Retired UFC fighter Brendan Schaub hasn’t competed on a pay-per-view since UFC 181 in December of 2014.
Now that all UFC pay-per-views will get carried exclusively on ESPN+ in North America, one thing that Schaub is confident about is that the pay-per-view star model is over.
“The power has left the fighters, all the fighters,” Schaub said on Below the Belt (via Drake Riggs of BJPenn.com). “Because now that they have this guaranteed nut, they’re covered, they’re balling, there’s no more pay-per-view stars. The pay-per-view star model is over. It was a business model that was predicated on huge pay-per-view stars. Brock Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, you know, obviously Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, these guys, these bigger than life names and they put all the resources into them and they had the marketing machine behind them. You’re never going to see that anymore. That’s over with. So if you didn’t think your fighter got huge kind of push before, it’s going to get way worse. They don’t have to. They’re set. They’re in cruise control in America. They just went cruise control. Cool. We don’t have to bank on stars.”
The UFC pay-per-view deal with ESPN+ will officially kick off next weekend with the UFC 236 card.
Schaub also believes that the UFC doesn’t have to make stars no more since the old pay-per-view model has been done away with.
“Now that they’re sitting pretty, they have this guaranteed money,” he said. “They don’t have to make stars. You’re just going to get fights now. Good fights, great fights. That’s all you’re going to get. So if you’re sick of the entertainment era, it’s officially over. That ESPN deal to me went, ‘oh, it was fun. And like all that sh-t talking and stuff like that. It was fun. It’s over,’ The entertainment era is officially over.”
UFC pay-per-views have been available on digital platforms before, but this is the first time in the promotion’s history that such events are no longer available on tradition pay-per-view outlets.