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UFC president Dana White said that UFC 251 was expected to draw a large crowd, and he wasn't bluffing.
Saturday’s event headlined by UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and fan-favorite Jorge Masvidal raked in a remarkable 1.3 million pay-per-view buys.
After numbers became known, Masvidal (35-14 MMA, 12-7 UFC) Tweeted out to acknowledge the news and thank his fans (and haters) for their support.
“The overwhelming amount of support I have received before, during, and after this journey has been humbling,” Masvidal wrote. “Still got a lot of goals to meet. All of you that tuned in to see me win, thank you. Those that tuned in to see me lose, thank you.”
The estimated 1.3 million buys is the most the promotion has drawn for a single event in almost two years, since UFC 229 in October 2018. UFC 229 holds the promotion’s record at an estimated 2.4 million, and was headlined by the infamous grudge match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Conor McGregor.
Three title fights were on Saturday’s billing: Usman vs. Masvidal, Alexander Volkanovksi vs. Max Holloway, and Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo. Masvidal lost a five-round unanimous decision after taking the fight on just six days’ notice.
Masvidal has not (yet) commented about any displeasure in his payout in reference to the massive pay-per-view draw. Before stepping up to fight Usman last minute, Masvidal was holding out from UFC for fair pay.
UFC 251 took place at Flash Forum at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It aired on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN/ESPN+ and early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
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