According to initial estimates UFC 119: Mir Vs Cro Cop has proven to be a pay-per-view flop.
A new report from The Wrestling Observer pegs the PPV buy rate at just 275,000. If accurate that would bring an end to a remarkable run of successful events from UFC 111 in March to UFC 118 in August in which they never fell below 500,000 buys, and even pushed beyond the 1,000,000 barrier with events like UFC 114: Rampage Vs Evans and UFC 116: Lesnar Vs Carwin.
Of course it should be remembered that this is just an estimate and is likely to change in the coming weeks, but it does not come as a great surprise that the show was not a success.
While Mirko Cro Cop‘s name still carries a recognition factor he is no longer seen as a headline attraction by MMA fans despite his record being padded out with wins over the likes of Mustapha Al-Turk, Anthony Perosh and Pat Barry.
Though there is still a level of interest in Frank Mir his recent losses to both Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin make it challenging to market him as a genuine contender in the upper reaches of the heavyweight division at this stage, and some fans criticized the match-up for being, “meaningless.”
Confounding the UFC’s marketing woes were rumors in the build-up to the fight that Cro Cop may pull out after sustaining an eye injury in his final training session before flying to the U.S. A co-main event feature between Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ryan Bader also failed to spark fans imaginations.
News of the disappointing sales are unlikely to come as a shock at Zuffa HQ. Now they will now look to major events in the remaining months of the year such as Brock Lesnar’s next blockbuster title defense against Cain Velasquez at UFC 121 later this month and UFC 123′s intriguing Rampage Jackson Vs Lyoto Machida showdown to help get them firmly back on track.