25 Highest Selling UFC PPV Fights Ever

Get ready, fight fans, for a thrilling walk down memory lane as we count down the most explosive UFC fights based on PPV buys and earnings! From unexpected upsets to triumphant trilogies, we’ve got you covered.

Highest-selling UFC PPV fights with Khabib, Diaz, McGregor featured image

Every single entry is brimming with intense action, gripping drama, and indelible moments that will never be forgotten. And let’s not forget, this is not merely a statistical recap but a glorious tribute to the epic clashes that shaped the world of sports.

25. Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem, UFC 141

Alistair Overeem TKOs Brock Lesnar in UFC Debut | UFC 141, 2011 | On This Day

PPV Revenue $34,776,500
PPV Buys 800,000
UFC Fight # 141
Date December 30, 2011

UFC 141, headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem, was one of those events that underscored the allure of colossal match-ups, racking up 800,000 PPV buys. This event was a titanic face-off, with past UFC Heavyweight Champion Lesnar squaring off against former Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Overeem, a match-up that generated a buzz of anticipation among spectators.

Brock Lesnar, a figure who brought an unmatched level of mainstream attention to the sport, was a monster of a man with a wrestling pedigree and the raw power to out-muscle virtually any opponent. He was making a return after a battle with diverticulitis, adding a layer of human drama to the match-up.

Overeem, his opponent, was making his UFC entrance, carrying the intimidating reputation of being one of the sport’s most feared strikers. Known as “The Demolition Man,” Overeem’s combination of kickboxing skills and formidable strength made him a terrifying adversary.

When the cage door shut, the tension was palpable. Overeem swiftly established his dominance. He targeted Lesnar’s body with powerful strikes, culminating in a liver kick that spelled the end for Lesnar. The brawl concluded in the first round, indicating the cessation of Lesnar’s MMA tenure and the launch of Overeem’s UFC odyssey. The spectacle of this colossal clash generated an impressive PPV figure, demonstrating the power of a well-hyped heavyweight battle.

24. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC 117

Free Fight: Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen 1 | UFC 117, 2010

PPV Revenue $38,994,000
PPV Buys 600,000
UFC Fight # 117
Date August 7, 2010

Amidst the extensive chronicles of UFC history, a cataclysmic clash remains indelibly etched in the collective consciousness. We’re talking about the bone-shattering confrontation that unfolded between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. This breathtaking spectacle, characterized by primal ferocity and strategic brilliance, captivated an astounding multitude of 600,000 pay-per-view spectators. Touted as one of the most monumental middleweight title fights, this showdown had been brewing for months, fueled by Sonnen’s ceaseless verbal jabs and Silva’s seemingly untouchable undefeated record.

Chael Sonnen, the charismatic antagonist, did an outstanding job of selling the fight with his tongue, but his actions inside the octagon were what really set the stage. For four and a half rounds, Sonnen dominated Silva as no one else had ever managed to, employing his strong wrestling to control the champion.

On the other hand, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, a revered champion known for his dynamic striking, and elusive movement, faced the toughest test of his career. However, in the fight’s dying moments, Silva showcased why he’s one of the best to ever do it. In the dwindling moments, with less than two minutes to spare, Silva masterfully executed a triangle choke submission from a disadvantaged position. This spectacular act signified one of the most remarkable turnarounds ever witnessed in the annals of UFC history.

The sheer drama, intensity, and the underdog almost toppling the champion, only for the champion to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It was an epic spectacle that generated massive attention. The fight affirmed Silva’s legacy and proved that he could weather the storm and still emerge victorious, further bolstering the popularity of UFC and the sport of MMA.

23. Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje, UFC 254

PPV Revenue $43,868,250
PPV Buys 675,000
UFC Fight # 254
Date October 24, 2020

The Lightweight Championship encounter between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 held the fascination of 675,000 PPV consumers, making it one of UFC’s most passionately debated duels.

Khabib Nurmagomedov, known for his relentless pressure and unparalleled grappling, went into the fight as a dominant champion. With a record unsullied by defeat, he stood as the competitor to dethrone. Conversely, Justin Gaethje, acclaimed as the most brutal combatant in the world’s most savage sport, joined the fray, bolstered by a noteworthy conquest over Tony Ferguson.

The contest was expected to be Nurmagomedov’s most challenging defense, with many believing Gaethje’s strong wrestling background and powerful striking could pose significant problems for the champion. Khabib, however, reiterated his standing as one of the sport’s greatest warriors.

Despite Gaethje’s valiant efforts, Nurmagomedov imposed his will, ultimately securing a triangle choke in the second round, leading to a submission victory. It was a flawless performance by Khabib, who announced his retirement in the Octagon after the fight, making the event even more memorable. His dominance, combined with an emotional tribute to his late father, won the hearts of MMA fans worldwide, reinforcing the legendary status of this fight in UFC history.

22. Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier, UFC 182

Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones UFC 182 FULL FIGHT Champions

PPV Revenue $51,992,000
PPV Buys 800,000
UFC Fight # 182
Date January 3, 2015

Accumulating an imposing figure of 800,000 Pay-Per-View acquisitions, UFC 182 emerged as the epicenter for one of the most contentious antagonisms recorded in the annals of Mixed Martial Arts, the fiery feud between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. This clash exuded a discernible bitterness between the dueling fighters, culminating in a spectacle that entranced combat enthusiasts globally.

Jon “Bones” Jones, the unprecedented prodigy who rose to the UFC championship at the youngest age, was the prevailing monarch in the light heavyweight category. His distinctive blend of inventiveness within the confines of the octagon, coupled with his uncanny ability to strategize and conquer, forged an incomparable range of expertise. On the flip side, the formidable contender, Daniel Cormier, embodied a novel risk. With his history as an Olympian, a treasure trove of wrestling accolades, and a fearsome striking force, Cormier was unbeaten and brimming with resolve to usurp Jones’ reign.

The schism separating Jones and Cormier was deeply rooted in their clashing temperaments as much as their individualized combat styles. The narrative of Jones, the contentious yet gifted sovereign, and Cormier, the industrious and venerated challenger, crafted an irresistible tale.

The fallout saw Jones hold his ground, preserving his title after an arduous five-round skirmish. The conflict was an exhibition of superior offensive and defensive moves, tactical grappling exchanges, and physical wear and tear, mirroring their fierce rivalry and relentless competitive drive. Despite the inflammatory prelude, the two warriors manifested mutual regard post-battle, etching a remarkable chapter in the annals of UFC. The magnitude of the risk and the acerbic contention augmented the financial success of UFC 182, transforming it into an exceptionally profitable PPV phenomenon.

21. Conor McGregor vs. Chad Mendes, UFC 189

Conor McGregor vs Chad Mendes UFC 189 FULL FIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

PPV Revenue $53,618,250
PPV Buys 1.2 million
UFC Fight # 189
Date July 11, 2015

With each entrance Conor McGregor makes into the Octagon, he kindles an aura that thrums with electricity; UFC 189 was a testament to this. This event was a roller coaster of emotions that attracted a whopping 1.2 million PPV buys, proving McGregor’s undoubted drawing power.

Initially, the itinerary for McGregor entailed a high-stakes confrontation against the then-seated featherweight champ, Jose Aldo. Still, a rib injury saw Aldo withdraw, leading to Chad Mendes stepping up on short notice. “Money” Mendes, a powerful wrestler with knockout power, was seen as a significant test for the Irishman.

The fight itself was a thrilling back-and-forth, with McGregor starting strong but Mendes finding success with his wrestling and ground-and-pound. However, McGregor’s resilience shone through. Yet, as the second round’s final moments dwindled, McGregor summoned an inner force to regain an upright stance, launching a well-aimed left hand that sent Mendes spiraling downwards. The referee stepped in, and just like that, McGregor was the interim featherweight champion.

Beyond the fight, UFC 189 was notable for its incredible production value, including the first use of a live band for fighter walkouts. The atmosphere was simply electric, and the event lived up to its billing in every way.

This conflict was replete with all the necessary ingredients to stir an unforgettable spectacle, an exhilarating narrative arc, a high-octane tempo, and a dénouement etched into the annals of sports history for eternity. More importantly, it was a testament to McGregor’s superstar power, which was instrumental in selling a staggering 1.2 million pay-per-views.

20. Georges St-Pierre vs. Michael Bisping, UFC 217

UFC 217: Georges St-Pierre and Michael Bisping Octagon Interviews

PPV Revenue $56,868,250
PPV Buys 875,000
UFC Fight # 217
Date November 4, 2017

UFC 217, pulling in a significant tally of 875,000 PPV acquisitions, played host to one of the most dramatic reversals of fortune in MMA annals. The welterweight titan Georges St-Pierre, after a quiescence extending to four cycles around the sun, made a riveting resurgence into the fabled Octagon. The prime directive of his return? A spirited challenge, nothing less than a duel of titans, against Michael Bisping, the crown-bearer of the middleweight echelons, for the apex championship.

Georges “Rush” St-Pierre, a welterweight legend known for his well-rounded skills and unmatched fight IQ, stepped up a weight class for the first time in his career. GSP was already considered one of the greatest of all time, but his return in a higher weight class to challenge the reigning champion was a narrative that fans couldn’t resist.

Bisping, conversely, had painstakingly climbed his way to the zenith of the middleweight division after an extended and storied career. His tough-as-nails attitude and remarkable resilience had endeared him to fans, making this title defense against the returning GSP a must-see event.

The fight didn’t disappoint. After a seesaw battle, St-Pierre managed to floor Bisping in the third round and promptly cinched in a rear-naked choke, compelling the middleweight champion to submit. This victory entrenched GSP’s legacy in the annals of the sport, making him only the fourth fighter in UFC history to win titles in multiple divisions. It was a spectacular comeback, and the PPV numbers reflected the enormity of this monumental bout.

19. Ronda Rousey vs. Bethe Correia, UFC 190

PPV Revenue $58,491,000
PPV Buys 900,000
UFC Fight # 190
Date August 1, 2015

Showcasing one of the foremost titans in the realm of women’s combat sports, UFC 190 achieved an impressive tally of 900,000 Pay-Per-View acquisitions.

