The UFC just keeps the ball rolling this weekend as we'll get to experience UFC 96 in Columbus, Ohio. Many fans consider this card to be subpar or weak, just a few of the choice adjectives I've ran across. The UFC has thrown little to no promotion behind this card, nothing besides the usual commercial during UFC broadcasts. I'm sure their expectations are not the same as they were for events like UFC 91, 92, or 94. In the main event, we have Rampage Jackson and Keith Jardine. Both fighters have been in the main event match before, but Jackson is probably much more of a draw than Jardine. I don't think the UFC is banking on Rampage to carry this card though.
They are banking on the three letters of the UFC because frankly there are no other names on the card that are that recognizable.
This card is all about the power of the brand in my opinion. The UFC has become synonymous with MMA in North America. I mean you acutally find people in America that say "I train UFC" not "I train MMA". Even the foreign cards are beginning to take off because of brand recognition. Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson while recognizable names, are not huge PPV draws. However, it's estimated that UFC 93 headlined by the two did 350K or so in PPV buys with no title on the line. Which is way up from the usual 225K or so the UFC normally does with foreign cards.
With the numbers of the last few domestic UFC events being extremely high, coupled with the quality of a UFC 95 card that was thought to be in the same league at UFC 96. Which just happened to be seen by millions on Spike TV. I think this card will do better than most people think. I think 375-400K PPV buys is a doable number for UFC 96, and it'll all because of the brand recognition of the UFC.