Covington comments caused a giant spike in UFC 296 Pay-Per-View buys, Dana White confirms

The lead up to UFC 296’s main event between Leon Edwards and Colby Covington was filled with tension and controversy stemming from personal insults traded by the two welterweights. According to UFC President Dana White, Covington’s inflammatory statements helped drive interest and sales for the event.

When asked if Covington went too far in some of his highly-publicized interviews, White revealed that the pay-per-view buys for UFC 296 spiked 25% during and after a heated pre-fight press conference.

“You guys ask me loaded questions. So that I will say what I wanna say. But yes, it’s a it’s a bad thing. It’s not a good thing for there to be less options, not only for, you know, fighters of fighters, but guys who are coming up. To have less options. So, yes, it’s it’s definitely not a good thing,” said White.

He clarified that the increase was based on actual PPV data tracked internally, rather than just anecdotal evidence.

“While the press conference was going on and ended. 25%, globally too, not just on ESPN, globally, up 25%. Which is fascinating. Absolutely fascinating,” White revealed.

So while White stopped short of actively encouraging the fiery rhetoric from fighters, the surge in business indicates that fans thoroughly enjoy the drama and controversy created by the likes of Covington.

Interestingly, Kamaru Usman recently commented confirming that Covingon clashes had produced a much larger number of PPV sales than his two clashes with Edwards.

Love him or hate him, interest in Covington’s fights spike as he continues to intentionally stir reactions with his pro-wrestling style antics and offensive commentary. The numbers don’t lie – Covington sells, even as he faces backlash for some of his most outrageous stunts.