The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty to many industries. The world of sports has been no exception. Major organizations such as the MLB and NBA are just starting to take steps in reopening. While the UFC had to cancel some events, it’s been full steam ahead ever since the Nevada State Athletic Commission allowed the return of sporting events. Then, of course, there is “Fight Island,” which is really Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Dana White Says UFC Brand Is Stronger Than It’s Ever Been
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, White said that despite the circumstances the UFC brand is at peak levels (h/t MMAFighting).
“The brand has never been bigger or stronger than it is right now,” White said on Tuesday ahead of UFC on ESPN 13. “I mean if you look at the ratings and the amount of promotion. I don’t know if you guys felt it like we felt it, but you had to feel in your business. My personal social media was off the charts, the biggest numbers that I’ve ever pulled, ever. UFC’s social media numbers are off the charts. The traffic.
“I told you guys the other day — the merchandise, we’ve already sold more merchandise this year than we did all of 2019. We already crushed that number from 2019. The list goes on and on.”
White admits things haven’t been all sunshine and rainbows. He said the promotion is missing out on around $110 million due to the lack of live gates. The UFC boss also said there are more eyeballs on the sport of MMA than ever before due to the pandemic. He said that isn’t just limited to the United States.
There’s no denying that the UFC has exceeded expectations during the COVID-19 crisis. Viewership numbers on ESPN have increased as well as pay-per-view buys. UFC 251 is reportedly trending to do 1.3 million PPV buys.