Enshrined in the night’s marquee was none less than Ronda “Rowdy” Rousey, the pioneering female bantamweight sovereign in UFC annals, staging her title defense against Bethe Correia.

Rousey’s influence extended beyond the mere confines of being a fighter; she embodied a unique phenomenon never seen before. Renowned for her Olympic judo credentials, stunning armbar finishes, and enchanting persona, Rousey wielded an exclusive charisma that drew legions of fans to her combats. Each of her matches transcended mere bouts; they were phenomena, opportunities to observe a pathfinder dismantling the norm in a domain historically monopolized by males.

Correia, the unvanquished challenger, with her personal vendetta against Rousey, made this clash eagerly awaited. The Brazilian’s resilience, coupled with her potent punches, presented her as a credible threat to Rousey’s sovereignty.

Nonetheless, when the hour of reckoning dawned, Rousey required a mere 34 seconds to disassemble Correia, emerging victorious through a bone-jarring knockout. Although the encounter was brief, it unveiled a spectacle that solidified Rousey’s celebrity status deeper into the bedrock of sports history. Rousey’s allure, the intensity of personal grudges, and the spectators’ desire to witness the potential end of Rousey’s reign fused to create an incredibly profitable Pay-Per-View event.

18. Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen II, UFC 148

Anderson Silva vs Chael Sonnen 2 UFC 148 UFC FIGHT NIGHT EvenTs

PPV Revenue $60,117,750
PPV Buys 925,000
UFC Fight # 148
Date July 7, 2012

Garnering 925,000 PPV acquisitions, UFC 148, spotlighted by Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, etches itself as a landmark occurrence in UFC chronicles. The rematch was one of the most eagerly anticipated fights of the year, with fight fans on the edge of their seats to see the outcome.

The charismatic and trash-talking Chael Sonnen had almost done the unthinkable in their first encounter at UFC 117: defeating the invincible Anderson Silva. Sonnen dominated Silva for four and a half rounds before succumbing to a last-minute triangle choke, adding a thrilling chapter to the legend of Silva. This ushered in the era of a rematch, the suspense of which was palpable.

Anderson “The Spider” Silva, the reigning middleweight champion, was an artist in the Octagon. Renowned for his surgical precision in striking and liquid motion, Silva was a warrior destined for historic reverence as one of the finest. However, Sonnen had exposed Silva’s vulnerability to wrestling in their first encounter, making the rematch an exciting puzzle.

In the rematch, Silva displayed his champion’s heart and knocked out Sonnen in the second round, retaining his title. The fight, filled with tension, emotion, and high stakes, made UFC 148 an unmissable event for MMA fans. The hype, coupled with the narrative of revenge, resulted in impressive PPV numbers, solidifying this fight’s place in UFC’s biggest fights based on PPV earnings.

17. Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, UFC 158

UFC 158 : Georges St Pierre VS Nick Diaz . . . #ufc #nickdiaz #georgesstpierre

PPV Revenue $61,743,500
PPV Buys 1 million
UFC Fight # 158
Date March 16, 2013

In the welterweight division, few names are as legendary as Georges “Rush” St-Pierre (GSP). When GSP defended his title against Nick Diaz at UFC 158, it was a clash of two different personalities, styles, and attitudes toward the sport.

St-Pierre exemplified professionalism, earning a reputation for his profound respect towards adversaries, exceptional wrestling prowess, and methodical, analytical approach to the world of MMA. The Canadian superstar was already a legend in the sport, and his disciplined, methodical style was a stark contrast to his opponent.

Nick Diaz, the vocal and unapologetic brawler hailing from Stockton, California, captured the hearts of fans with his impressive boxing skills, relentless aggression, and unfiltered trash-talking. The rivalry between St-Pierre and Diaz was fraught with tension, amplifying the already intense pre-fight hype.

The fight saw St-Pierre dominate Diaz with his superior wrestling and strategic striking. Despite Diaz’s taunts and provocations, GSP remained composed and delivered a masterful performance. This fight showcased not just the in-ring prowess of St-Pierre but also the drawing power he had, with the event reaching 1 million PPV buys.

16. Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz, UFC 66

Chuck Liddell vs Tito Ortiz 1

PPV Revenue $68,264,500
PPV Buys 1 million
UFC Fight # 66
Date December 30, 2006

When the fierce rivals Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell and Tito Ortiz faced off at UFC 66.

They not only headlined a card that became the first UFC event to surpass a million PPV buys, but they also put on a memorable light heavyweight championship fight. Chuck Liddell, known for his Mohawk and lethal overhand right, had cemented his place as one of the best light heavyweights of all time.

One of the most perilous fighters of his time, his exceptional knockout power and fierce aggression within the octagon solidified his reputation as a formidable force. On the other hand, Tito Ortiz, the “Huntington Beach Bad Boy,” was a former light heavyweight champion known for his ground-and-pound style and his ability to take a punch.

