This will be Silva's first main event. Evans has now headlined against Liddell, Griffin and Machida. But this could possibly be the first time that he has headlined a pay-per-view event in which he is both the favorite and the significantly more famous fighter. Coming off a coaching stint on the most watched season of TUF ever, Evans is uniquely positioned to capitalize on a win at UFC 108. Quite simply it could be huge for him. I know that most aren't expecting very many pay-per-view buys at all for this event. But I'm thinking that it could perform better than most expect. After all, the B.J. Penn headlined UFC 107 allegedly did FAR more buys than many observers ever thought possible (reportedly 620,000!). Will Evans-Silva even come close to that? Maybe not. But I do think it will have a very respectable showing.
Almost everyone agrees that UFC 108 is a weak card, but it certainly didn't start out that way. Let's take a look at some of the things we tend to overlook. Let's say this card does 300,000 PPV buys, which it's capable of doing. Those numbers would be more than UFC 57 which featured the main event completing the trilogy between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture which only acheived around 280K PPV buys at the time. That was with two of the sports highest profiled athletes in their prime, yet here we have a card that will be considered a flop that will likely surpass those numbers only 3 and a half years later. As Rich pointed out, Evans has headlined quite a few PPV cards now and even an Ultimate Fight Night in which he won in spectacular fashion. He headlined UFC 78 against Michael Bisping in what was thought to be a very lackluster card on paper(it turned out to be lackluster too). That card still did around 400K PPV buys. It's not like the UFC wanted all of these injuries to happen to the fighters initially scheduled to be on the card. I'd like to use this card as an example of just how far our sport has come in a very short time span. Three hundred thousand buys is still WAAAAAAY more than any other MMA promotion can dream about right now.