The Ultimate Fighting Championship made its Edmonton debut this week with UFC 215: Nunes vs. Shevchenko 2 at Rogers Place.
Though there was a fair amount of criticism about the stature of the fight card, particularly after losing the UFC flyweight championship headliner, fans showed up to UFC 215 in droves.
According to UFC officials, the event drew 16,232 fans for a sold out crowd, accounting for a $2.03 million gate in U.S. dollars.
UFC executive David Shaw explained that, while there were a number of ticket refunds issued after the fight card changed, late walk-up sales more than made up for the refunded tickets.
Though the aforementioned flyweight title fight between champion Demetrious Johnson and Ray Borg was nixed just 48 hours prior to fight time, Rogers Place still hosted 11 bouts, including a barn burner of an opener on the main card. Jeremy Stephens and Gilbert Melendez battered each other for three rounds with Stephens walking away with the win and both fighters pocketing an additional $50,000 for winning Fight of the Night honors.
Despite being a last-minute shift to main event status, Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko delivered a five-round, technical battle that ended in a split decision.
In the end, Nunes retained her UFC women’s bantamweight championship, after she and Shevchenko went toe-to-toe in each and every round.