The UFC stacked its return to New York City with stars and that strategy appears to have paid off.
UFC 268, which took place on Nov. 6 at Madison Square Garden, has reportedly pulled in approximately 700,000 pay-per-view buys, according to the Sports Business Journal (h/t TSN). Those numbers reflect only domestic purchases on the ESPN+ streaming service, which holds exclusive rights to UFC PPVs in the United States.
The buyrate will be higher once international numbers are factored in, including countries that still use a traditional PPV purchasing structure such as Canada.
UFC 268 was headlined by a highly anticipated grudge match between welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and Colby Covington, which Usman won by unanimous decision to go up 2-0 in the series against his rival.
The co-main event was also a rematch as strawweight champion Rose Namajunas went five rounds with Zhang Weili. Unlike their first encounter, which Namajunas won by first-round knockout, Zhang made it to the scorecards and narrowly lost a split decision.
Just counting domestic numbers, UFC 268 would be tied for the fourth-most successful UFC PPV of the year (h/t MMA Mania), behind UFC 259 (800,000) headlined by a champ vs. champ battle between Jan Blachowicz and Israel Adesanya, and UFC 257 (1.6 million) and UFC 264 (1.5 million) both of which were headlined by Dustin Poirier vs. Conor McGregor bouts.