Ortiz was also recognized for his infamous feuds, and none were bigger than his rivalry with Liddell. Their rivalry was intense, their hatred for each other palpable, and the fight was eagerly anticipated.

Securing his championship with an unyielding defense, Liddell ultimately delivered a decisive third-round TKO, firmly establishing himself as an esteemed figure in the annals of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, leaving behind a lasting legacy that commands utmost reverence.

15. Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, UFC 121

Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez UFC 121 FULL FIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

PPV Revenue 68,264,500
PPV Buys 1 million
UFC Fight # 121
Date October 23, 2010

The event that crossed the coveted 1 million PPV buys threshold, UFC 121, showcased one of the most electrifying heavyweight fights in UFC history. The colossus known as Brock Lesnar, a bygone WWE luminary, and the contemporary reigning UFC heavyweight champion, was poised to defend his title against the untamed and undefeated Cain Velasquez.

Brock Lesnar was a phenomenon in MMA, having transitioned from pro-wrestling to UFC with great success. His intimidating dimensions and dexterity, amalgamated with his wrestling erudition, rendered him a formidable adversary. With victories over legends like Randy Couture and Frank Mir, Lesnar was a massive draw.

Opposing him stood Cain Velasquez, a man who lived up to his appellation “Cardio Cain”. Famed for his inexhaustible endurance, exceptional wrestling skill, and potent fists, Velasquez was an adversary not to be underestimated. He was yet to taste defeat in his career, and his collision with Lesnar was seen as the ultimate test.

The clash didn’t disappoint. Velasquez unleashed his striking expertise and vitality, usurping Lesnar in the inaugural round via a TKO triumph. It emerged as a shift in power within the heavyweight division’s hierarchy.

The intrigue of seeing a titan like Lesnar face a rising star in Velasquez, combined with the unpredictability of the heavyweight division, propelled UFC 121 to hit the magical number of 1 million PPV buys. The fight proved that high stakes and compelling storylines are key to successful UFC events.

14. Conor McGregor vs. Max Holloway, UFC Fight Night 26

PPV Revenue $70,839,100
PPV Buys 1.09 million
UFC Fight # Fight Night 26
Date August 17, 2013

Upon UFC Fight Night 26, Conor McGregor met Max Holloway in what was soon to be etched as an iconic confrontation within the annals of UFC chronicles.

The encounter summoned a substantial tally of 1.09 million PPV acquisitions, a remarkable quota for a Fight Night exposition. Conor McGregor, the charismatic Irishman, had already made waves with his knockout power and magnetic personality.

Known for his precision striking, brash talk, and flamboyant lifestyle, McGregor was a natural showman who quickly caught the attention of fans worldwide. On the other side of the octagon was Max “Blessed” Holloway, a young and promising fighter from Hawaii.

Known for his incredible cardio and volume striking, Holloway was considered one of the future stars of the featherweight division. Despite being early in their careers, both fighters brought something unique to the octagon.

McGregor, with his lethal left hand and pre-fight antics, and Holloway, with his relentless pace and toughness, made for a compelling match-up. The fight went the distance, with McGregor taking the decision victory.

What was remarkable, however, was that McGregor achieved this with a torn ACL, which he sustained during the fight. This event is remembered not just for the electrifying performance from both fighters but also for the astounding commercial success it garnered for a non-PPV event.

13. Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm, UFC 193

UFC 193: Rousey vs Holm (Full Fight) HD

PPV Revenue $71,489,000
PPV Buys 1.1 million
UFC Fight # 193
Date November 15, 2015

UFC 193’s matchup featured none other than Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm, whose showdown commanded the spotlight and stole the show. This electrifying encounter unfolded as a monumental PPV spectacle, captivating the masses and amassing an impressive 1.1 million purchases. Ronda’s journey from an Olympic judoka to becoming an MMA superstar has been nothing short of seamless. With grace and determination, she effortlessly climbed the ranks, captivating fans worldwide with her exceptional skills and unwavering passion.

Her reign over the women’s bantamweight division was nothing short of absolute dominance, wielding an iron fist that left her competitors in awe. Known for her armbar submissions and relentless aggression, Rousey had dispatched most of her previous opponents in the first round and was considered almost invincible. With her mesmerizing allure and authoritative demeanor, she had not only soared to become one of the preeminent personalities in the realm of UFC but also in the wider domain of sports.

On the opposing side of the Octagon stood Holly Holm, a former world champion in boxing renowned for her exceptional striking abilities and agile footwork.

While she was acknowledged as a formidable contender, there were widespread expectations that she would succumb to Rousey’s unparalleled expertise in ground fighting, much like numerous opponents had done in the past.

However, the fight didn’t go as most expected. Holm showcased excellent striking and footwork, neutralizing Rousey’s attacks. In the subsequent round, Holm executed a forceful blow with her leg that propelled Rousey into a state of free fall, abruptly terminating her dominance as the reigning champion.

This fight was not only a shocking upset but also a testament to the unpredictability and excitement of MMA. It also highlighted the growing popularity of women’s MMA, with Rousey at the forefront, proving that female fighters could headline successful PPV events.

