Daniel Cormier and Alexander Gustafsson put on one of the greatest title fights in UFC history, going back and forth to force the judges into offering up a split decision that went in favor of the champion. It’s a bout that will forever brand Cormier and Gustafsson as true, tested warriors.
Problem is not very many people chose to watch it.
We may not have exact numbers, but the ballpark figures offered by Cormier effectively cement what rumors surfaced last week. UFC 192, by all blockbuster measures, was a bust, selling less than 300,000 PPV buys, the champion told MMAjunkie Radio. Cormier’s previous headliner, featuring two title fights, reportedly did less than 400,000 buys.
Both are a far cry from what Cormier’s peaked at with 700,000-800,000 buys at UFC 182, largely due to the rivalry shared between he and former champion Jon Jones.
“You really do need the right person to make it happen,” he told MMAjunkie Radio.
He’ll be getting that “right person” soon enough, as the UFC reinstated Jones from his indefinite suspension last month. Though a bout has not been officially announced, the former 205-pound champion is widely expected to be Cormier’s next title challenger.
Considering how well his first match with Jones did from a pay-per-view standpoint, Cormier’s confident the rematch will bring some historic figures for the company.
“Way over 1 million,” Cormier said for potential PPV buys. “I would love for us – for Jon and I – to do 1 million-and-a-half [buys]. In our first one, we did 700,000, but there are a lot of factors that could make this one really big. Not only our rivalry, but Jon coming back from his legal issues.
“I believe that it can be a really, really big pay-per-view.”