Ultimate Fighting Championship Makes History: Record-Breaking Sales, Global Allure, and Epic Upset.
15 September 2023Photo by Glenn Pokorny
UFC 293, held at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena on 10 September 2023, marked the promotion’s sixth visit to Sydney and first since November 2017. The event not only delivered twelve breathtaking bouts but also shattered records, showcased the UFC’s global appeal, and witnessed an unforgettable upset in the world of mixed martial arts.
The excitement surrounding UFC 293 was palpable from as early as the public on-sale with initial ticket allocations selling in an astonishing 13 minutes as fans rushed to secure their seats, amassing over $10.7 million in total ticket sales. This monumental result surpassed the previous Arena record held by the Rolling Stones by a remarkable 92%, highlighting the UFC’s unparalleled drawing power.
UFC 293 attracted fans from around the world, with a large number of attendees coming from outside New South Wales (NSW). This interstate turnout emphasised the UFC’s status as a global sports phenomenon and demonstrated the universal appeal of mixed martial arts.
“This is the third time a numbered UFC event has been held at Qudos Bank Arena and was by far the biggest”, said Qudos Bank Arena General Manager Steve Hevern. “It is really pleasing to see the momentum continuing to build post-COVID. It is clear that the fans have spoken and live entertainment is well and truly back. UFC 293 was one for the ages. It was a massive effort by the entire Arena team, and I couldn’t be prouder of their determination to deliver a seamless operation that produced memorable experiences across the board.”
The event reached its zenith with the main event, where Sean Strickland defeated Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight championship belt. This victory will be remembered as one of the most significant upsets in recent MMA history.
The presence of over 1,000 corporate guests at UFC 293 highlighted the growing corporate support for the sporting extravaganza. The 360-degree configuration of the main auditorium allowed for the opening of the Contender Lounge, a unique super suite that offered a premium setting for over 100 guests. It was a record-breaking night for corporate sales, emphasising the increasing recognition of UFC’s global reach across all price categories.
UFC 293 wasn’t limited to the action inside the Arena, it spilled out into the community with two free events attended by thousands of fans, with the Press Conference on Thursday and Ceremonial Weigh-Ins on Friday adding to the excitement of the week. The UFC Fan Experience outside the venue provided fans with an immersive experience, allowing them to partake in activities that included athlete interviews, Legacy belt, Fighter faceoffs, striking machines, and access to merchandise.
Further to breaking records in ticket sales and corporate support, there was also a staggering number of food and beverage serves as fans enjoyed the event to the fullest, adding to the overall spectacle.
“Fans had waited six long years for UFC to return to Sydney and they celebrated by turning out in record numbers for an unforgettable week of events, culminating with an incredible fight card last Sunday at Qudos Bank Arena”, said UFC Vice President Australia and New Zealand, Peter Kloczko.
“We are incredibly proud to have partnered with the NSW Government to deliver a brilliant program of events for UFC 293 fight week that captivated MMA fans across the city and thousands more that travelled to Sydney from far and wide to immerse themselves in the action.”
UFC 293 will be remembered as a historic occasion that transcended the Octagon. It showcased the UFC’s global allure, shattered records, and delivered a heroic upset that left fans in awe. As the UFC continues to captivate audiences worldwide, events like UFC 293 serve as a testament to the enduring power of mixed martial arts to unite fans, athletes, and corporate partners in shared moments of excitement and triumph.
Photos by Glenn Pokorny
Video by Aaron Leslie
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