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12. Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin, UFC 116

Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin UFC 116 FULL FIGHT NIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

PPV Revenue $75,437,400
PPV Buys 1.16 million
UFC Fight # 116
Date July 3, 2010

Upon the electrifying stage of UFC 116, a clash of titans transpired within the coveted heavyweight echelon, enthralling devotees into a jaw-dropping frenzy that garnered a staggering 1.16 million PPV acquisitions.

The embodiment of physical prowess, Brock Lesnar—whose legacy traverses the glitzy world of WWE to the unforgiving turf of mixed martial arts—etched a formidable presence within the Octagon. This vision, once witnessed, seldom fades from the annals of a spectator’s memory. Known for his freakish strength and wrestling ability, Lesnar was an intimidating figure who held the UFC heavyweight championship belt. His high-profile crossover from professional wrestling had attracted a new wave of fans to the sport, contributing to the fight’s significant PPV sales.

Standing across the Octagon was Shane Carwin, an equally imposing figure. Undefeated in his career, Carwin had a reputation as a knockout artist, finishing all his previous UFC opponents in the first round. The hype was real, and the clash was seen as a battle of the Titans.

The fight did not disappoint. Carwin started strong, battering Lesnar in the first round and coming close to a stoppage. However, Lesnar showed incredible resilience and survived. In the second round, Lesnar managed to take Carwin down and submit him via an arm-triangle choke.

The match represented one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history and reaffirmed Lesnar’s star power, contributing significantly to the sport’s growth and popularity during this era.

11. Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo, UFC 194

Conor McGregor's 13-Second KO of Jose Aldo | UFC 194, 2015 | On This Day

PPV Revenue $77,992,000
PPV Buys 1.2 million
UFC Fight # 194
Date December 12, 2015

It’s a night that will forever echo in the annals of UFC history. Upon the frosty dusk of December 12, 2015, ensconced within the illustrious expanse of Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena, the stage for UFC 194 was set. The cocksure Celt, Conor McGregor, was poised for combat against the seemingly insurmountable Jose Aldo.

McGregor, infamous for his trash talk, had spent months predicting he would dethrone Aldo. A paragon of fortitude, Aldo stood, unflinching, a beacon in the featherweight division he had reigned over for ten sun-cycled seasons. The anticipation had built a tangible tension in the air, making it one of the most eagerly awaited bouts of the year.

What happened next stunned the world and solidified McGregor’s status as a global superstar. In the stunning span of a baker’s dozen seconds, McGregor unfurled a left hook, a lethal projectile, dispatching Aldo to the canvas’s unforgiving embrace. An eerie quiet descended upon the Octagon as the globe collectively withheld its breath. McGregor was proclaimed the unchallenged monarch of the featherweight division.

Never had Aldo been defeated in such a manner. The brevity of the fight left viewers in shock, and the image of Aldo unconscious on the canvas remains an iconic UFC moment. This battle encapsulated the raw and unpredictable nature of UFC, reaffirming that even the mightiest can fall, and sometimes, all it takes is 13 seconds.

This fight isn’t just notable for the action within the Octagon but also for its commercial success. UFC 194 sold an estimated 1.2 million PPV buys, largely driven by McGregor’s star power and the intense rivalry that had been built up. From the vantage of hindsight, this momentous event marked a decisive pivot in McGregor’s vocation, and indeed for the UFC at large, providing the keystone for the blueprint of ensuing headline bouts.

10. Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir, UFC 100

Brock Lesnar vs Frank Mir UFC 100 FULL FIGHT Champions

PPV Revenue $84,487,000
PPV Buys 1.3 million
UFC Fight # 100
Date July 11, 2009

As the calendar pages turned to 2009, enthusiasts worldwide savored a much-anticipated sequel bout featuring Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir at the epoch-making UFC 100. The celebration served as a benchmark for UFC’s rising prominence, with the marquee showdown between Lesnar and Mir fuelling its triumph, reflected in an astounding 1.3 million PPV transactions.

The first encounter between these two heavyweights was at UFC 81, where Mir, the seasoned submission specialist, managed to submit Lesnar, the raw but incredibly athletic newcomer. This dramatic backdrop laid the groundwork for one of the most fevered feuds in UFC lore.

Lesnar, transitioning from his WWE stardom, brought a unique, Herculean dynamism to the Octagon. Despite his limited MMA experience, his immense strength and wrestling background made him a formidable competitor. In contrast, Mir, a previous holder of the UFC heavyweight championship belt, was renowned for his mastery of Brazilian jiujitsu, weaving an intricate web of submissions within the Octagon.

The rematch was filled with bad blood and massive anticipation. The fight itself was a brutal affair. Lesnar, learning from their first encounter, dominated Mir with his ground-and-pound, avenging his previous defeat with a TKO victory in the second round.

This bout solidified Lesnar’s position as a PPV draw and showcased the UFC’s evolution into a mainstream sport. The fight’s thrilling narrative, coupled with the milestone event, led to it being one of the most lucrative UFC events in history.

