LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White believes UFC 168 will eclipse UFC 100 in pay-per-view buys, but he said it’s also gotten harder to find a ticket to see the event live.
White said the promotion already has sold $750,000 worth of tickets from personal requests to his former secretary and current VP of event operations, Donna Marcolini.
“That’s what Donna has sold, alone,” White said during a pre-event press conference in support of the Dec. 28 pay-per-view card, which takes place Dec. 28 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena.
The event is headlined by a rematch between new middleweight kingpin Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva, who lost his belt to the American in July at UFC 162. Presale tickets are available to UFC Fight Club members beginning Wednesday, with the general public gaining access on Friday.
White knew the first fight was big when mainstream media were covering it long after its denouement, which saw Weidman deliver a shocking upset by knocking out a clowning Silva, and he’s confident the rematch will sell even better than the UFC’s biggest event to date.
UFC 100 did a reported 1.6 million pay-per-view buys and generated a live gate of $5,128,490, which stands as the third highest MMA gate in Nevada’s history.
“To this point, it will be the biggest fight ever,” White told MMAjunkie.com of UFC 168. “I think it’s going to beat it. I’d be shocked if this didn’t beat it.
“I can think of the Jones-Gustafsson that I was just at, which was f—ing awesome, just the energy watching that fight happen. And can you imagine when the lights drop and we get ready for the main event? It’s going to be crazy. It’s one of those fights where I want to be there live for that fight. It’s going to be insane.”
Weidman and Silva appeared today at the MGM Grand to talk up the rematch. Silva was tense for the media but opened up during a fan-led Q&A session that followed the press conference.
White said that prior to the first fight, Weidman guaranteed he would knock Silva out and give the champion an immediate rematch in Madison Square Garden. While MMA remains illegal in the Empire State, Weidman’s first prediction came true.
It’s now up to Silva to even the score, and the question of whether that’s possible is bound to drive a sellout on Dec. 28.
For the latest on UFC 168, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Anderson Silva)