The UFC promised that its debut in New York City was going to be a blockbuster, and by all accounts, it was that and much more.
“I want to thank the Las Vegas Culinary Union for spending their members’ dollars making this the biggest night in UFC history,” said UFC president Dana White at the post-fight press conference at Madison Square Garden.
He was, of course, referring to the longstanding battle between the UFC’s former owners, the Fertitta brothers, and the Las Vegas Culinary Union, which helped to keep the promotion out of New York for several years.
When they finally landed at The Garden with UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor, a card featuring three championship bouts, the UFC drew a crowd of 20,427 for a live gate of $17.7 million. That was good enough to shatter Madison Square Garden box-office records and UFC records.
Although the UFC doesn’t typically reveal pay-per-view numbers, and wouldn’t have them on fight night even if they did, White said that pay-per-view numbers were trending “very good.” He confirmed that whatever the final tally is, it will break the promotion’s record, which was previously estimated to be somewhere around 1.6 million buys.
In a battle for Alvarez’s belt, McGregor dominated the lightweight champ, knocking him out midway through the second round.
The victory made him the only fighter in UFC history to hold title belts in two weight classes simultaneously.
The significance of that fight wasn’t lost on White, who thinks it will take an otherwordly fight to ever surpass the numbers that UFC 205 did with Alvarez vs. McGregor.
“I don’t think that record will ever be broken. Jesus is gonna have to fight the devil to break that record, man.”