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Report: UFC 123 does 'around 500K' pay-per-view buys

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Dave Meltzer reports in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required) that last month's UFC 123 pay-per-view looks to have done right around 500,000 buys.

It looks just below the numbers of the Liddell vs. Franklin show (which speaks volumes for Liddell as a draw) and the 8/28 Penn vs. Edgar and Couture vs. Toney show. Based on what we can gather, the two interesting things is that for the first time in recent memory, the home location (Detroit) didn't appear to do significant PPV business. We were told the media wasn't behind the show anywhere close to the level of some of the other recent cities, even though live attendance was strong.

UFC 123 was headlined by a light-heavyweight bout between Quinton Jackson and Lyoto Machida and a welterweight fight between Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn.

Meltzer comments further on some specific demographics of the number:

Based on trending patterns, it looks like San Francisco and Cleveland did better than usual. By far, the strongest market was Honolulu, which tells you who the big draw on the show was. Not only that, which tells you about Matt Hughes dream match vs. UFC lightweight title, this show appeared to do better in Hawaii then Penn's two previous title fights with Edgar, and better than any Penn fight since Sanchez.

Thoughts: Overall, I'd say this is a very strong number. I wish I could remember my exact prediction, but I think it was in the 550K range. This shows you that, with the right pieces, UFC shows can still do well even without a title fight on top. And for a pay-per-view that was sandwiched between two very big pay-per-view events (UFC 121, UFC 124), the UFC has to be happy with this number. If UFC 124 does well as expected, the UFC could be looking in the range of 2.25 to 2.5 million pay-per-view buys in the span of less than two months. That's solid business right there.

SBN coverage of UFC 123: Jackson vs. Machida