UFC 146: Junior Dos Santos-Frank Mir fight fuels pay-per-view
They billed it as the first all-heavyweight main card in UFC history. And it looks like UFC 146 in Las Vegas may have weighed in with some heavy numbers from die-hard fans who coughed up coin for Saturday's coverage on pay-per-view.
The night's main event was Brazilian champ Junior Dos Santos' defense of his UFC heavyweight title against American contender Frank Mir. Dos Santos ended up knocking out Mir in Round 2.
That was enough to bring out the hard-core mixed-martial arts fans, including -- somewhat unexpectedly? -- "The Big Bang Theory" star Kaley Cuoco, who tweeted to her more than 750,000 followers: "Big night! Dos Santos vs Mir..... #UFC Can't wait for this show down!" Twitter messages and Google searches on the topic remained high throughout Saturday night.
Still unknown is what the heavyweight event will tell us about UFC's popularity, which, Cuoco notwithstanding, is still strongest among young men. Last month UFC 145 delivered an estimated 700,000 pay-per-view buys, according to MMAMania.com (UFC itself does not release pay-per-view figures). But that was nothing compared with the estimated 1.5 million buys back in 2009 for UFC 100.
For all its popularity, mixed-martial arts still lags in some respects behind the old-school sport of boxing; Oscar de la Hoya's 2007 bout with Floyd Mayweather Jr. delivered more than 2.1 million pay-per-view buys.
UFC 146 was sold on most cable and satellite providers for about $45.
If you're a mixed-martial arts fan, what did you think of UFC 146?
-Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Junior Dos Santos, left, on his way to a knockout win over Frank Mir in Saturday's UFC 146 in Las Vegas. Credit: Julie Jacobson/Associated Press.