9. Conor McGregor vs. Eddie Alvarez, UFC 205

UFC 205 Free Fight Conor McGregor vs Eddie Alvarez

PPV Revenue $84,487,000
PPV Buys 1.3 million
UFC Fight # 205
Date November 12, 201

UFC 205 was a historic event, not only as the first UFC card held in New York since the state legalized mixed martial arts. The scene was poised for Conor McGregor to indelibly inscribe his legacy onto the timeless canvas of UFC lore. The evening’s focal spectacle, a confrontation between McGregor and Eddie Alvarez, ensnared a remarkable 1.3 million PPV acquisitions.

The effervescent Irishman, Conor McGregor, had meteorically ascended to the zenith of UFC’s celebrity hierarchy, attributable to his sharp-witted jousting, ostentatious way of life, and, significantly, his undeniable mastery within the Octagon. McGregor was already the featherweight champion, having spectacularly knocked out José Aldo in just 13 seconds.

Standing across him was Eddie Alvarez, a Philadelphian titan imbued with an ironclad fighting spirit, reigning as the lightweight kingpin, celebrated for his tenacious combat approach and an unyielding spirit that shone through adversity. The stage was meticulously arranged for a monumental title-holder duel, with McGregor’s sights set on a pioneering accomplishment of holding simultaneous crowns in disparate weight categories within UFC’s history.

In the fight, McGregor showcased his elite striking skills, dropping Alvarez three times in the first round. McGregor’s supremacy prevailed in the second round, a dominant performance epitomized by a four-strike flurry, indelibly imprinting his triumph.

McGregor’s feat of becoming a two-division champion solidified his status as a superstar and elevated the UFC’s global profile. The event’s high PPV buys reaffirmed McGregor’s reputation as the biggest draw in the sport.

8. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz, UFC 196


PPV Revenue $85,605,650
PPV Buys 1.5 million
UFC Fight # 196
Date March 5, 2016

UFC 196 marked a significant moment in MMA history as the rivalry between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz took center stage, delivering a massive 1.5 million PPV buys.

The original blueprint of the contest was envisaged as a lightweight title joust featuring McGregor, the standing featherweight champ, and Rafael Dos Anjos, the incumbent lightweight titleholder. However, an injury to Dos Anjos just eleven days before the fight led to Nate Diaz, the irreverent fan-favorite from Stockton, California, stepping in on short notice.

McGregor, renowned for his precision striking and mind games, was on a stunning 15-fight win streak. Diaz, meanwhile, a jiujitsu specialist with a formidable boxing style, was never shy about confronting his opponents in and out of the Octagon.

This intriguing stylistic matchup and the quickly escalating war of words between the two fighters generated immense interest. The fight delivered in all aspects. In the first round, McGregor landed clean shots, but Diaz’s resilience saw him weather the storm. In the second round, Diaz shifted the momentum, tagging McGregor with punishing blows before securing a rear-naked choke that forced McGregor to tap out.

Diaz’s upset victory sent shockwaves through the MMA world. The pulsating encounter, oscillating between competitors, along with the escalating drama preceding the showdown, contributed to one of UFC’s most notable and highest earning PPV fights. The stage was ready for a highly anticipated rematch that fans around the globe were keenly looking forward to.

7. Conor McGregor vs. Donald Cerrone, UFC 246

Conor McGregor vs Cowboy Cerrone | UFC 246 Full Fight

PPV Revenue $87,970,786
PPV Buys 1 million
UFC Fight # 246
Date January 18, 2020

Dubbed as McGregor’s highly anticipated return to the octagon, UFC 246, featuring the charismatic Irishman Conor McGregor and the seasoned veteran Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, reached a million PPV buys. The event marked the return of the “Notorious” after a hiatus of more than a year.

Conor McGregor, known for his magnetic personality, devastating left hand, and psychological warfare, is undoubtedly one of the biggest PPV draws in UFC history. After experiencing a setback in his intense bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, his comeback to the UFC’s competitive stage ignited a global fascination.

Enveloped in the contest’s suspense stood Donald Cerrone, a boxer whose inveterate participation within UFC’s combative arena has crowned him the record-holder for the lion’s share of victories under its auspices. His wild-west cowboy persona, willingness to fight anyone at any time, and well-rounded skills made him a beloved figure in MMA.

The anticipation was high, but the actual fight ended quickly. McGregor, in a spectacular display of precision and power, finished Cerrone in just 40 seconds of the first round with a series of strikes. The rapid knockout reminded everyone of McGregor’s lethal striking abilities.

While the fight was short, the anticipation leading up to it was monumental. The event confirmed McGregor’s star power in the UFC, showing that even after a long break, his ability to draw an audience was second to none. With a cool million PPV buys, this fight easily finds its place among the biggest UFC fights in history.

6. Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe Miocic 2, UFC 241

UFC 241 Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic 2 Full Fight

PPV Revenue $88,251,689
PPV Buys 1 million
UFC Fight # 241
Date August 17, 2019

With an impressive 1 million PPV buys, the rematch between Daniel “DC” Cormier and Stipe Miocic at UFC 241 stands out as a historic moment in UFC. In their second meeting, these two skilled fighters collided once again, with Cormier stunning the world by delivering a first-round knockout to Miocic in their initial encounter, thereby securing the heavyweight belt.

