The 7 Top Highest PPV Buys in UFC History

The UFC has put on some of the most extensive programs in MMA history, and pay-per-view sales have reflected this, with over 15 events exceeding the seven-figure mark in their existence. So we will list seven of the top highest PPV buys in UFC history.

UFC betting events simultaneously surpassed audience and revenue benchmarks, mainly owing to Conor McGregor. McGregor is the uncontested PPV king of the business, with an average of 1,538,632 pay-per-view sales in his fights.

The UFC has been hosting significant pay-per-view events for decades, but what are the highest-earning PPV events in UFC history? Let’s have a look.

Top Highest PPV Buys in UFC History Overview

Here is the list of the Top 7 Best UFC PPV Events of All Time, listed by pay-per-view buys.

Date Event PPV Buyrate
October 6, 2018 UFC 229: McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov 2,400,000
August 20, 2016 UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor 1,650,000
July 11, 2009 UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir 1,600,000
January 24, 2021 UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 1,504,737
January 18, 2020 UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy 1,353,429
March 5, 2016 UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz 1,317,000
December 30, 2016 UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey 1,100,000

1. UFC 229: McGregor vs. Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov defended his UFC Lightweight Championship against McGregor in UFC history’s most excellent PPV event. It will be a long time, if ever, before a tournament tops this gigantic card. The event was recorded as the top highest PPV buys in UFC history.

The main event featured the current unbeaten champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, fighting for the UFC Lightweight Championship vs. former featherweight and lightweight champion Conor McGregor. McGregor won the lightweight belt while being the incumbent featherweight champion at UFC 205.

The match ended as Khabib defeated McGregor with a submission.

PPV and Total Gate

The event’s total disclosed payout was $6,636,000 USD. The PPV purchase rate was 2,400,000. The event’s total gate was roughly 17,188,894.67 USD.

2. UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor

McGregor headlines another high PPV buy rate in one of the biggest rematches in company history. It is also listed as one of the best PPV buys in the history of UFC.

This was the first event held entirely under the management of the new ownership group, which included William Morris Endeavor, Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and MSD Capital.

The two had previously met at UFC 196 earlier this year. McGregor was set to battle then UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos. However, Dos Anjos dropped out due to a fractured foot only 11 days before the event. Diaz finally took his position, moving the fight to the welterweight class.

McGregor defeated Diaz by a majority as the match lasted five rounds.

PPV and Total Gate

The total gate was 7,700,810 USD, while the event’s PPV Buyrate was 1,650,000.

3. UFC 100: Lesnar vs. Mir

In the main event of UFC 100, Lesnar faced Frank Mir in an attempt to avenge his defeat in his first-ever UFC appearance. It was one of the top highest PPV buys in UFC history.

George St Pierre faced Thiago Alves on this colossal card. In contrast, Michael Bisping faced Dan Henderson. His championship rematch was made possible by previous UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture’s year-long departure from the organization.

Brock Lesnar won as Frank Mir went down by TKO.

PPV and Total Gate

The total gate was 5,101,740, while the PPV Buyrate was 1,600,000.

With a buyrate of 1.6 million, this event was the most purchased UFC pay-per-view event of all time until UFC 202 broke the record with 1.65 million.

4. UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor

A limited number of fans were allowed into the newly constructed Etihad Arena, marking the first time non-essential event personnel has been present since UFC 248 on March 7, 2020. According to buyout figures, it is one of the most viewed UFC events of all time. It was one of the best events in UFC history per PPV buy.

This event featured a lightweight battle between Conor McGregor, the former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion, and Dustin Poirier, the previous interim champion. On September 27, 2014, at UFC 178, they faced off in a featherweight battle, which McGregor won by first-round TKO.

Dustin Poirier beat Connor McGregor via TKO. The contest lasted two rounds.

Poirier was knocked down forcefully in the first round of his first fight with McGregor in 2014. It was time for his long-awaited retribution against the Notorious, and he was set to face him in a five-round PPV event in January 2021.

PPV and Total Gate

The PPV buyrate was 1,504,737, while the total gate was. Due to COVID limitations, the total gate was low because attendance was just 2600.

5. UFC 246: McGregor vs. Cowboy

In the main event, Conor McGregor, former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion, faced up against former lightweight championship contender Donald Cerrone. The Notorious made a choice to return to the UFC after departing from the organization.

McGregor was scheduled to meet Donald Cerrone in a welterweight pay-per-view fight in January 2020. McGregor stunned veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in the PPV main event by breaking his nose with a series of shoulder strikes and shattering his spirit with a follow-up head kick, resulting in a whip-crack 40-second TKO finish.

McGregor humiliates Donald Cerrone, aka The Cowboy, in 40 seconds. McGregor won via TKO in the first round.

PPV and Total Gate

The total gate was 11,087,629.33 USD, while the PPV Buyrate was 1,353,429.

6. UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz

McGregor moved up to Welterweight to face Diaz at UFC 196, two months after his epic fight with Aldo. The corporation was on a roll at the moment, aided by the fame of the Irish boxer.

The UFC stated that the event would be canceled and moved to a new location. It was announced on January 12 that the event would take place in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

For the first time, Conor McGregor competed in the welterweight division. Nate Diaz knocked out Conor McGregor in the second round, making quite a commotion. This was fantastic for a potential build-up in a rematch.

The main event was set to be a battle between UFC Featherweight Champion Conor McGregor and UFC Lightweight Champion Rafael dos Anjos. This would have been just the second time in UFC history that champions from different divisions contested for the same title.

The match ended as Nate Diaz triumphed over Connor McGregor. The contest lasted two rounds. Diaz won through submission with a maneuver known as the rear-naked choke.

PPV and Total Gate

The total gate was $8,197,628 USD, with a PPV Buyrate 1,317,000.

7. UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey

The main event was a fight for the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship between current champion Amanda Nunes and former champion Ronda Rousey. The event featured a UFC Bantamweight Championship fight between then-champion Dominick Cruz and Cody Garbrandt.

It’s weird to consider today, but Amanda Nunes was almost an afterthought coming into UFC 207 on December 30, 2016. The event was also recorded as one of the top PPV buys in the history of UFC.

Nunes was the women’s bantamweight champion, defending her title for the first time after crushing Miesha Tate. But, in the weeks preceding UFC 207, all eyes were on her opponent, Ronda Rousey.

Everything changed on November 15, 2015, when Holly Holm stunned the world by knocking out Rousey in front of 56,000 spectators at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. Rousey blamed her poor performance on media responsibilities and promotion pressure in the following weeks and months.

The UFC did not need Rousey to do any interviews or marketing for the bout, allowing her to focus on recovering her championship. All that did was enhance the interest in how she’d return from the most significant upset loss in UFC history.

It didn’t go well for Rousey, as Nunes took only 48 seconds to fire her up for a TKO defeat.

PPV and Total Gate

The total gate was $4,750,000 USD, with 18,533 attendees and a PPV buyrate of 1,000,000.


So here we have a list of the seven top PPV buys in UFC history. Pay-per-view (PPV) is a form of pay television or webcast service in which a viewer pays to see specific events via private transmission.

There has been an increase in the number of pay-per-views provided online via streaming video, either in addition to or instead of distribution through television providers. As for UFC, it is a big thing as a mass amount of revenue is generated from it. UFC’s popularity keeps growing, and the number of PPV sales is also increasing.

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.