2022 has been a good year for the UFC as far as money goes. For the first time since 2020, the promotion hosted several “Fight Night” events outside the Apex sand Throughout the pandemic, the UFC wasn’t able to travel to other markets and had to host most of their events at the Apex in Las Vegas.
This year has so far featured bitter rivalries, memorable title fights and legends officially retiring from the sport. The promotion continues to rise and there are still greater fight cards to come.
For the most part, the most anticipated fights have delivered and in some cases, exceeded expectations this year. The success of some events has also been an indicator of who could be the promotion’s next breakout star. This list will look at the five highest UFC gates of 2022 thus far.
#5. UFC Fight Night London- 20 March
Over 17,000 fans packed the O2 Arena and generated a total gate of $4.5 million. The main event saw Tom Aspinall submit former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov at the 3:45 mark of the first round.
#4. UFC 270- January 22
UFC 270 was an excellent start to the year for the promotion. After a strong 2021, they picked up from where they left off last year and featured two strong bouts as headliners. There was plenty of intrigue around the main event featuring Francis Ngannou and Cyril Gane. The pay-per-view took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California, and generated a $5.29 million gate.
The main event determined who would become the undisputed heavyweight champion as Francis Ngannou defended his title against interim champion Cyril Gane. ‘The Predator’ took a risk in accepting the fight, especially considering he was injured and required surgery. It was the final bout of his contract and he did not disappoint. He changed his usual gameplan of blitzing his opponents with strikes and used his improved wrestling to earn the win.
In the co-main event, then flyweight champion Brandon Moreno defended his title against Deiveson Figueiredo. Their trilogy bout was incredible, but this time, Figueiredo earned a unanimous decision win to regain the flyweight championship.
#3. UFC 274- May 8
UFC 274 was a success both in terms of arena attendance and the pay-per-view buys. The event took place at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona, and generated a total gate of $6.13 million. While there were plenty of fights to look forward to, the main talking point was lightweight champion Charles Oliveira missing weight.
Due to Oliveira weighing 155.5lbs, he was stripped of the title, which resulted in Justin Gaethje being the only eligible fighter to win it. Despite the main event only lasting 3:22, it was a thrilling affair.
“The Highlight” dropped “Do Bronx” twice, but couldn’t finish the former champion. Oliveira regrouped and began causing damage with strikes in the clinch before submitting Gaethje with a rear-naked choke.
Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas via split decision in a lackluster co-main event to regain the strawweight championship. The rematch was disappointingly low in action, but the preceding bout between Tony Ferguson and Michael Chandler made up for it.
After a relatively even first-round, ‘Iron’ knocked ‘El Cucuy’ out with a devastating front-kick to earn an important win.
#2. UFC 272- March 6
UFC 272 featured the culmination of one of the sport’s most bitter rivalries. The former American Top Team teammates Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington fought in the main event to settle their disputes. The personal animosity was an effective selling point and it worked as the promotion generated a $6.76 million gate at the T-Mobile Arena.
Despite a few promising moments from ‘Gamebred’, it was a dominant performance for ‘Chaos.’ He repeatedly took Masvidal down, controlled him on the ground, and applied pressure in the standup.
‘Gamebred’ was unable to match Covington’s pace or intensity and it cost him. ‘Chaos’ got the bragging rights by earning a unanimous decision win after the judges scored the bout 50-44, 50-45, and 49-46.
#1. UFC 276- July 3