We’re only a couple of days removed from Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz’s third fight on pay-per-view. Ortiz won the fight with a devastating first-round knockout, that left many fans questioning the booking of the fight in the first place. While it is far too early to have any reliable indication of an actual pay-per-view number, Google search results indicate that Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 may have exceeded most expectations.
People in the United States searched for “Chuck Liddell” over 500,000 times on Saturday, making it the sixth most searched term that day. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer wrote on his website that the interest level is similar to UFC 230 which did 250.000 buys on pay-per-view. Anything even close to that number for Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 should be viewed as a huge success for Golden Boy Promotions. It would also likely lead to more MMA shows for the Oscar De La Hoya led promotion moving forward.
Google searches can often be a good indicator of how a show performed on pay-per-view for UFC events where there is a long track record to go off, but for a show like Liddell vs. Ortiz 3, there is little precedent. Saturday’s show had no television platform to build and promote the show and was reliant on MMA media and word of mouth to promote the show. The word of mouth during the week was largely negative. Bellator’s two pay-per-view events which had the benefit or Spike TV for promotion, both did in the 100,000 buy range.
It’s possible that searches for Liddell were out of curiosity in the result and may not have led to many purchases.
With no precedent to draw from, predictions were all over the map before the show. In our roundtable published before the show, pay-per-view buy predictions were as low as 10,000.
An official estimate should be available in the coming weeks. If it did as well as Google searches seem to indicate, it may not be the last we’ve seen of Golden Boy Promotions, Liddell, or Ortiz.