UFC 259 delivered three title fights and a blockbuster night on pay-per-view for the promotion.
The card headlined by a champion versus champion showdown as Jan Blachowicz thwarted middleweight king Israel Adesanya’s attempt at capturing a second title ended up with a great number of buys both domestically and internationally.
According to a new report from the Sports Business Journal, UFC 259 sold 600,000 pay-per-views domestically in the United States with another 200,000 buys internationally.
While the 600,000 buys domestically is the more important number because pay-per-view prices in the U.S. are higher than international locations, that’s still a very good night for the promotion overall.
That total number would exceed the last card headlined by Adesanya when he defeated Paulo Costa at UFC 253 where Blachowicz actually served as the co-main event in his title fight win over Dominick Reyes. That card reportedly sold 700,000 pay-per-views worldwide.
Not only did UFC 259 exceed those numbers but this card took place after ESPN raised the prices of the UFC pay-per-views by an additional $5 starting in 2021 with the show headlined by Conor McGregor’s return against Dustin Poirier.
While three title fights headlining the card obviously helped, Adesanya’s star power is impossible to deny as he’s become one of the marquee names on the entire roster. He’s starting to drive serious pay-per-view numbers, which is exactly what the UFC wants from the superstars who can always draw an audience no matter who they’re fighting.
McGregor remains the gold standard for the biggest selling draw in the sport but Adesanya is beginning to build his own impressive audience, especially with the last two cards he’s headlined.
The next pay-per-view will actually take place in the same month with UFC 260 scheduled for March 27 with a pair of title fights at the top of the card. Heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic will put his title up for grabs against ferocious knockout artist Francis Ngannou while Alexander Volkanovski defends his featherweight belt against Brian Ortega.