After having plenty of time to digest the shock conclusion to UFC 207’s main event, now is as good a time as ever to evaluate how the result effects UFC and mma in the grand scheme. Ronda was not only the top ppv draw in women’s mma she was easily a top 3 draw in all of mma. Her last 3 fights had a buy rate of 900k (vs Correia), 1.1 million (vs Holm) & most recently 1.1 million (vs Nunes), to put the numbers into perspective only 6 UFC events have ever sold more than 1.1 million buys (excluding events featuring Ronda Rousey).
Amanda Nunes who could not have taken Ronda out any more impressively sits atop the mountain of the women’s 135lb weight division. The issue for Nunes is although her name is far more recognizable after she beat Ronda it doesn’t guarantee her the inheritance of Rousey’s star power. UFC will do its best to market her in a way that will turn her into a must watch ppv star but the attributes that make sports stars global icons are such a unique collection of traits that the UFC can only do so much. Time will tell if UFC can create another female ppv star in the absence of Ronda Rousey, if they fail to do so you can expect to see the women’s divisions surrender the spotlight for a little while until they can.
The bigger picture here is the recent drought of fan favorite’s on the roster, who do the UFC go with to headline the big cards. Conor McGregor has taken paternity leave, Brock Lesnar & Jon Jones are unavailable until July serving suspensions, George St Pierre’s future is still unclear, the Diaz brothers seem unlikely to accept anything less than a title fight, Cain Velasquez has his injury troubles his teammate Daniel Cormier is recovering from surgery & Cody Garbrandt is still in his infancy as a champion. Whilst the top names are inactive it gives a chance for other fighters to come through which would give mma a breath of fresh air, however the transitional period would mean after what seems to have been a whirlwind few years in mma we could be in for a quiet one in 2017.