No Jose Aldo? No problem!.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White is still very confident that the upcoming UFC 189 pay-per-view (PPV) event set for July 11, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada, will do great numbers at the box office.
In fact, the brash head honcho recently told Yahoo! Sports that he expects the event to set the all-time gate record for a mixed martial arts (MMA) event on American soil. This, despite the fact that the card suffered a crucial blow after one half of the headlining act, Jose Aldo, bowed out of the title fight against Conor McGregor with a rib injury.
According to White, only 50 people have asked for refunds after news of Aldo pulled out of the fight broke. But, those same tickets were scooped up immediately by other eager buyers says White. That leads him to believe the event will earn a record-setting $7 million at the gate.
"We're adding seats and when we do, they fly right out the door. We've barely had any refunds and the ones we've had, as soon as we've gotten the tickets and put them back in the system, they're scooped right up."
Furthermore, the promotion had to add more seats to MGM Grand garden Arena -- which seats 16,000 -- because of the demand. So-much-so that the company had to get tricky when creating space according to UFC senior vice president Peter Dropkick.
"We had to get creative. We stayed within the fire code, but we had to get creative. We have seats in some places we've never had seats before."
As it stands UFC 148 -- which featured a title fight rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen -- is currently the highest-grossing U.S. event at the gate. That fight, which also took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena, earned $6.9 million.
But, with the help of many loyal Irish fans who were a part of the group that lead to 20 percent of ticket sales coming from Europe, UFC 189 will likely beat that mark
Whether or not Aldo's absence, and the inclusion of his replacement, Chad Mendes, affects PPV buys remains to be seen.