UFC 299 and 300 stacking raising concern for future events

By Noah Amaral, Owen Matthews and Tim Kalinowski

UFC 299 took place this past weekend and was a major success for the company. 

The event was held in Miami and broke financial records in the fighting world. The gate for this event was reported to be 14.4 million by president Dana White at the post fight press conference. Which is the fourth-highest gate in the company’s history, only behind UFC 205, UFC 229 and UFC 264. The one thing all those events have in common is that they were headlined by Conor McGregor. UFC 299 also set the record for the highest-selling gate at the Kaseya Center across all sports.

In the UFC’s return to Miami, they brought one of their biggest cards ever. The card was headlined by Bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley and Marlon “Chito” Vera. It featured 15 ranked fighters with exciting matchups across all weight divisions. O’Malley successfully defended his title against Vera in a dominant performance, while fan favorites Dustin Poirier and Petr Yan also picked up victories. 

After such a massive event, UFC 300 is on the horizon. It’s being advertised as one of the biggest events in the company’s history, containing three title fights and headlined by Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill for the light heavyweight title. The card features eleven current or former champions, which is more than any event by far, as well as superstar fighters such as Charles Oliveira, Justin Gaethje, and Max Holloway. The card’s opening fight is Deiveson Figueredo vs Cody Garbrandt, which is a clash of two former champions. It’s safe to assume that UFC 300 will see just as much or more success than UFC 299 did, considering it is seen as the much bigger and more exciting card.

The main concern in the MMA world now, is what will future events in the coming months look like considering the company has decided to stack these two cards early in the year. The UFC only has so many high-profile fighters at their disposal. As every month features a pay-per-view event, it is expected that the main event features a major star, or a few stars throughout the main card. That’s how every event has looked throughout the years, however, the UFC wanted to go bigger for UFC 299 and 300, and it took up a lot of their available roster.

The company has booked UFC 301 in São Paulo Brazil, and a main event is yet to have been announced as well as many other fights on the card as well. It was expected that light heavyweight champion Alex Pereira was going to defend his title in his homeland of Brazil once the event was announced. In an interview with MMA journalist Cole Shelton, he said “UFC 301 was supposed to be Pereira vs Hill and UFC 300 was supposed to be Adesanya vs Du Plessis, but I was told by someone from Du Plessis’ team that he wasn’t ready to make that quick of a turnaround so they had to push Pereira and Hill up to 300.” Pereira was seen to be fit for the headlining spot as he is a major star. So it leaves UFC 301 without a main event and this goes for the upcoming events too. Many fighters are booked, and champions usually take 4-6 months in between fights, so that will rule out champions who fought at the beginning of 2024 such as Middleweight champion Dricus Du Plessis, featherweight champion Ilia Topuria and bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley. 

The UFC was also hoping for the return of Conor Mcgregor for the summer, which would make their main event issue much easier, however, the millionaire superstar has been out of action since 2021, and with contract issues and shooting a movie, President Dana White mentioned that he’s hoping for McGregor to return in the fall, at a post-fight press conference.

The UFC is going to have their work cut out for them to make sure they can fill up the rest of the pay per view, MMA journalist Cole Shelton offered an alternative option to UFC’s problem, saying “They should do less pay per views and less fight night cards, I think you should a pay per view every other month, that way you can put two title fights on a card and stack cards without worrying.” 

With the roster that the UFC has to offer, there will always be fighters available to fill up events, but the UFC will have to rethink its process of creating cards that don’t ruin the future cards that they have lined up.