Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
The UFC uses social media metrics to predict the buyrate of its pay-per-views. If YouTube views equal buys, the promotion is going to do pretty well when Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje unify the title at UFC 254.
The full trailer for the Oct. 24 event on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi has already garnered more than 2.3 million views at the time of this writing one week after its release on the promotion’s YouTube channel, which currently has 10.1 million subscribers.
The 254 promo traces the origins of the lightweight title showdown including Gaethje’s upset win over Tony Ferguson as a replacement opponent when Nurmagomedov was unable to live his native Russia amid the coronavirus pandemic. And, per usual, Gaethje is painted as the toughest test of the Dagestani champ, who’s 0 has yet to go despite the predictions of many opponents.
Nurmagomedov’s long-running rival, Ferguson, was expected to co-headline UFC 254 opposite Dustin Poirier, the undisputed champ’s most recent victim in the octagon. But both of the standout lightweights were unable to come to terms with the promotion, and now ex-Bellator lightweight champ Michael Chandler is on standby. Ferguson on Wednesday voiced his displeasure at the turn of events.
Check out the full promo above.