UFC on FOX 27 may not have had a lot of fan fair surrounding it following the blockbuster UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou fight card in Boston, but still drew respectable numbers in the promotion’s return to Charlotte, N.C.
The UFC has only been to Charlotte one other time outside of the early days of “two men enter, one man leaves,” but Saturday’s card, headlined by a Jacare Souza vs. Derek Brunson rematch recorded the best gate and attendance of any of them.
Saturday’s show at the Spectrum Center drew an announced attendance of 10,249, producing gate receipts totaling $944,202, according to UFC officials.
The next best numbers that the UFC has done in Charlotte was for UFC Fight Night 121 in 2010. That card was headlined by a lightweight contest between The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 runner-up Kenny Florian and former Pride FC champion Takanori Gomi. UFC Fight Night 121 drew an estimated crowd of 7,700 for a gate of $590,685.
UFC on FOX 27 featured a pivotal middleweight showdown between Jacare and Brunson. A perennial contender in the UFC middleweight division, Jacare continued to establish why he constantly sits near the top of the division.
He defeated Brunson several years ago under the Strikeforce banner, knocking him out in 41 seconds. On Saturday night, it took him 3:50, but the result was much the same. Jacare landed a head kick that sent Brunson reeling and then followed with several punches that forced the referee to step in and stop the fight.
Jacare’s only recent losses are to the other three men currently mired in an interesting UFC middleweight title picture – champion Robert Whittaker and interim contenders Luke Rockhold and Yoel Romero – so he likely is on the cusp of a shot at a UFC championship or at least an interim version.