LeBron James will own the Staples Center starting in October, but on Saturday night, the UFC had ownership rights with UFC 227: Dillashaw vs. Garbrandt 2. Headlined by two title fights, UFC 227 drew 17,800 fans for a gate of $2.9 million.
The last time the Octagon was in Staples Center was UFC 184: Rousey vs. Zingano on February 28, 2015. The organization drew 16,577 fans for a gate of $2.6 million for that event. UFC 227 tied UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie for the largest MMA gate in Staples Center history.
While some may have criticized the lack of depth beyond the top two fights, the action in the cage delivered, especially during the pay-per-view portion.
Fight of the Night honors went to Demetrious Johnson and Henry Cejudo for their five-round flyweight classic. The two fighters engaged in one of the most technical and tactical fights to ever take place inside the Octagon. While Johnson showed off his striking prowess, attacking the legs and body of Cejudo with kicks, the Olympic wrestler pushed forward, controlling Mighty Mouse on the ground and in the clinch. In the end, Cejudo did just enough to take the flyweight title away from the longtime champion, earning the split decision nod.
Bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw earned one Performance of the Night bonus with his TKO victory over Cody Garbrandt. After getting rocked early in the fight, Dillashaw staggered the challenger with a nasty counter. Much like he did in their first bout, he swarmed on Garbrandt, unloading with a series of strikes that forced the referee to jump in.
The other Performance of the Night bonus went to Alex Perez, who stopped the undefeated Jose Torres in the first round with strikes.
Johnson, Cejudo, Dillashaw, and Perez earned an extra $50,000 for their efforts.
Attendance - 17,800
Gate - $2.9 million
Fight of the Night ($50,000 each) - Demetrious Johnson vs. Henry Cejudo
Performance of the Night ($50,000 each) - TJ Dillashaw and Alex Perez