Former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar
The big surprise was in PPV, as preliminary indications are about 375,000 buys, which is way above predictions. Keep in mind, numbers this early in the game can be off by a significant amount. The last time Edgar main evented, they did 225,000 buys.
Meltzer's buy-rate reports are typically fairly accurate and are a result of years of reporting on the pro wrestling industry's pay-per-view numbers.
The UFC must be pleased with this. Going into the show, I figured we were looking at roughly 260,000 buys for the event. Frankie Edgar is historically not a draw, as evidenced by the UFC 136 buy rate that Meltzer mentioned in the above quote.
Is the UFC 144 buy rate higher or lower than you expected?
On top of that, events that take place outside of North America tend to pull far smaller numbers on pay-per-view than shows that take place on North American soil. Last summer's UFC Rio event in Brazil featured Anderson Silva in the main event and pulled 335,000 viewers.
The numbers reflect the idea that Frankie Edgar, after going through four consecutive stellar fights without much in the way of fan interest, may have finally become a pay-per-view draw shortly before losing his title to Benson Henderson.
The presence of Rampage Jackson on the card likely helped boost the numbers, but UFC events are often purchased on the strength of their main events.
This news bodes well for the future of the UFC lightweight division.