It’s been just under a year since the UFC brought legal professional mixed martial arts back to New York with UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden. That event broke several arena and UFC records, including an MSG record live gate of $17.7 million, breaking the previous mark of $13.5 million set by Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield in 1999.
Saturday’s return to the Garden at UFC 217 won’t generate quite as much, but UFC president Dana White believes it still will be among the richest in MSG history.
“We’re No. 1 here, this weekend we’ll be No. 3,” White said. “It took so long to get here and now we’re No. 1 and No. 3.”
This will be the sixth UFC event in New York and third in the city, and White said the company wants to keep bringing events to the state.
“New York’s been very good to us. Since we got this thing done, it’s been great here and we’re going to continue to come,” White said. “I want to be No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 at MSG.”
Jedrzejczyk best female fighter ever?
Joanna Jedrzejczyk plans to stake her claim as the UFC’s most successful female fighter on Saturday. A win over Rose Namajunas in their strawweight championship bout would give the Polish fighter her sixth consecutive title defense, tying Ronda Rousey’s mark during her tenure as bantamweight champion.
“We are making history, definitely. I will make history on Saturday. I want to tie Ronda Rousey’s record of six title defenses, but I will break the record of seven title fights in the women’s divisions.”
Besting Rousey, however, isn’t Jedrzejczyk’s endgame.
“I break records in every fight, but the thing is, it’s more about my legacy, it’s all about staying undefeated. It’s more important than all of these records,” Jedrzejczyk said. “I will retire in the future as undefeated, I have this chance, I have this opportunity and I will make this happen.”
Namajunas, who will make her second appearance in a strawweight title fight, is keeping her focus more squarely on the task at hand. “The fight on Saturday, that’s definitely what’s going through my head right now,” Namajunas said. “That’s all that matters.”