Daniel Cormier, an esteemed Olympic wrestler and a highly skilled two-division champion in the UFC, displayed his exceptional abilities in both the light heavyweight and heavyweight categories. His exceptional wrestling and surprising knockout power were a dangerous combination that had earned him wins against some of the best fighters in the world.

In contrast, Stipe Miocic was a firefighter from Ohio who had made his way to the top of the UFC heavyweight division. Recognized for his unwavering work ethic, adept boxing skills, and formidable knockout power, Miocic set the benchmark for the highest number of triumphant defenses of the UFC heavyweight title until his loss to Cormier.

The rematch was a tale of redemption. Miocic showed tactical brilliance by making adjustments mid-fight, targeting Cormier’s body to finally reclaim his title with a fourth-round knockout. The fight was a roller coaster of emotions and a demonstration of the heart and resilience of both fighters.

The thrilling rematch, the contrast in fighting styles, and the compelling narratives of both fighters contributed to the high PPV buys. UFC 241, headlined by Cormier vs. Miocic 2, is remembered not only for the epic clash but also for the remarkable commercial success it garnered.

5. Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier, UFC 257

Conor McGregor vs Dustin Poirier 2 Full fight UFC 257

PPV Revenue $103,984,000
PPV Buys 1.6 million
UFC Fight # 257
Date January 24, 2021

UFC 257 showcased the riveting rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, drawing an astonishing 1.6 million PPV purchases. The event was saturated with anticipation, marking McGregor’s comeback to the Octagon after a year-long intermission.

This confrontation was a long-anticipated rematch that had been brewing for seven years. McGregor had previously bested Poirier in the featherweight class during UFC 178, a triumph that played a significant role in catapulting the Irish fighter to international stardom. However, post their initial brawl, the fighters’ paths diverged notably. McGregor ascended to become the sport’s most luminous figure, while Poirier steadily emerged as one of the most formidable competitors in the lightweight division.

Their destinies intertwined once again at UFC 257. This time around, the script underwent a drastic transformation. Poirier, now a seasoned and battle-hardened gladiator, weathered McGregor’s initial onslaught and retaliated with a torrent of his own, concluding McGregor’s fight with a storm of punches in the second round.

The outcome left many dumbfounded, particularly given McGregor’s initial supremacy in the first fight. This defeat significantly derailed the Irish fighter’s hopes for a successful comeback, while Poirier’s triumph positioned him for potential title contention. UFC 257 reiterated the unpredictable nature of MMA and emphasized the allure of McGregor’s bouts, etching it as one of the most commercially successful PPV spectacles in UFC history.

4. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2, UFC 202


PPV Revenue $107,317,500
PPV Buys 1.65 million
UFC Fight # 202
Date August 20, 2016

The second face-off between Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz during UFC 202 served not merely as a pivotal juncture in their respective careers but also established new benchmarks, amassing an awe-inspiring 1.65 million PPV acquisition. The fight was among the most awaited showdowns in the annals of UFC, fuelled by the controversy and theatrics surrounding their preceding bout.

In their inaugural clash at UFC 196, Diaz, who was a last-minute replacement, shocked the MMA universe by overcoming McGregor, the ostensibly invincible featherweight titan. A chastened McGregor sought a second confrontation at the identical weight class, welterweight, a decision that simultaneously fascinated and puzzled enthusiasts and commentators.

This time around, both gladiators benefited from comprehensive training camps, and the rematch was far from a disappointment. McGregor and Diaz engaged in a ruthless duel lasting five relentless rounds, demonstrating their fortitude and tenacity. McGregor made a commanding start, toppling Diaz thrice during the opening pair of rounds. However, Diaz mounted a comeback in the third round, nudging McGregor toward the precipice.

Eventually, McGregor clinched victory via majority verdict, having demonstrated enough dominance early on to influence the adjudicators. The electrifying, back-and-forth skirmish surpassed expectations, fulfilling the anticipation built around their fiery rivalry. This encounter continues to be etched in the memories of MMA fans and stands as one of the most unforgettable and commercially triumphant spectacles in UFC chronicles.

3. Conor McGregor vs. Dustin Poirier, UFC 264

UFC 264: Conor McGregor Octagon Interview

PPV Revenue $116,992,000
PPV Buys 1.51 million
UFC Fight # 264
Date July 11, 20

UFC 264 provided the platform for the long-awaited trilogy battle between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, amassing an impressive 1.51 million PPV purchases. This decisive encounter concluded a competitive saga that extended across seven years and traversed three weight categories.

The inaugural duel during UFC 178 saw McGregor triumph over Poirier in the featherweight arena via a swift first-round TKO. Their paths crossed once again in the lightweight category during UFC 257, where Poirier managed to reciprocate his previous defeat with a TKO win in the second round. As time unfurled, both gladiators underwent significant evolution, preparing the scene for an unforgettable crescendo.

