The earliest cable estimate is 925,000 buys, which would make it the fourth highest number in UFC history. Any estimate this early is a very rough estimate, and the real number could end up significantly higher or lower. Based on that number, it would trail the 1.6 million for UFC 100 and the 1.05 million for the 2006 Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz fight, and right at 1 million for UFC 92 (a triple main event of Evans vs. Forrest Griffin, Frank Mir vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva). It would be in the same range as UFC 91, with Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture, and UFC 94, with the second Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn match. Both of those shows were really one match drawing shows.
...Most impressive is that it was a one-match show as far as marquee value. Had Griffin not pulled out of his fight with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, adding Griffin, one of the company's top draws, would have probably pushed it past the 1 million mark. Without him, I thought it would fall a little short.
Before the show, Dana White's prediction was 850,000. He claimed it was based on advanced orders that other details that usually give the company a pretty good idea how the show will do. That would rank it No. 6 or No. 7 on the company's all-time list. The record going into this show for a non-title match main event would have been 775,000 for the Ken Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz grudge match in 2006 (technically that show had a Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski heavyweight title match billed as the main event). For a show that didn't have a title match of any kind, no UFC event historically has topped 600,000 buys (Royce Gracie vs. Matt Hughes in 2006), so if nothing else, this blew away that record, probably by a wide margin.
Evans got $410,000 of disclosed money, but with his PPV bonus, should get well into the seven figures. Jackson got $250,000 disclosed. He has a PPV bonus written into his contract. If the show did 800,000 buys, and it probably did more, Jackson will end up with a figure probably around $2 million.
Good lord, if that holds true this card far exceeded expectations. With a non-title main event and an undercard that featured very few marquee UFC names, this is a big deal for not only the power of Zuffa's hype machine, but the drawing power of both Rashad Evans and Rampage Jackson. Do you think that if this holds true, Rashad Evans may actually become a draw in the UFC?