UFC 287 is almost upon us! In what will be a decisive fight for Israel Adesanya and his future in the UFC, fans cannot wait to see it unfold. Moreover, as is the case with any big PPV event, there will always be the question of how many PPV buys the event will do.
Previously, when Adesanya took on Alex Pereira at UFC 281, the event was seen as a wild success. Taking place in a sold-out MSG, there were 20,845 fans in attendance, with a record live gate of $11.56 million. UFC President Dana White said it was the second highest-grossing event in MSG history.
Naturally, it was assumed that the fight also sold a lot of PPVs. Despite his defeat, The Last Stylebender was optimistic that the PPV crossed a million buys. “I think this could be over a million, knock on wood,” Adesanya told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I feel, just cause people either want to see you win or lose. Yeah, I’m hoping over a million. I don’t even need a million buys, but still, just for my own ego I want to take that box over a million pay-per-view buys.”
As for the event itself, it was one of the more memorable ones. Not only did two belts change hands, but Dustin Poirier and Michael Chandler also delivered a fight for the ages. However, with all that said, did the PPV buys actually cross a million? How much was Izzy paid? Let’s take a look.
What were the real PPV buys for UFC 281: Israel Adesanya vs Alex Pereira?
According to sources, UFC 281 was well off the 1 million buys mark. Although no official numbers have been leaked or released, some sources claim that UFC 281 only brought in 600,000 PPV buys. In comparison, UFC 259: Błachowicz vs. Adesanya and UFC 253: Adesanya vs. Costa brought in 800,000 and 700,000 buys respectively. Similarly, UFC 263: Adesanya vs. Vettori 2 also brought in 600,000 PPV buys.
As for Adesanya’s payout, MMA Salaries has stated that Adesanya took home a whopping $2.6 million for his loss to Pereira at UFC 281. This includes his base pay of $2 million along with $600,000 in PPV payouts and $42,000 in sponsorships. Thus, you can also expect a similar amount in Adesanya’s payout for UFC 287. Currently, Izzy is on the biggest contract of his career and will need to beat Pereira in the rematch to keep it that way.
Up until recently, a lot was made of Adesanya’s performance inside the Octagon. Initially, Adesanya rose to fame for his fearless striking and technique. Moreover, Israel Adesanya was never afraid of a challenge and had a brutal war with Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236. Since then, the champ has been accused of playing it safe and boring against Marvin Vettori, Robert Whittaker (UFC 271), and Jared Cannonier at UFC 276.
As such, Izzy did give it a crack against Pereira, nearly knocking out the Brazilian in Round 1. Unfortunately, an injury to his peroneal nerve meant that he was unable to avoid Pereira’s attacks in Round 5. This time, however, Izzy is up and ready and has thrown some jabs before the fight as well. Thus, with high stakes and so much on the line, UFC 287 is set to be one of the biggest events of the year.