Ken Shamrock UFC Fight Night 6.5/Ortiz vs Shamrock 3 - The Final ChapterOctober 10, 2006 Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood Florida5.7 Million Viewers On Spike TVIf there is a single UFC bout that can be credited with getting the promotion on Fox it's this one. The amazing numbers Ortiz vs. Shamrock pulled caught the attention of every television executive in America. They had set a UFC PPV record with 775,000 buys at UFC 61 but no one expected the rematch to be that big. Shamrock and Ortiz had fought twice before, at UFC 40 and UFC 61. Both fights were one-sided blowouts but after a quick stoppage at UFC 61 Shamrock complained enough and had enough fan support to get the UFC to give him one last shot at Tito. The fight was just as bad as the first two, but Shamrock and Tito proved that fight fans love to see fighters they care about throw down, regardless of how weak the fight may be as a sporting proposition.
vs. Matt Hughes UFC 60 May 27, 2006 Staples Center, Hollywood, California 620,000 PPV BuysThis fight was a classic bit of fight booking by Joe Silva and Dana White. It was a perfect follow up to the Ortiz vs Ken Shamrock feud and continued the theme of re-exposing fans of the 1990s UFC with the modern, post-The Ultimate Fighter promotion. Taking place in Hollywood, it served as a coming out party for the Zuffa UFC as a draw for lots of movie and television personalities. The fight itself was a bust, but Hughes' performance helped make him a star and Royce Gracie got a nice push from Zuffa.
Chuck Liddell vs. December 29, 2007 Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas, Nevada 750,000+ PPV buysI've got to note right up front that this fight was "only" the co-main event of UFC 79. George St. Pierre's interim title welterweight title fight with
UFC 114 May 29, 2010 MGM Grand Garden Arena 1,050,000 PPV BuysAn absolute monster of a bout, this feud ender was supposed to happen at UFC 108 in Memphis on January 2, 2010. Instead of fighting in his home town to cap off his coaching tenure on the 10th and highest rated season of The Ultimate Fighter, Rampage elected to star in the A-Team movie. That decision led to a lot of drama with UFC president Dana White and a nearly six month delay in mounting Rampage vs. Rashad. Any worries that the wait would kill interest in the fight were put to rest by the big time PPV numbers this fight posted. This is easily the second biggest ever non-title fight in UFC history after Tito vs Ken 3 but if Lesnar vs. Overeem lives up to its potential, expect this fight to slide to 3rd place.
James ToneyUFC 118August 28, 2010TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts570,000 PPV buysThis was another co-headliner, underneath Frankie Edgar's rematch with . But it was also one of the most heavily hyped bouts in UFC history. Toney, a former champion boxer at both cruiser- and heavyweight, spent a few years loudly trash talking MMA and the UFC and stalking Dana White to get his chance. Well he got it and boy did the fans get it. Couture made short work of Toney in the cage with a first round submission. Even worse, the event way underperformed expectations. The problem was boxing fans knew that Toney was old and likely to come into the fight out of shape. Not only that, but even the most retrograde boxing columnist knew by 2010 that a boxer with no wrestling or grappling skills had little to no chance in the Octagon.