According to Dana White, the late switch-up to UFC 223’s main event that sees featherweight champion Max Holloway fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title has generated an enormous amount of interest in the event.
“The great thing about us being able to pull this off and him stepping up is this thing is a sellout on Saturday and all the trending for pay-per-view (PPV), this is the biggest fight since UFC 205,” White claimed at the UFC 223 pre-fight press conference.
UFC 205 took place back in November of 2016 and coincidentally saw the featherweight champion at the time, Conor McGregor moving up to lightweight to challenge for the belt against the titleholder Eddie Alvarez in the main event in New York City.
That event also featured two other title fights, including welterweight champion Tyron Woodley going up against Stephen Thompson and Joanna Jedrzejczyk defending her strawweight title against Karolina Kowalkiewicz.
Of course it was McGregor’s presence that was the real draw though and the event pulled in 1.3 million pay-per-view buys, making it one of the largest in the promotion’s history.
UFC 223 is not expected to do anything like that lofty number, but White’s claim is still surprising given that there have been a few notable events since UFC 205 that have produced healthy PPV numbers.
For instance, UFC 207: Nunes Vs Rousey did 1.1 million PPV buys, UFC 214: Cormier Vs Jones II was estimated to be in the region of 850,000 buys and UFC 217: Bisping Vs GSP was pegged at aprox 875,000.
If UFC 223 could even get anywhere close to those kind of numbers then it would be a roaring success for the company and far exceed anyone’s expectations, but lets wait and see if White’s claims prove to be accurate or if its just an attempt to create more buzz in the build-up to the Brooklyn show.