According to UFC president Dana White, UFC 261 is the first full capacity indoor sporting event since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Tickets to the event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla. sold out and 15,000 fans are expected to be in attendance for Saturday's pay-per-view
As the preliminary bouts got started It appeared to be a packed house UFC 261, which is being headlined by the second fight between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal for the welterweight title. In these shots provided by the UFC's official Twitter account, it certainly looks like fans came out in droves to catch some of the hard-hitting action.
The interest certainly isn't surprising as several hundred fans showed up at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena for Thursday's press conference regarding UFC 261. Florida governor Ron DeSantis had previously informed White that Florida is an "open state," and would be happy to host the UFC and its fans.
"We (told White) we're an open state and we want to be able to allow people to make decisions for themselves about what they want to attend," DeSantis said during the press conference. "I think UFC is better for his courage and quite frankly this event is good for Florida. It's going to be great for people watching on TV to see the fans back and see all these things happening."
Jacksonville was also home to the UFC last May when it became the first arena to hold a sporting event after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the country.
For Saturday's UFC 261 pay-per-view, safety precautions will be taken. Face masks will be handed out to fans upon their entry to the arena.
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.