Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White says UFC 168, which features a rematch between Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman and former division king Anderson Silva on Dec. 28, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be bigger than the monumental 2009 pay-per-view (PPV) event.
Those are some pretty high expectations, considering UFC 100 drew a live gate of $5,128,490 and reportedly raked in close to 1.5 million PPV buys (a company record), though the actual number was never made public as per UFC policy.
Nevertheless, White is confident the year-end event will be the biggest ever, as he recently told MMA Fighting:
"I think it's going to be the biggest fight we've ever done. Bigger than UFC 100. On every level. Tickets, pay-per-views, everything. You're going to see a motivated Anderson, but what makes this so much fun is, what Anderson are you going to see? How is this thing going to go? That's such a big part of the fun."
UFC 100 featured a heavyweight title fight between then-champion Brock Lesnar successfully unifying the titles against interim titleholder Frank Mir.
In the co-main event, UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre defended his strap against Thiago Alves while Dan Henderson knocked Michael Bisping's head into the cheap seats with his trademark "H-Bomb."
On the undercard, a relatively unknown Jon Jones was making his third appearance for the promotion.
And despite some great match-ups in the past, White can honestly say he's never been as excited for a fight like he is for "Weidman vs. Silva 2," as he recently declared during the UFC 168 "World Tour."
"Honestly, when I say this I mean it, I can't wait for this fight. This is one of those fights that, how the first one ended, there were a lot of questions with Anderson's age and everything else. Anderson didn't look old, Anderson didn't look like he didn't belong in there. Weidman came out and did what he did. When the music plays and these guys are walking out on December 28 and they start to come toward the Octagon, and they get in there; I don't know if I've been this excited for a fight ever in the UFC. I can't wait for this rematch."
UFC 168, which goes down from the MGM Grand Garden Arena, will also feature a co-main event title fight between women's bantamweight champ Ronda Rousey taking on former Strikeforce rival Miesha Tate. In addition, Josh Barnett will return to the Octagon to face Travis Browne in a crucial heavyweight collision.
This card definitely has the star power, but will it be able to top the massive success that UFC 100 enjoyed four years ago?
Time will tell.