Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

UFC 303 overcame last-minute changes to deliver an exciting night for fans. The main event, featuring Alex Pereira’s stunning second-round knockout of Jiri Prochazka, and the co-main event with Dan Ige stepping up on short notice against Diego Lopes, were particular highlights.

During the post-fight press conference, Dana White hinted that Conor McGregor’s reign as the face of MMA might be nearing its end.

McGregor was originally scheduled to return after a three-year layoff, but a broken toe forced him to withdraw. This threatened the entire event until Pereira stepped in.

According to MMA journalist Jason Hagholm, White acknowledged Pereira’s impact on ticket sales. Hagholm tweeted, “Dana White can’t say Pereira’s the UFC’s greatest striker ever, but confirms Pereira revived the Light Heavyweight Division.” White reportedly added, “Pereira’s fights brought in the UFC’s 3rd & 4th highest gates ever, so he might be the new face of MMA now.”

Pereira’s Performance Earns Recognition

While McGregor is known for generating massive pay-per-view buys, Pereira is proving his own drawing power. UFC 303 secured the fourth-highest gate in UFC history with $15,909,243 and 18,881 fans in attendance. Pereira’s impressive win likely garnered him a significant new fanbase.

Despite the potential revenue McGregor could have brought, White seemed satisfied with UFC 303’s turnout and finances, with Pereira as the new star attraction.