A seat inside T-Mobile Arena for Saturday’s UFC 229: Khabib vs. Nurmagomedov was the hardest ticket to to get in Las Vegas. The event sold out nearly immediately when tickets when on sale in mid August. UFC president Dana White released the official attendance and gate numbers during the event’s post-fight press conference.
20,034 spectators filled the arena to capacity to witness former two-division champion Conor McGregor return to the Octagon to face lightweight titleholder Khabib Nurmagomedov in the fight card’s main event generating gate receipts totaling a staggering $17,200,000.
Nurmagomedov successfully defended his belt by tapping out McGregor in the fourth round. Nurmagomedov’s grappling was the story of the fight. He took McGregor down and pounded away. The relentless pressure fatigued McGregor and Nurmagomedov was able to take the Irishman’s back and secured a rear-naked choke finish to remain the 155-pound champion.
Former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson returned to the cage in the co-main event for the first time since having knee surgery in April. The injury forced him out UFC 223 where he was supposed to face Nurmagomedov just days before the event. In his return, Ferguson took out former champion Anthony Pettis in a back-and-forth fight that earned Fight of the Night honors.
The event was the second highest gate in the fight promotion’s history falling short of UFC 205’s $17,700,000 gate. UFC 205 was headlined by McGregor and Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at Madison Square Garden in November 2016.