27.7 C
New York

5 biggest crowds in UFC history

Published:

The UFC is a show. In the past, the promotion gave priority to the mixed martial arts’ athletic component in its quest for respectability. But, as MMA stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey brought the UFC to the public’s notice, things began to change.

The sport expanded, attracting more MMA hopefuls than ever before, and the UFC rose to prominence as one of the greatest combat sports promotions ever. The amount of excitement it caused resulted in attendance records as fans became more ready to see their favourite fighters contest in front of them.

The UFC is a show. In the past, the promotion gave priority to the mixed martial arts’ athletic component in its quest for respectability. But, as MMA stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey brought the UFC to the public’s notice, things began to change.

The sport expanded, attracting more MMA hopefuls than ever before, and the UFC rose to prominence as one of the greatest combat sports promotions ever. The amount of excitement it caused resulted in attendance records as fans became more ready to see their favourite fighters contest in front of them.

#5. UFC on Fox 14: 30,000 in attendance

In the light heavyweight category of the promotion in 2013, a new star first emerged. A back-and-forth fight between Swedish fighter Alexander Gustafsson and American Jon Jones was so exhilarating that it was eventually added to the Hall of Fame’s fight wing.

Although failing to unseat “Bones,” “The Mauler” gained the admiration of the MMA community for having never before brought a champion like Jon Jones this close to losing. Hence, “The Mauler” secured a title eliminator match against the late, great Anthony “Rumble” Johnson after recovering with a Knockout victory over Jimi Manuwa.

In Stockholm, Sweden—hometown—they Gustafsson’s squared off in 2015. Close to 30,000 spectators showed up to watch their hometown hero reclaim the title. However, there was no Cinderella scene in front of his hometown audience. Instead, “Rumble” brutally TKO’d “The Mauler” in the first round.

#4. UFC 198: 45,207 in attendance

Vai Cavalo was the only Brazilian champion at the time, according to Dana White’s promotion. There was a great deal of fanfare. He was supposed to defend his new championship in front of his countrymen as he rode the wave of acclaim he received for defeating Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight belt. Stipe Miocic was his rival.

The 45,207 spectators, who yearned for another Brazilian to run the promotion, gave Werdum their vote for the victory. Vai Cavalo unfortunately lunged after his opponent as soon as the fight began. Werdum lunged head-first into a punch that knocked him down cold as Miocic backed away.

#3. UFC 129: 55,724 in attendance

Fans only need to think back to UFC 129 to prove Georges St-detractors Pierre’s wrong about the level of star power he attained while serving as the promotion’s welterweight champion. The Canadian superstar was one of MMA’s biggest stars in 2011, when the sport was at its peak.
Several competitions were staged in Canada, but Ontario had just recently authorised mixed martial arts as a legitimate sport. Its first-ever MMA pay-per-view, the event also gave Ontarians the chance to see their hometown hero “GSP” compete for the first time.

Sales of tickets increased as a result of the PPV’s announcement, which included “Rush” as the opponent for Jake Shields. ‘GSP’ soundly defeated an opponent who hadn’t lost in more than six years in front of 55,724 spectators, setting a new gate revenue record. At the time, both men were riding significant winning streaks.

#2. UFC 193: 56,214 in attendance

UFC 193 once held the record for drawing the biggest attendance in the promotion’s history. This was done for a good reason. Ronda Rousey served as the event’s host. In 2015, “Rowdy” was a crossover celebrity who drew in MMA fans, mothers, and young girls alike.

Similar to Mike Tyson’s meteoric rise in boxing in the late 1980s, she was an undefeated force who dispatched every single one of her opponents with extreme ease. Fans of “Rowdy” in Australia got to see her compete against Holly Holm in 2015.

56,214 spectators travelled to Melbourne’s Marvel Stadium to see what was widely anticipated to be Rousey’s simple victory. Instead, when Holm dominated “Rowdy” on her way to KOing her in the second round, Australian fans witnessed one of the biggest upsets in the history of the promotion.

#1. UFC 243: 57,127 in attendance

Australia patiently awaited the arrival of one of its own as a champion. Thus, Australian supporters were ecstatic when Robert Whittaker was elevated to the position of undisputed middleweight champion after winning the interim title against Yoel Romero. Dreams of “The Reaper” defending his crown at home began at this point.

At UFC 243, when he competed against Nigerian-New Zealander Israel Adesanya, he got his opportunity. The event’s attendees broke the record for the largest audience attendance. Yet after “The Reaper” and “The Last Stylebender” squared off at Marvel Stadium in 2019, that record was broken.

Whittaker gave it his all, but the fight lacked any competition. In front of 57,127 spectators, Adesanya caught him as the first round was coming to a close and then promptly counter-KO’d him to seal the victory.

Related articles

Recent articles

spot_img