UFC 193 narrowly broke their attendance record last night at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, with 56,214 people packing in to watch one of the biggest upsets in combat sports history as Holly Holm KO’d Ronda Rousey with a second round head kick to become the new woman’s bantamweight champion.
The previous record had been 55,724 which was set at UFC 129: GSP Vs Shields at the Rogers Center in Canada back in 2011. UFC 129 still holds the biggest MMA gate ever, raking in $11 million, while last night’s blockbuster show earned $6.8 million.
Since the event was announced UFC officials had targeted a record smashing 70,000 attendance, but in the end that proved to be out of reach.
Still, with another stadium event at UFC On FOX 14: Gustafsson Vs Johnson in Sweden earlier in the year also drawing 30,000 fans, the UFC has shown it does have the drawing power to fill huge venues and it’s likely to be something they will explore again in the future.
What’s perhaps most impressive about last night’s show is that it broke the record despite featuring two woman’s title fights in the main and co-main event. Given that just a few years ago there wasn’t even a female division in the promotion that’s undoubtedly a groundbreaking achievement.