‘We Broke the Arena Record’- Dana White Reveals Big News on UFC 261

Published 03/26/2021, 5:57 AM EDT
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Jorge Masvidal punches Kamaru Usman of Nigeria in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)


Jorge Masvidal and Kamaru Usman will to lock horns again at UFC 261 in what will be a rematch between the duo. The card will see two more title fights take place as Weili Zhang will defend her strawweight belt against Rose Namajunas. Also, Valentina Shevchenko and Jessica Andrade will clash with the women’s flyweight strap on the line.

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The pay-per-view in Jacksonville, Florida will mark the return of crowds to the arena in the USA. And UFC President Dana White has already revealed that the UFC 262 pay-per-view will also take place with the crowd in attendance.

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So, when asked if it’s only for those two events or the UFC is looking to host pay-per-views with an audience on board from now on, White said, “No, I’m gonna go everywhere that they that they’re willing to sell out so right now with the presale in Jacksonville. We broke the arena record already so expect this thing to go on sale tomorrow, sell out in seconds and we broke the arena record on the presale.”

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria kicks Jorge Masvidal in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The news of the UFC 261 pay-per-view already breaking the arena record shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as people would have leaped at the offer of being able to watch a live UFC event after such a long time. Furthermore, Masvidal‘s involvement will bring some extra eyeballs in as the Miami native is one of the biggest stars in the sport currently.

Will UFC 261 pave the way for UFC events to come?

The UFC’s decision to whether or not to hold pay-per-view with crowds is dependent on the amount of success the event in Jacksonville, Florida gets. There are many protocols and rules that have to be maintained throughout for conducting such a huge show amidst a public gathering.

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Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), reacts during a Bloomberg Television interview in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. In UFC, fighters square off in the Octagon, an eight-sided ring enclosed by a chain-linked fence where the object is to punch, kick, slam or choke the opponent into submission. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

But the UFC has shown the way for other sports too, during the time of the pandemic. They were the first mainstream organization to conduct any sort of event. Dana White and Co. deserve full credit for what they have done as it helped people to stay entertained during the toughest of times.

Is UFC 261’s success an indication of bigger things to come in terms of crowd involvement? Share your thoughts.

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Apratim Banerjee

723 articles

Apratim Banerjee is an MMA author for EssentiallySports and has been writing professionally for almost a year. Before his current gig, Apratim worked as a UFC writer for Sportskeeda. A long-time MMA fan, Apratim has developed a critical eye for the sport that has helped him transfer his vast knowledge to his copies and give hardcore and casual readers a detailed insight into the fights and fighters.

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