FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/22: UFC 234 buy estimates not good, Khabib shares why he wanted GSP fight, and more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Feb 9, 2019; Melbourne, Australia; Anderson Silva (blue gloves) before his fight against Israel Adesanya (red gloves) during UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jasmin Frank-USA TODAY Sports

A career low for Silva

After a string of losses and drug test failures, it appears that Anderson Silva’s box office appeal has diminished in the last few years. MMAFighting’s Dave Meltzer is reporting that early estimates for UFC 234 are at around 175,000 buys.

The show was built around a Robert Whittaker-Kelvin Gastelum middleweight title fight with Anderson Silva vs. Israel Adesanya serving as a strong number two fight. Whittaker dropped out the afternoon of the fight and the Silva-Adesanya fight was promoted to the main event.

The last time he headlined a pay-per-view, at UFC 183, Silva fought Nick Diaz on a show that did about 650,000 buys. The UFC 234 number is by far Silva’s lowest as a pay-per-view headliner, but he was also not promoted as the main event until the day of the show. His lengthy middleweight title run came during a much stronger pay-per-view era for UFC when a low-end show would do in the 300,000 buy range.

The UFC 234 number is the least bought show since last September’s UFC 228 headlined by Tyron Woodley and Darren Till. 

Number one legend

Khabib Nurmagomedov is as disappointed as anybody that a fight with Georges St-Pierre didn’t come together. Now that St-Pierre is retired, Nurmagomedov posted some kind words towards the former welterweight champion on Instagram.

“Simply he’s one of the best оf all times,” Nurmagomedov wrote. “I just wanted to share cage with him while he’s active, that’s the history and people be watching it again and again, I want to fight with the best. Anyway, good luck to you Legend @georgesstpierre time is merciless, and your decision is right.”

St-Pierre said during his retirement press conference Thursday that he and Nurmagomedointerestederested in a fight but that UFC was not keen on the idea.

Friday Notebook

-Jose Aldo told media in Brazil that he would like to fight Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 237 in May.

-Amanda Nunes told Combate that she will not be ready to fight at UFC 237 and is looking to return towards the end of the year. She also said she would like to defend her bantamweight title first. Her last bantamweight title defense was in May 2018.

-Mackenzie Dern announced her pregnancy on Instagram.

-Diego Ferreira and Klidson Abreu both came in over their respective weight limits for their fights at UFC Prague tomorrow.

-Alexander Volkov vs. Alistair Overeem will headline a UFC on ESPN+ event from Russia on April 20.

Fight of the Day

Jones vs. Gustafsson II




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