UFC president Dana White announced last night that UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos drew 14,109 spectators to the Honda Center in Anaheim, California to earn a live gate of $1.1 million.
Put in context, the UFC’s last two stateside events, UFC 136 and UFC 137, drew 16,164 spectators for a gate of $2.23 million and 10,313 for a gate of $3,900,650, respectively.
However, the focus of last night’s event was put less on making profit and more on debuting the product to a new, wider audience. The UFC kicked off their seven-year broadcasting deal with Fox networks last night by airing a one-hour block of programming focused on the main event, a heavyweight championship fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos.
The outcome wasn’t the best for indoctrinating a new audience to the full spectrum of mixed martial arts and may not have been as effective as Dana White had hoped in creating new pay-per-view customers, but it was certainly exciting and dramatic. Both men came out trading blows, Velasquez scoring with hard leg kicks and dos Santos trying to find the range on his punches, but that tempo only lasted for about a minute. Dos Santos cracked Velasquez with an overhand right that sent him to the mat and sealed the deal with a few follow-up punches, becoming the new UFC heavyweight champion.
What did you think of last night’s Fox broadcast? Was the juice was worth the squeeze for the UFC, or is it simply too early to tell what will come from their long-term deal with Fox? Let us know in the comments section below.