UFC President Dana White recently revealed which 13 venues have hosted the most UFC events over the course of two decades.
"How crazy is this? These are the venues that have hosted the most @ufc events over the last 20 years. Fight Island, Abu Dhabi and the APEX caught up quick," Dana White wrote as he tweeted a graphic ranking the venues that have staged the most UFC events.
Unsurprisingly, the top five venues are all located in Las Vegas, Nevada. After all, the so-called 'Entertainment Capital of the World' has always been the Mecca of combat sports.
Soon, fight junkies will once again be able to witness UFC events in person, as live crowds are being allowed back into arenas in some states. And in the near future, fans will be able to create new memories as members of the always-electric UFC live audience.
But before that, let's take a look back at some of the most memorable moments that took place in the five venues that have hosted the UFC the most.
#5 T-Mobile Arena
The T-Mobile Arena has witnessed some of the most memorable moments in Conor McGregor's career. In 2016, Conor McGregor redeemed himself in a rematch against Nate Diaz, who handed him his first loss in the UFC. This is also where McGregor made a triumphant return against Donald 'Cowboy' Cerrone after a two-year absence from the octagon in 2020.
But perhaps the most memorable moment in McGregor's career took place at UFC 229, when he finally met Khabib Nurmagomedov, in what was one of the most anticipated matchups in UFC history. The fight itself was remarkable and saw Khabib retain his UFC lightweight crown after submitting McGregor in the fourth-round.
But it was the chaos that ensued in the aftermath of the championship main event that made the pay-per-view so unforgettable. The fight may have ended but the action didn't as Khabib climbed out of the cage to attack McGregor's teammate Dillon Danis, who was watching from the Irishman's corner. Meanwhile, some of Khabib's cornermen rushed toward McGregor in the cage and traded blows with the former two-division champ. Once the dust had settled, both McGregor and Khabib were hit with fines and suspensions.
Aside from that, the T-Mobile Arena also hosted the beginning of a classic rivalry between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. The venue also witnessed Ronda Rousey's last ever fight; a failed bid to reclaim the UFC women's bantamweight title from Amanda Nunes.
#4 Pearl At The Palms
The Pearl Theater at The Palms Casino Resort has been the UFC's go-to venue for The Ultimate Fighter finales throughout the years. Arguably one of the most memorable seasons of TUF was the 10th installment, which featured heavyweight contestants.
In the final round, Team Rashad's Roy 'Big Country' Nelson announced his arrival by finishing off his teammate James McSweeney in the first round. TUF season 10 also introduced UFC fans to stalwarts Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione and, of course, backyard brawling superstar Kimbo Slice.
On top of that, the Pearl Theater also witnessed history as Jon Jones suffered his only career loss during the co-main event of the TUF 10 finale. Jones was on his way to a dominant win against Matt Hamill but was disqualified for dishing out a few illegal elbow strikes. But of course, the loss did nothing to derail Jones's ascent to superstardom and eventual emergence as the UFC light heavyweight GOAT.
#3 Mandalay Bay Events Center
If T-Mobile Arena is McGregor's venue, the Mandalay Bay Events Center belongs to former UFC heavyweight superstar Brock Lesnar. Lesnar's relationship with the Mandalay Bay Events Center is very special, to say the least. It is where the former WWE star received the gift of humility and redemption.
After spending time in professional sports leagues WWE and NFL, Brock Lesnar decided that he was going to conquer the octagon. Lesnar would eventually reach the top in the division, but his UFC debut was spoiled by veteran Frank Mir, who caught Lesnar with a knee bar and forced him to tap out.
Down the line, Lesnar would get his revenge on Mir in the same building. At UFC 100, Lesnar defended his heavyweight crown against challenger Mir and secured a TKO victory in round two.
Mandalay Bay also witnessed the meteoric rise of Anderson Silva. The Brazilian captured the UFC middleweight title against Rich Franklin in the main event of UFC 64: Unstoppable. Months later, Silva returned to Mandalay Bay to kickstart his seven-year reign of terror in the middleweight division.
#2 UFC Apex
The establishment of the UFC Apex is a testament that MMA, as a sport, is pandemic-proof. Thanks to facilities like the UFC Apex and Fight Island (Yas Island), the UFC was able to conduct events even without the presence of a live crowd.
Recently, the Apex has witnessed several momentous events, including the conclusion of the Stipe Miocic-Daniel Cormier trilogy, Khabib Nurmagomedov's final UFC fight, and the beginning of Francis Ngannou's reign as the heavyweight champion.
#1 MGM Grand Garden Arena
The historic MGM Grand Garden Arena has been the grandstand location for some of the biggest fights in boxing and MMA. It also serves as the unofficial home of the UFC, having hosted 43 events in the last 20 years.
MGM has hosted several historic UFC moments, including the birth of the iconic rivalry between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
MGM Grand Garden Arena also hosted the last stand of Anderson Silva and the farewell fight of Georges St. Pierre. The storied venue saw the tragic downfall of Silva, who suffered back-to-back TKO losses against Chris Weidman. Former longtime welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre, on the other hand, retired in the MGM after successfully defending his crown against Johny Hendricks.
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