On Saturday, Perth, Australia played host to the UFC octagon for the first time. UFC 221: Romero vs. Rockhold took place at Perth Arena and set records for the sports and entertainment complex.
The event was nearly a sellout with 12,437 spectators in attendance generating $3.6 million AUD ($2.8 million USD). It was the highest grossing sports event in Perth Arena history.
“Not a sellout, very close to a sellout, but the highest grossing sports event at Perth Arena,” said UFC executive David Shaw during the UFC 221 post-fight press conference.
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The fight card was supposed to crown an interim middleweight champion in the main event, but Yoel Romero failed to make weight for the title bout against former champion Luke Rockhold. The fight went on and those in attendance and watching on pay-per-view witnessed Romero knock Luke Rockhold out cold in the third round.
A new heavyweight contender emerged from the co-main event. Curtis Blaydes grounded and pounded No. 5 ranked Mark Hunt to a unanimous decision, but had to overcome some adversity in the opening round.
Hunt landed a left hand that staggered Blaydes and followed up with a right hand that floored the 26-year-old up and comer. Blaydes quickly got back to his feet and repeatedly took Hunt down. Through the three-round fight, Blaydes put Hunt on his back ten times.
The UFC returns to the States for its next event on Feb. 18. UFC Fight Night 126 takes place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas, and is headlined by a welterweight bout between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Yancy Medeiros.