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UFC 175 estimated to have topped 500,000 pay-per-view buys

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, UFC 175, which featured title defenses by both Chris Weidman and Ronda Rousey, was UFC's most successful pay-per-view show of 2014.

The show is estimated a doing between 500,000 and 545,000 buys based on various cable sources. It would be the largest number since UFC 168, also headlined by Weidman and Rousey, that was one of the few shows in UFC history to do in the 1 million buy category.

Weidman retained his title in the July 5 main event from Las Vegas, with a five-round win over Lyoto Machida in one of the year's most exciting fights. Rousey ran through Alexis Davis in 16 seconds, which tied for the second-fastest title fight in UFC history. The show did slightly above most expectations going in.

It appeared a combination of the two fights that led to the success. While Rousey was the biggest star on the show, her opponent was not well known and given little chance to win. This was also Rousey's third fight in just over six months. Machida was considered a major test for Weidman's middleweight title, perhaps his toughest in the division, but the former light heavyweight champion was not a big draw as a challenger when he faced Jon Jones for the light heavyweight title.

The company has had a tough year on pay-per-view with the lack of any individual fights that truly captured the imagination of the public like Anderson Silva vs. Weidman and Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz in 2013.

Before UFC 175, the company only had two pay-per-view shows headlined by a title fight that wasn't either flyweight or bantamweight this year. While Rousey has proven to be, along with Jon Jones, one of  the company's two biggest active drawing cards since the injury by Anderson Silva, and sabbatical taken by St-Pierre, her opponents haven't captured the interest of the public anywhere close to the level Miesha Tate did prior to UFC 168.

Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, with the grudge match component coming off Monday's skirmish, will likely surpass this show as the year's biggest PPV event in September.

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