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Ngannou vs. Miocic heavyweight title fight does similar PPV numbers as UFC 219

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC 220 is estimated at doing 340,000 to 380,000 pay-per-view buys, numbers in line with the UFC show three weeks earlier.

The major hook on the show was the promotion of Francis Ngannou as a knockout artist going for the UFC heavyweight title against champion Stipe Miocic, who also had a string of impressive knockouts to his credit. Ngannou was riding momentum of one of the most memorable knockouts in recent years against Alistair Overeem.

The show also featured a second championship match, the light heavyweight title, with Daniel Cormier retaining over Volkan Oezdemir.

UFC 219 was estimated at doing similar numbers with the two top fights being Cris Cyborg’s women’s featherweight title win over Holly Holm in what was the biggest marquee women’s fight the organization could have put on at the time. The other big fight on that show featured lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov smashing Edson Barboza.

It’s possible UFC 220 was hurt slightly since it came three weeks later. With the exception of the Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier fight, and the Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping fight, they would have been UFC’s two strongest drawing pay-per-view events since the start of 2017.

The company’s string of numbers in that range appears to have ended with UFC 221 this past Saturday which early estimates look substantially lower. UFC 222 on March 3, with Cyborg defending her title against the debuting Yana Kunitskaya, will be a real test to see how much of the UFC 219 success was related to Cyborg, as opposed to Holm, or the mix between the two. Kunitskaya has never fought in the UFC previously, unlike Holm, who became a huge mainstream star after handing Ronda Rousey the first loss of her career to win the bantamweight title in 2015.