The overall interest generated by the 148 event was in no small part due to the ongoing feud between Silva and Sonnen—a grudge that was settled via second-round TKO courtesy of “The Spider.”
With MMAWeekly reporting these pay-per-view figures, it’s a surefire bet that had the event taken place in its original setting of Brazil (UFC 147 on June 23), the numbers could’ve been much higher.
However, the Silva vs. Sonnen rematch was scrapped due to a conflict of interest, as a UN conference, Rio+20, was also scheduled for that day.
Add to the equation the 47,000 capacity of Rio de Janeiro's Estádio Olímpico João Havelange, and the attendance figures could have surpassed the promotion's record gate turnout of 55,724 set at UFC 129.
At present, pay-per-view figures for the U.S have yet to be verified, but according to President Dana White, those numbers could easily match UFC 100: Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir II, which at the time amassed a record 1.6 million buys.
With that in mind, only five other events have gone over the million pay-per-view mark. The last one to do so was UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, back in October of 2010.
That said, the assumed buyrate for UFC 148 stands at 1.4 million.