UFC 254 marked the return of UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. The Eagle took on interim champion Justin Gaethje for the undisputed lightweight strap. Many believed that Gaethje would be the one to dethrone Nurmagomedov. However, as it turned out, the Dagestani fighter made it look really easy. Nurmagoemov got past Gaethje in the first minute of the second round to grab a quick submission win in his third title defense for the UFC lightweight championship. The win catapult Nurmagomeov to the top of the UFC’s pound-for-pound list, making him the first Russian fighter to reach the coveted mark.
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Earlier, UFC President Dana White had claimed that UFC 254 would break all UFC records. However, that wasn’t the case as UFC 254 only drew 675,000 PPV buys. Moreover, the PPV failed to even break UFC 249 record which headline Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje for the interim strap early this year.
UFC 254: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje draws 675,000 PPV buys
Earlier, UFC 249: Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje drew in a massive 700,000 PPV sales. Leading the chart in 2020 was Kamaru Usman vs Jorge Masvidal which accumulated over 1.3 million PPV sales. It’s rather disappointing if you look at the numbers considering Nurmagomedov made his much-anticipated return after almost a year. The Eagle was last seen against Dustin Poirier.
Earlier, MMA Fighting revealed that the preliminary card also drew a modest 335,000 viewers. The last time the numbers were this low was when Nurmagomedov took on Poirier for the undisputed lightweight strap back at UFC 242.
The numbers are modest and reveal that Nurmagomedov may not be as big a draw as we have come to believe in recent times. Earlier, former light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones had taken a dig at Nurmagomedov by stating that nobody knew the Dagestani fighter before he fought Conor McGregor back at UFC 229.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 29, 2020
Soon after the numbers were revealed, former dual champion Conor McGregor posted a cryptic tweet subtly taking a dig at the lightweight champion. McGregor holds most of the PPV records inside the UFC. UFC 229: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor had raked in a record 2.4 million buys.
Conor McGregor tops the list of highest selling PPV in UFC’s history. McGregor tops four of the top-five highest-selling PPVs and continues to be the most global ambassador for the sport of MMA.
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