The UFC had set its sights on a record-setting live gate of over $20 million for UFC 303 with the main event featuring Conor McGregor vs. Michael Chandler. However, when the fight was called off due to a broken toe suffered by McGregor in training camp, ticket sales took a hit. Despite losing the McGregor vs. Chandler scrap, UFC 303, headlined by a short-notice matchup between UFC light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira and ex-champ Jiri Prochazka, managed to deliver a top-five live gate for the promotion.

In May, UFC CEO Dana White said of UFC 303, “It’s already way over $20 million,” White said at the UFC St. Louis post-fight press conference.

After the dust settled, the live gate for UFC 303 was reported at $15.9 million, with 18,881 fans in attendance. With that, UFC 303 stands as the fourth-highest gate in UFC history.

The event trails UFC 205 ($17.7 million), UFC 229 ($17,188,895), and UFC 300 ($16,508,823) while landing in front of UFC 264 ($15,759,800).

Conor McGregor bouts headlined UFC 205 (vs. Eddie Alvarez), UFC 229 (vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov), and UFC 264 (vs. Dustin Poirier 3), while Pereira fought in the main event of UFC 300 (vs. Jamahal Hill)

When McGregor vs. Chandler fell off the UFC 303 fight card, the UFC had to offer fans refunds for their tickets per the Nevada State Athletic Commission rules. It’s unknown how many fans got refunds on their tickets, but the attendance at last night’s event was lower than UFC 229 (20,034), UFC 300 (20,067), and UFC 264 (20,062), which all took place at T-Mobile Arena. UFC 285, which drew a live gate of $12,154,753.10, also had more fans at T-Mobile Arena than UFC 303, at 19,471. That event is the seventh-highest gate in UFC history.

UFC 303 had three short-notice fights at the top of the card. The main event between Pereira and Prochazka came together on June 13. The co-main event, which was supposed to be a featherweight contest between Brian Ortega and Diego Lopes, collapsed on fight day when an injury forced Ortega out of the card. Instead, Lopes faced Dan Igo on fight night in a catchweight contest at 165 pounds. The matchup between Anthony Smith and Roman Dolidze at light heavyweight also came together on short notice.

2024 has been an excellent year for the UFC regarding live gates. In May, the promotion set a record for a Fight Night with a live gate of $2.47 million for the St. Louis card headlined by Derrick Lewis and Rodrigo Nascimento.

That record followed January’s UFC 297, which took place at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. White said of that event, “Let me start this off by thanking you (Toronto)— first of all, gate, $7.6 million US. 18,100 (tickets), sold out. (The) It was the highest-grossing arena gate in history and the highest gate ever for Canada in an arena. Thank you, Canada.”

In February, White announced that UFC 298, which occurred at Honda Center in Anaheim, California, “(UFC 298 was the) Highest grossing live event in arena history, (the) highest-grossing MMA event in California history.”

In March White said of UFC 299, which went down at Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida, “I never thought I would be saying this. We’re here in Miami. The gate was $14.14 million. It was a sellout, 19,165 people. (UFC 299 was) The highest-grossing event ever at the arena, we broke our own record, and it is the fourth highest-grossing UFC event of all time.

UFC 299 fell to No. 5 following UFC 300 in April. It drops to No. 6 after UFC 303.

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