 million PPV sales. Fans will want to know if either of these fighters are at the end of the string, and this bout will go a long way toward demonstrating where each of them stands.

UFC 124: Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck in Montreal will enjoy a bump from the completion of TUF, and you can bet your bottom dollar this on will go way over 1 million PPV buys on the GSP’s name alone. Expect the hype to turn uglier as the fight draws near, and that will add buys from casual fans and Canadian Koscheck-haters.

UFC 125: Lightweight Champ Frankie Edgar will headline this event against Gray Maynard in a title fight, and neither of them have a ton of appeal to the mainstream. As much as I’ll enjoy Shane Carwin taking on Roy Nelson, that bout doesn’t have a ton of juice with PPV buyers either. The rest of the card, Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera, Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann and Antonio McKee vs. Jacob Volkmann, certainly won’t open a lot off wallets, so expect this on to possibly approach 400,000 PPV sales.

  • Dufresne says:

    I’m going to watch each and every one of these cards, as I always do, but I think you’re probably right about every card except possibly 122. There is no other sports organization in the world that’s capable of taking an event that looks boring and hyping it till to the point that no one will want to miss it like the UFC can.

    And besides, everyone knows that the ugly girl in the bar is almost always the biggest freak. Beauty is but a light switch away ;)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  • Jak says:

    122 is one of the least interesting cards the UFC has put on in as far as i can remember.

    Marquardt Okami is a good contender match up, but could easily be a 15 minute chess match.

    While Rivera/Sakara is great on paper, it doesn’t seem like a main card fight, and the rest i don’t really care about.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Jak says:

    120 for free is great.

    Condit, Hardy, Bisping, Akiyama, prospects in Browne/Hathaway, the return of Cantwell.

    My only “issue” is that Diabete/Gustaffson is on the prelims… Gust has one of my favourite knock outs against Hamman, and Diabate is always fun to watch.

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  • Jak says:

    121 – i put this up there with 116/117 as top cards of the year on paper.

    All i can hope is that it delivers.

    Not much more to say about it, great looking card.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Jak says:

    123 – i’m probably in the minority here, but beyond Machida/Jackson, not interested in many of the fights. Sotiropoulos(sp?)/Lauzon looks nice, but not PPV nice.

    Just not that interested. Maybe some injuries will improve the card. :)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  • Jak says:

    124 – Honestly… Kos/Gsp… isn’t nearly as fun looking as the “rivalry” is being hyped.

    But the rest of the card reminds me of 120, not big names or names i necessarily care about, but really interesting match ups and ones that could pay off!

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  • Jak says:

    125 – Carwin! Carwin! Carwin!

    Screw everybody else, i don’t care that he seized up and exerted all his energy, he beat Lesnar like a little girl. he’s definitely one of my favourites now.

    Maynard… no thanks. Kim, Vera, McKee/Volkmann don’t usually put on spectacular fights.

    Stann/Leben looks nice, but i could see Leben routing this one.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    You couldn’t have crammed all of those into one post? Jeeze…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Jak says:

    Umm…. of course i could have.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Creature says:

    “You couldn’t have crammed all of those into one post? Jeeze…”

    haha i think he just wanted 2 be on the top p4p readers list ;) right? seriously tho, i will watch all the cards, and even tho some of them dont look exciting on paper, 90% of the time those r the cards that have you outta your seat.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • Rece Rock says:

    I’m still waiting for DW to make up for the Silva / Maia fight!!! When the fans bugged out he was like oh I’ll make it up to you guys… umm ok still waiting????????? Gimme me a free PPV worthy main event on spike and not a UK event that doesn’t count, he has to give us that due to time zone contraints… dammit!

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