FAIRFAX, Va. — The Ultimate Fighting Championship's first trip to Virginia proved to be a smashing success, though it fell just short of the live-gate revenue record for a UFC Fight Night event.
UFC Fight Night 20, held Monday at the Patriot Center on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax, was announced as a sellout with 8,500 attendees, though the 10,000-seat arena used a modified seating configuration.
UFC officials confirmed the attendance and a $730,000 live gate with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) after the show.
UFC Fight Night 20, which featured Gray Maynard's split-decision victory over Nate Diaz in the headline bout, aired on Spike TV.
Although the UFC traditionally held UFC Fight Night and The Ultimate Fighter Finale events in Las Vegas, the organization began branching out in 2008. Stops in Nebraska, North Carolina and Florida have all drawn more than 7,500 fans, which is approximately 5,000 to 6,000 more than the smaller Las Vegas venues would accommodate.
Today's reported attendance figure ties UFC Fight Night 16 as the fourth-most attended UFC Fight Night event in the promotion's history, though UFC Fight Night 16's attendance number was approximated due to free tickets given out to military personnel. UFC Fight Night 16 was held at the Crown Coliseum (in conjunction with Fort Bragg military installation) in December 2008.
The record live-gate figure for UFC Fight Night events was set by Broomfield, Colo., for UFC Fight Night 13, which scored a $753,429 gate.
HIGHEST-ATTENDED UFC FIGHT NIGHT EVENTS:
* UFC Fight Night 18 (Nashville, Tenn.): 10,267
* UFC Fight Night 19 (Oklahoma City, Okla.): 9,490
* UFC Fight Night 15 (Omaha, Neb.): 9,103
* UFC Fight Night 16 (Fayetteville, N.C.): 8,500*
* UFC Fight Night 20 (Fairfax, Va.): 8,500