Dave Meltzer writes in the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer that final UFC 101 buyrate figures may be set to exceed the predictions of just about everyone in the industry, including MMAPayout.com:
Last week’s early estimates of UFC 101 have been confirmed. We’ve had three different systems of six we’ve gotten reports on real numbers that reported the second best numbers, behind only UFC 100. The others did right at or just below other the big three of late (Couture vs. Lesnar, Griffin vs. Evans and Penn vs. St. Pierre). One national cable estimate was at this stage between 800,000 and 900,000 buys. Trending patterns indicate numbers higher than that, and if it was the same as the big three before UFC 100, or better, as indicated by the few direct numbers we have, it could top 1 million since UFC 92 hit that figure and 91 and 94 were just below.
Essentially, three of the six systems used to tabulate and predict final PPV numbers are indicating that UFC 101 will surpass all but UFC 100 in terms of its PPV buyrate. The other three systems have placed the buyrate in the 800-900k range (something a little closer to what MMAPayout.com expected).
If true, this is obviously great news for the UFC, and just adds to their stellar year. And just to give you an indication of how good of a year it is: in 2008, the UFC did an estimated 5,700,000 PPV buys; but, if you include UFC 101, the company has already done over 5,500,000 buys as of mid-August (and with probably six events still to come).