The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) held its final event of 2016 this past Friday night (Dec. 30). UFC 207 took place inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The pay-per-view (PPV) featured two title fights, one of which included the return of Ronda Rousey.
The UFC has been known to put on major events in Las Vegas. When the T-Mobile Arena opened back in April, the organization jumped at the chance to book UFC 200 inside the new venue. That event held the attendance record for the arena and UFC events in Las Vegas, but not for long.
UFC president Dana White joined the UFC’s FOX Sports 1 panel and talked about the feat:
“The first time ever in T-Mobile [Arena], we broke the attendance tonight. [It’s] the first time they opened up standing room only. Almost 20,000 people here, the largest fight ever in Las Vegas.”
The official number is 18,533. UFC 200 drew an attendance of 18,202. The live gate of UFC 207 didn’t do as well with $4.75 million as opposed to UFC 200’s $10.7 million.
UFC 207’s headliner saw Amanda Nunes defend her women’s bantamweight title against “Rowdy.” Nunes showed the world why she’s the champion with a 48-second thrashing of the former 135-pound ruler. The victory was so devastating that “people were crying” leaving the arena if you believe White.
Perhaps the biggest stunner of the night to long-time fans of mixed martial arts (MMA) was Cody Garbrandt‘s performance against Dominick Cruz. With all the buildup leading up to the fight, many believed “No Love” would look to take Cruz’s head off in the first round. Instead, we saw a patient and technical challenger who forced the champion to play his game. Garbrandt’s quickness and power helped earn him a unanimous decision win and the bantamweight championship.
The UFC’s first event of 2017 will showcase a featherweight battle between rising 145-pounder Yair Rodriguez and former two-division champion B.J. Penn. The event takes place on Jan. 15 and will air on FOX Sports 1.