After testing the 9PM ET/6PM PT waters for eight pay-per-view broadcasts, the UFC has decided to push their PPV start times back to 10PM ET/7PM PT. The change will begin with their blockbuster UFC 141 show on December 30th.
The world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion didn’t give a specific reason as to why they will push their events back one hour, but told USAToday that they made the decision based on “careful consideration and feedback from our fans.”
Clearly, the company wasn’t happy with the PPV buy rates they had experienced after making the initial change, which began with “UFC 129: St-Pierre vs. Shields” this past April 30th.
Whoever thought of the idea to swap back certainly hedged their bet by picking Brock Lesnar’s return to kick things off. The former WWE superstar was the UFC’s biggest pay-per-view draw in 2010, but was out of action this entire year after his bout with diverticulitis reemerged.
In addition to Lesnar’s absence, the injury bug ruined plenty of fight cards in 2011 that likely played a part in fans’ willingness to fork over $44.95 ($54.95 in HD) for each PPV event.
Lesnar meets former Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem at UFC 141. The 265-pound top contender scrap will headline the show.
Here are the athletes rumored to participate in the event:
Sean Pierson vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson
Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks
Alistair Overeem vs. Brock Lesnar