According to Dave Meltzer over at MMA Fighting, the UFC 203 pay-per-view (PPV), which featured the debut of former WWE star CM Punk, is estimated at doing anywhere between 425-475,000 buys.
That’s nowhere near the kind of numbers Brock Lesnar was drawing during his run through the combat sports world but as Meltzer notes, the card likely would have drawn significantly less buys if Punk weren’t on it. That’s the justification for his $500,000 purse, as Meltzer points out:
In other words, Punk probably brought in anywhere from 125,000-225,000 extra buys, meaning he generated added revenue of somewhere between $3.75 million and $6.75 million for the company. So for all the criticism of the $500,000 base pay Punk earned for his debut, along with a possible percentage of pay-per-view that was Punk's deal ended up being a financial bargain.
The sad fact of the fight itself is that Punk was never competitive, as he was beaten badly in a first round submission loss. It was bad enough that UFC President Dana White came right out and said his next fight, if there is one, and Punk has said he’s not giving up just yet, shouldn’t come in the UFC.
What these numbers tell us, however, is that financially speaking, it might make sense to throw him back in the Octagon.