According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, the card headlined by Dustin Poirier’s second-round knockout against Irish superstar Conor McGregor sold 1.2 million pay-per-views domestically in the United States with an additional 400,000 buys internationally.
That brings UFC 257 to 1.6 million buys in total, which would make the event one of the top three selling pay-per-view cards of all time for the promotion.
The highest selling card of all-time remains UFC 229, which featured McGregor in the main event against Khabib Nurmagomedov with that event crushing all previous records with 2.4 million buys. The second-highest card of all time was UFC 202, which saw McGregor exact his revenge against Nate Diaz in a hotly contested rematch that sold around 1.6 million buys.
Considering final numbers for pay-per-view broadcasts typically tick up in the days and weeks following an event, UFC 257 will almost assuredly end up with over 1.6 million buys. That would land the card at No. 2 all time for the promotion.
Of course, ESPN will have to deal with the fallout from technical issues that prevented some users from accessing the card this past Saturday night. The Disney-owned network issued a statement via MMA Fighting on Monday with an apology for the problems while also promising to issue partial refunds for some viewers who were unable to watch the card until all of the issues were fixed by 11 p.m. ET
While McGregor ultimately fell in the main event, the attention paid to UFC 257 once again proves his incredible drawing power. He has now participated in all five of the highest-selling UFC cards of all time.
According to additional sources in the original report, ESPN has been so happy with the success of their broadcast deal with the UFC that the network is exploring future dates for events to air on ABC. The UFC just recently had their first event on the network with the card headlined by Max Holloway’s five-round decision win over Calvin Kattar, which drew an average of 1.22 million viewers for an afternoon card that aired at 3 p.m. ET while going up against an NFL playoff game.