The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the Toyota Center in Houston on Saturday for UFC 166, which features the rubber match between UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez and former titleholder Junior dos Santos.
As with past events in Houston, the promotion moved tickets at a feverish pace, already proclaiming the event a sellout.
Tickets went so fast that UFC officials removed the usual video screens from the ends of the arena that take out of few upper level seats. Those seats were made available and immediately sold out as well.
“No end screens, just the center hung (screens),” said UFC president Dana White in a meeting with the media in Houston on Thursday. “This place is going to be jam-packed wall to wall. We like Houston.”
White added that they expect a $2.5 million live gate for Saturday’s event. That slots UFC 166 smack in the middle between its prior two trips to the Toyota Center, UFC 69 and UFC 136.
UFC 69, which featured Matt Serra’s upset of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in the main event, attracted 15,269 people in attendance for a live gate of $2.8 million on April 7, 2007.
The third fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard headlined UFC 136 on Oct. 8, 2011, drawing an audience of 16,164 and a gate of $2.23 million.