Yea but Florian isn't a big name at all a fight between him and BJ would probably do similar numbers to BJ vs Joe.
Now coming off a big win over a fan favorite like Diego BJ vs Kenny would do IMO a lot better. Plus it gives Kenny a chance to redeem a loss.
It's always relevant to analyze match-ups, main events and title fights with the PPV perspective because PPV predictions is what's driving all that. Actually, cards with a LW fight as main event never really generated big numbers because as I said in my previous post, the fans will pay more to see heavier fighters ktfo of each other. The most popular divisions among the fans are undoubtedly LHW and then HW (should it be deep...) because in general they're the divisions where the most KOs occur.
BJ/Joe only generated 225,000 PPV buys. That's also because the co-main event was GG/Werdum, 2 great fighters but 1) unknown among the casual fans and 2) both coming off losses which doesn't help for the hyping.
BJ/Sherk, the 2 most popular fighters in their division, was the main event @ UFC 84 and considering the other fighters on the card
, it didn't do a lot: 475,000 buys. Along with Penn and Sherk, we had Wandy (very popular fighter worldwide), Jardine (the man that KOd Forrest 1st round and just won to Chuck), Lyoto (for hardcore fans) and last but not least, Tito (always been a big draw in the UFC + his very last fight in the Octagon).
My point is LW fights don't do big numbers in general, even when the biggest names in the division are fighting each other for the title + there are other big names fighting on the same card.
IMO Kenny now became one of the biggest names at LW, behind Penn and Sherk. He's pretty popular among the hardcore and casual fans because he was in the TUF + he's on an impressive 6 fights win streak + he submitted another popular fighter in the first round, in front of several millions of fans watching UFC 91. This is the right moment for him to get his shot.
Also, by judging his salary, he earns the same amount of money as Sherk does (40K just to show up) so I assume he brings approximately the same amount of PPV buys as him.
Now from Kenny's fighter perspective. He's finally earned his shot and had a very hard way up there. The UFC said he definitely earned it and will be fighting for the belt next. So he doesn't need to fight anymore to prove himself, just needs to wait until BJ is ready and hopefully that will be in 6 months. I see him fighting Sanchez in the future for sure but why would he take the risk of fighting him next? To maybe loose and have to fight another 2/3 years to get his shot? That wouldn't make sense at all. I'd rather wait (hopefully) 6 months and eventually another 6 months than having to fight another 2/3 years. This being said, I'm pretty sure he's praying every night for BJ to loose to GSP, like many of us do on this forum lol.