UFC 259 featured a championship tripleheader topped by Jan Blachowicz’s light heavyweight title win over middleweight champ Israel Adesanya which sold 800,000 PPVs worldwide.
Jan Blachowicz beat the previously undefeated Adesanya by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-45, 49-45) to retain his light heavyweight title in the main event. Along with that big fight, the event also featured two other title fights: Amanda Nunes vs. Megan Anderson for the UFC women’s featherweight title, and Petr Yan vs. Aljamain Sterling for the UFC bantamweight title. Overall, it was a great card and paper and mostly lived up to the hype. But the question that UFC president Dana White and the other organizational executives wanted to know was how many PPV buys the card would sell.
Sports Business Journal reported on Wednesday that the card drew in an estimated 600,000 buys on the ESPN+ streaming service, with an additional 200,000 buys outside of the United States, making for a total of 800,000.
If nothing else, signs point to Adesanya being a viable draw, His main event win over Paulo Costa at UFC 253 reportedly generated 700,000 worldwide buys. Blachowicz was the co-main on that card when he won the vacant belt against Dominick Reyes. It appears that UFC 259 is now Adesanya’s biggest PPV seller since he starting headlining events. The loss to Blachowicz hurts, but it was still a big event from a financial POV, and both headliners are likely going to get a nice bonus from the company.
So far it’s been a great start to 2021 for the UFC on pay-per-view. The Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier rematch exceeded one million buys and while we don’t know the figures for UFC 258, the numbers for 259 are quite strong and also indicate that despite the ESPN+ increase and the PPV increase to $70 it’s not really stopping customers from hitting the purchase button.
Following his first loss, Adesanya spoke at the post-fight press conference about what’s next for him. One of the questions posed to “The Last Stylebender” was whether or not he’s still interested in a potential super fight with Jon. However, following the loss to Blachowicz, Adesanya put it on the backburner.
Adesanya said after the fight that he intends to return to the middleweight division to defend his title, while Jones appears poised to challenge the winner of the March 27 heavyweight title fight between Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
Up next is UFC 260 on March 27th. That card features Stipe Miocic vs. Francis Ngannou in a heavyweight championship rematch, while Alexander Volkanovski defends his featherweight crown versus Brian Ortega.
Purchase the UFC merch here.
To bet on an MMA event click here