The Ultimate Fighting Championship has been returning to its home base for many of its biggest fights lately, and Saturday night’s UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz was no different, landing at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Although UFC 196 didn’t quite match the gate and attendance of UFC 194, which featured Conor McGregor capturing the featherweight belt from Jose Aldo, it was solid.
UFC 194 pulled in 16,516 fans for a total of $10.1 million at the gate, while Saturday night’s UFC 196 drew an attendance of 14,697 with a gate totaling $8.1 million.
“This thing right now is pretty much breaking every record we’ve ever had,” UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight press conference, more likely referring to pay-per-view numbers and social media trends than the gate and attendance.
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If fans would have known what was going to transpire at UFC 196, perhaps even the gate and attendance records would have crumbled.
Not only did Miesha Tate come from behind to choke Holly Holm to sleep to win the women’s bantamweight champion in the co-main event, but the headliner was a surprise as well.
Nate Diaz stepped up on short notice to fight featherweight champion Conor McGregor at welterweight, and he shut down the hype train. Diaz submitted the Irish megastar in the second round.
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