UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor has blown away box-office records, not only for Madison Square Garden, but for the Ultimate Fighting Championship as well.
The UFC’s New York debut has sold more than $17 million in tickets, according to Bloomberg. That puts it above the heavyweight boxing championship fight between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. The 1999 Holyfield vs. Lewis bout, according to Bloomberg, ruled the Madison Square Garden box office with $11 million ($15.9 million when adjusted for inflation) in ticket sales.
It’s not only the biggest seller at Madison Square Garden. The $17 million gate also puts UFC 205 at the top of the heap for the world’s leading mixed martial arts promotion. It is well above the $12 million gate that UFC 129 drew in Toronto in 2011, when Georges St-Pierre vs. Jake Shields topped the bill.
“It’s the biggest event we’re ever going to do,” said UFC Chief Operating Officer Lawrence Epstein, who was at that Holyfield-Lewis fight. “For pay-per-view, we believe it will also be our biggest event of all time, but there’s also this brand enhancement we’ll get out of this event that frankly we couldn’t get in any other city in the world.”