Last night's UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) in Las Vegas, Nevada, was groundbreaking in every sense of the word.
From beginning to end, the roof was always close to being blown off MGM Grand Garden Arena (Sat. July 11, 2015) by more than 16,000 rabid American and Irish fans. UFC 189 featured two title skirmishes featuring the likes of Chad Mendes and Conor McGregor, as well as Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald.
"Money" ultimately came up short (highlights here) in a climatic interim Featherweight title bout against "Notorious," losing to the boisterous Irishman via technical-knockout in the closing seconds of round two. Meanwhile, in the night's co-main event, "Ruthless" fell behind early (highlights here), but clawed his way back, eventually knocking out -- and rearranging the face of -- "Red King" in the final frame.
The quartet of fighters helped promote and deliver one of the most entertaining and most successful fight cards in recent memory, which UFC president Dana White echoed at the post-fight presser, saying that the chances of the promotion exceeding one million PPV buys is "looking good." He also announced that UFC 189 drew a U.S. record-setting $7.2 million gate for the promotion.
All this without the reigning 145-pound champion (he missed out on a big payday), who was originally scheduled to square off with McGregor, but bowed out of the headliner three weeks before with a rib injury. You can expect White and the UFC to pour loads of more money into promotion for a title unification bout between Aldo and McGregor in the future, which was something reiterated at the presser by White.
He at least gave an inkling into where it would take place and it will not be in Ireland, at least until he gets passed "Junior," which will be no easy task.
Over the last five years, UFC has held some immensely historic and profitable events.
There was UFC 100, which was anchored by two title fights and included fighters such as Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Georges St. Pierre and Thiago Alves. It stands as the most bought PPV of all-time with 1.6 million buys and had a total gate of over $5.1 million.
Then, UFC 129 hit Toronto, Canada, and was headlined by a Welterweight title bout between "Rush" and Jake Shields, as well as an Aldo title defense against Mark Hominick. The PPV tallied an enormous $12 million gate and did over 800,000 PPV buys.
For complete results from UFC 189: "Mendes vs. McGregor," including play-by-play updates, click here.