Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting reports that the UFC 207: Ronda Rousey v. Amanda Nunes, recorded over 1 million PPV buys. The UFC recorded five PPV shows in 2016. McGregor was the main event in three of the events that earned more than 1 million buys with UFC 200 being the fourth show that exceeded 1 million buys. Rousey was notably missing from all the pre-fight media events and there was very little mention of Amanda Nunes in the commercials for UFC 207. The UFC 207 co-main event saw Cody Garbrandt take on Dominick Cruz in an entertaining fight for the bantamweight title, which surely aided in the PPV buys.
In his article on MMA Fighting, Dave Melter wrote:
The numbers indicate that if Rousey had promoted the fight, and it was held on a better night (the previous, Friday, Dec. 30 UFC show with Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem did only 540,000 buys at a time when Lesnar’s shows were all doing more than 800,000 buys), that the UFC 202 record could have been in jeopardy. It also indicates that had Rousey won and Holly Holm had won the featherweight title on Feb. 11, that a match between the two would have almost surely broken the record.
With the little promotion Rousey did for the event and the stiff competition that the UFC faced over the weekend it was very evident that Rousey’s drawing power amongst the casual fan was strong. The college football playoffs, New Year’s Six bowl games, and the last weekend of the NFL regular season took a substantial amount of the attention market heading into the weekend, before even considering that very few people would be willing to spend New Year’s Eve in front of a television. The college football playoff found that lesson out the hard way, seeing ratings plunge and ESPN having to renegotiate deals with advertisers as a result.
The rematch between Rousey and Holm that was predicted to be the most-purchased UFC PPV event in history looks like it is over. Holly Holm and Ronda Rousey have both lost their last two fights, with Rousey losing in spectacularly one-sided fashion. Her mainstream appeal has also certainly been weakened. Rousey’s fighting future is still up in the air.