Poirier, once considered the perpetual dark horse, transformed into an elite contender, earning a reputation as one of the most proficient and esteemed combatants in the lightweight division. Despite McGregor’s propensity for controversy, he retained his status as one of the most impactful entities in MMA, renowned for his knockout potency and unrivaled promotional flair.

However, an unexpected twist in the UFC 264 contest unfolded towards the finale of the first round when McGregor fell victim to a severe leg trauma, culminating in a TKO victory etched in Poirier’s ledger. The abrupt climax led to speculation among fans about the potential outcome had things proceeded differently. Nevertheless, this showdown remains one of the most substantial PPV lures in the sport’s history, underscoring the pull both fighters possess, fueled by their captivating rivalry.

2. Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, UFC 229

UFC 229: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Conor McGregor FULL FIGHT HD 1080p

PPV Revenue $155,984,000
PPV Buys 2.4 million
UFC Fight # 229
Date October 6, 2018

In the unfolding chronicle of UFC, a battle of extreme anticipation signified the comeback of Conor McGregor to the octagon, clashing against Khabib Nurmagomedov. This duo, embroiled in a long-term acrimonious history involving McGregor’s audacious dolly toss at a bus, stood on the precipice of a duel for the Lightweight Championship at UFC 229. The enormity of the stakes reverberated globally, ushering in a staggering 2.4 million PPV procurement.

Characterized by his flamboyant lifestyle and ostentatious verbal jousting, McGregor’s persona was a glaring antithesis to the humble demeanor and reverence for the sport embodied by Nurmagomedov. The electrical tension in the lead-up to the confrontation was tangible, permeated with McGregor’s personal slights and Nurmagomedov’s solemn oath to exact retribution inside the octagon.

With the onset of the bout, it became undeniably apparent that McGregor was facing a rival like none he had previously contended with. Nurmagomedov’s grappling and wrestling prowess, nurtured since his formative years in Dagestan, Russia, was undisguised for all to witness. Despite ephemeral glimmers of hope from McGregor, such as weathering a stringent neck crank in the second round, Nurmagomedov largely monopolized the bout’s narrative.

By the fourth round, Nurmagomedov had successfully manipulated a neck crank that left McGregor with no alternative but to concede defeat. Yet, it may be the aftermath of the duel, rather than the fight itself, that is most vivid in memory as a melee erupted between the rival contingents. This altercation possessed all the ingredients of a legendary fight; high stakes, theatrics, and an exhibition of unadulterated combat prowess, securing its position as one of the most lucrative fights in terms of PPV revenue.

1. Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Conor McGregor - Highlights

PPV Revenue $279,457,000
PPV Buys 4.3 million
UFC Fight # The Money Fight
Date August 26, 2017

In a spectacle that transcended the norm, Conor McGregor breached the parameters of mixed martial arts to infiltrate the boxing sphere, squaring off against the invincible pugilist, Floyd Mayweather Jr., under the UFC banner. The event wasn’t inherently UFC, but it was the burgeoning superstar allure of McGregor within the UFC that ignited the fuse for this epochal face-off. The confrontation magnetized a staggering 4.3 million PPV acquisitions, encapsulating the colossal crossover charisma wielded by both combatants.

The preliminary theatrics brimmed with ostentatious press dialogues, linguistic hooks, and high-caliber publicity that was unparalleled. Despite McGregor’s significant advantage in dimensions and youth, Mayweather’s boxing virtuosity was predicted to preside over the evening.

When the hour of battle arrived, the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas swelled to its maximum capacity. McGregor, in a surprising turn of events, leveraged his wingspan judiciously, cornering Mayweather in the initial rounds. Alas, as the bout unraveled, Mayweather’s boxing finesse began to dominate.

By the time the bell rang for the 10th round, an exhausted McGregor had found himself defenseless against Mayweather’s barrage of punches, compelling the referee to call off the contest. Mayweather preserved his undefeated legacy, while McGregor, by daring to traverse unfamiliar territory, earned the admiration of countless.

This spectacle underscored McGregor’s persuasive persona and the clamor for high-octane crossover clashes. Although the victory eluded McGregor, the encounter indisputably augmented his popularity and cemented his position as a PPV megastar.

This fight had the most PPV buys in UFC history and will probably remain unmatched for some time.

Wrap Up:

Highest grossing UFC fights and PPV sales infographic

If we look back at the history of UFC revenue, there were only five fights that grossed over $100M. Dozens of other fights have grossed seven figures.

The highest-grossing fight in UFC history featured Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather and aired on August 26, 2017. It had 4.3 million PPV buys and grossed a total of $279,457,000.

Female UFC fighters made the list too. The fight between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm in 2015 grossed $71M and is the highest-grossing female UFC fight of all time.

Our countdown is not just a comparison of PPV earnings; it’s a testament to the determination of the gladiators who stepped into the Octagon and gave their heart and soul for the fight.

To no one’s surprise, Conor McGregor dominates the list in terms of highest-grossing fights, with him and Floyd Mayweather producing the highest-grossing fight in UFC history.

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