UFC 148 | Richest Gate in MMA History Falls Well Short of BoxingWritten by Lee Cleveland
Last Saturday, UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II was witnessed by nearly 15,000 live-gate spectators who generated a reported estimate of $7 Million USD.
The pay-per-view (PPV) event took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and featured a rematch between top pound-for-pound mixed martial artist and UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and his rival Chael Sonnen. The fight was one of the most anticipated rematches in mixed martial arts (MMA) history.
The third match-up between Forrest Griffin and UFC legend Tito Ortiz served as the co-main event.
In the end, Silva retained his title by stopping Sonnen in the second round via a TKO and Forrest Griffin won a decision over Tito Ortiz.
A record-breaking success, live gate revenue for UFC 148 shattered the previous mark set at UFC 66 in December 2006 that featured Tito Ortiz vs Chuck Liddell in its main event.
Pay-per-view numbers are not released by UFC but buy rates purportedly trended upward and possibly broke every UFC television buy record one day prior to the event.
So how does UFC's richest gate stack-up to boxing?
If UFC 148 was a boxing match and garned $7.3 Million USD at the gate, it would be ranked as the 26th highest revenue-generating gate in Nevada alone (not including other highly-grossing boxing events outside the state).
Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s split decision over Oscar De La Hoya in 2007 tops the list at nearly $18.5 Million USD in gross sales, well over twice the projected amount for Silva vs Sonnen II.
After taking into account inflationary figures and the plummeting value of the dollar these days, UFC 148's revenue would most likely be below boxing's top 40.
Top 5 Boxing Live Gates in Las Vegas, NV
(Source: Nevada Athletic Commission)
Mayweather vs De La Hoya
May 5, 2007
Lewis vs Holyfield II
Nov, 13 1999
Pacquiao vs De La Hoya
Dec 6, 2008
Holyfield vs Tyson II
June 28, 1997
Holyfield vs Tyson I
Nov 9, 1996
Lee is Managing Editor of FightSaga.com, a student of the Sweet Science and longtime boxing fan.
A gym rat in the 1990s, Lee was trained by 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist Charles Mooney and several retired seasoned pros. He was also a sparring partner for former WBA Super Middleweight Champion Steve Little who upset Michael Nunn for the WBA Super Middleweight Title in '94.
Lee created FightSaga.com to honor and preserve boxing's rich heritage, chronicle the achievements of top fighters, celebrate the legacy of big fights and provide a fun, educational experience for fight fans.