UFC 261 featured three title fights and has reportedly sold over 700,000 pay-per-views nationally.
The numbers were first reported by the Sports Business Journal. Specifically, the 700,000 units sold apply only to the North American buy rate. In addition, since international sales have yet to be quantified, the true number of units sold is unknown.
— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) April 27, 2021
“I’m told that UFC 261 claimed more than 700,000 pay-per-view buys for ESPN+ on Saturday night.” Jason Cruz said.
UFC 261 Does 700,000 Pay-Per-View Buys Domestically
Indicated by the Sports Business Journal, the pay-per-view garnered a lot of attention. 700,000 units sold is an impressive feat. In fact, there aren’t many fighters that can pull those numbers. As of recently, middleweight champion Israel Adesanya cleared 800,000 in his title fight with Jan Blachowicz.
Conversely, Masvidal and Usman’s first title bout on Fight Island produced much higher numbers. Their first pay-per-view exceeded 1M buys so it is a little shocking to see that the rematch didn’t bring in bigger numbers.
In the main event, champion Usman put up a well-rounded performance. In particular, the welterweight champion controlled the pace of the second fight with Masvidal much more aggressively. While the first round was close, many thought Masvidal was beginning to get the better of the striking exchanges. Then, after going to his corner and coming out for the second round, the African-born champion demolished him by pulling his guard hand away and firing off a straight right cross to knockout “Gamebred” in an instant.
Overall, the UFC 261 main card saw five fights and five finishes. In the end, it seems a little surprising that the second fight with Usman and Masvidal didn’t do the same type of numbers as the first. Perhaps the allure of Fight Island wore off, and with businesses open for operation again maybe there weren’t as many bloodthirsty fans locked in at home wanting to buy the pay-per-view.
Did you expect the UFC 261 pay-per-view numbers to be higher or lower? Let us know in the comment section below!