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ESPN First-Take: Dana White Talks UFC 91 (Update)

“We think we’re going to do 1.2 million buys on this fight. It’s a big fight, the WWE cross-over for this fight, a lot of WWE fans are going to tune in to see if their former wrestling champion can win in a real fight. Vince McMahon might even buy this fight.”

-Dana White predicting the the number of buys UFC 91 does.

I say no way, I don’t think it cracks 1 million. I’m going with 800,000. What you do think?

Quick update: MMA Payout uses a formula to predict pay-per-view buys based on the ratings from the Countdown shows, and apparently last night’s airing didn’t do so well.

MMAPayout.com has learned that the premiere of Countdown to UFC 91 on Spike drew only 537,000 viewers last night. That number is 11.7% below the average of 608,083 viewers drawn by the first twelve editions of the series this year. The program aired at 11PM EST in hopes of taking advantage of WWE Raw as a lead-in.

Based on MMAPayout.com’s formula for predicting pay-per-view buys based on Countdown viewership, UFC 91 would be expected to draw only 468,801 buys. While the actual pay-per-view number is virtually certain to be well exceed that projection, the rating is a troubling early sign for the UFC’s hopes of surpassing one million buys given the past strong correlation between Countdown viewership and pay-per-view buys.

Well, maybe my 800,000 prediction was a little generous.

The full UFC 91 fight card and event info can be found in our fight cards section.

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Fight Cards

UFC on FOX 26: Lawler vs. dos Anjos

Event Date: December 16, 2017
Broadcast: Fox

UFC 219

Event Date: December 30, 2017
Broadcast: TBD