UPDATE: A UFC representative contacted Bleacher Report and noted that the UFC.tv price listing is a mistake. Pay-per-view prices will go back to the normal $54.95 listing following UFC 168.
When a $5 price hike was announced for UFC 168—taking it from the normal $54.95 to $59.95—fans of the promotion were up in arms. But UFC president Dana White quickly assured them that it was a one-time-only deal, and noted that he wasn't even part of the decision-making process.
According to Dave Meltzer of MMAFighting.com, White says it was UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta who made the call: "White noted that the price will go back to $44.95 and $54.95 for the Feb. 1 show in Newark,N.J., which will remain the regular price."
Judging from the UFC's own website, it appears that White has once again been left out of the decision-making process.
UFC.tv—the official digital outlet for ordering Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view events online—now lists the buying cost for both UFC 169 and 170 at the same $59.95 price as UFC 168.
Those events are headlined by a bantamweight title unification match between Dominick Cruz and Renan Barao and the light heavyweight debut of Daniel Cormier as he takes on Rashad Evans, respectively.
And while they are intriguing fights, the rest of the cards are not remotely as stacked with star power as UFC 168; exorbitant salaries and fan intrigue cannot be blamed for the higher prices.
UFC officials did not respond to requests for comment.
UFC.tv is scheduled to relaunch this Saturday as UFC Fight Pass, a subscription service with a monthly price that fans can pay to access a giant library of UFC, Pride and WEC events. Subscribers will also have the option to watch a selection of international cards live before they air on tape delay on Fox Sports 1 or Fox Sports 2.
Despite the discovery of a beta version of the UFC Fight Pass service (on a staging web server that has since been taken offline), sources have indicated to Bleacher Report that a final decision on the price point will not be made until Thursday or Friday.
The service is expected to be officially unveiled to the media during an event prior to UFC 168. Bleacher Report will attend both and have more information, both on the service and on what appears to be a permanent pay-per-view price hike for UFC events.