Dana White: Max Holloway-Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 biggest event since UFC 205 at MSG

April 4, 2018


Dana White: Max Holloway-Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 biggest event since UFC 205 at MSG

It seems the main event substitution of Max Holloway for Tony Ferguson has turned Saturday’s UFC 223 into an even bigger event.

Although there was much anticipation for Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0 MMA, 9-0 UFC) for the lightweight title in a matchup that’s been booked four times, the uniqueness of Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) stepping in on just six days’ notice has created even more storylines for the card.

UFC President Dana White said that’s translated into greater pay-per-view tracking numbers for UFC 223, which will takes place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

It’s not just tracking to do any old above-average numbers, either, according to White. The UFC boss was asked about how sales are looking at today’s UFC 223 news conference, and he said it’s doing better than any show dating back to UFC 205 in November 2016, which, by no coincidence, was Conor McGregor’s most recent UFC bout.

White’s comment was immediately met with some skepticism. Since UFC 205, the organization has put on a number of marquee events. UFC 207 featured Ronda Rousey’s seemingly final MMA fight against Amanda Nunes, UFC 214 in July was headlined by the Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones rematch, and UFC 217 in November was stacked with three title fights, including the return of Georges St-Pierre against Michael Bisping in the main event.

Any statement that comes from White regarding UFC business must always be taken with a grain of salt. If UFC 223 is tracking as well as White’s, though, then Saturday will be big business for the UFC.



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