On Saturday night, Dana White and Co. brings fight fans UFC 156; a supercard featuring some of the biggest names of the featherweight, light heavyweight, flyweight and heavyweight divisions, as well as a stellar welterweight battle between fighters in the title hunt.
With a superfight between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar in the main event, this card is one of the most anticipated of the year. The fact that other world champions such as Rashad Evans and Alistair Overeem supplement the card makes this a must-see event for any fan of the sport.
That's why it is so surprising that Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney decided to put on his Nostradamus hat and predict that UFC 156 will bomb at the box office.
Rebney has been praised in the past for his analytic mindset and ability to think in terms of dollars and cents at a time when most when simply revert to a fanboy attitude.
UFC 142 is the last time that Jose Aldo appeared on pay-per-view, and without a solid supporting card, his fight with Chad Mendes garnered 235,000 buys. Can the Bellator CEO really think that the excitement following Frankie Edgar's potential dual-division title win isn't enough to add buys to that number?
Edgar himself earned poor numbers in recent showings. UFC 150 did 190,000 buys on pay-per-view, however, there was a weak supporting cast on the main card. Who was paying $55 for to see Max Holloway vs. Justin Lawrence and Yushin Okami vs. Buddy Roberts?
On this card, the championship bout is supplemented by a series of fights that have title implications:
Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Alistair Overeem vs. Bigfoot Silva
Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall
Rebney should go back and rethink those numbers. Otherwise, he comes across as a petty rival who is foolishly expecting poor things for a company doing much better than his own.
Stay tuned to Bleacher Report MMA for all things UFC 156, including previews, live coverage and post-fight analysis.