Dana White says UFC 148 already top U.S. MMA gate, trending as biggest ever fight
Jul 7, 2012 - 2:20:29 PM

By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

In the lead up to Saturday's UFC 148 event, headlined by the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen, there has been a lot of hype for the fight and a lot of lofty talk about where it stands in UFC history. It's been called the most anticipated rematch in UFC history, and it's even been called the biggest fight in UFC history.

Considering some of the fights that have done big business already in the UFC's history, this talk seems on the surface like a lot of promoter-speak and hyperbole. However, UFC President Dana White said this week that the fight, by all the metrics they judge before events happen, is looking to legitimately be one of their biggest ever.

"Not only might it be the biggest rematch in UFC history, but probably the biggest fight," White said in an interview with ESPN's Todd Grisham this week. "We have all kinds of ways to tell how a fight is trending and how big it is, this fight's been number one on every trending list, and all the ways that we can tell how big a pay-per-view is going to be. Not to mention the fact that it's the biggest gate ever in the United States (for MMA) at $7 million."

"Obviously Chael Sonnen says a lot of crazy things, but the real thing that sells this fight and the reason that people want to see this fight is because of the first one. Anderson Silva has broke every record in UFC history, and he's the greatest fighter ever in mixed martial arts history, and this is the guy who almost beat him. He was a minute and 30 away from beating him."

Penick's Analysis: The number they hit for UFC 100 has still been far and away the best they've ever done, but that had two of their biggest stars in Brock Lesnar and Georges St-Pierre, not to mention being the "historic" 100th numbered event. It's hard to see this fight, as huge as it is, reaching that number; however, if the UFC's taking that event out of the equation this event certainly could be one of their biggest selling pay-per-view events. The heat in the last week for this fight has been escalated, with Anderson Silva's tirade and staredown confrontations elevating things to a completely different level than this fight was just a few weeks ago. A million buys isn't out of reach, and even more than that is certainly possible with the final push they've had. But 1.6 million like UFC 100? I still can't see that.

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