UFC 302 Becomes Highest Grossing Event in Prudential Center History After Electrifying Fight Card

On Saturday, Newark’s Prudential Center hosted UFC 302, the promotion’s first time returning to the arena since May 2023. The electric night of fighting was only enhanced by the vibrant crowd in Newark that brought the event to life. The event boasted a gate of $7,255,040, which makes it the highest-grossing event in the Prudential Center’s history. In front of the sold-out crowd of 17,834, the fights delivered, especially the main event, which ended in exciting fashion.

When talking about the promotion’s history in the Garden State, UFC President & CEO Dana White said “Basically 25 years ago… we were the first one here in Jersey. So, Jersey has always been good to us and it’s always fun to come back here.”

The UFC’s impact on the Garden State goes beyond fight night, as it was reported that $25.1 million was generated in economic impact for the Newark metropolitan area after hosting UFC 288 last May. With an even bigger gate and a highly anticipated main event, this number may easily be beaten by the latest bouts.

“Demand for UFC events has never been stronger,” said Lawrence Epstein, UFC Chief Operating Officer, “and this study proves the broader economic benefits that UFC brings to the communities that host our events. The city of Newark and Prudential Center have always been great partners to us, and we thank Governor Phil Murphy for leading the charge to once again bring UFC back to the Garden State. We’re looking forward to another incredible night of action-packed fights.”

Stars Were Out in Garden State

As with many UFC events, there was tons of star power throughout the arena, from athletes to comedians, everyone wanted a piece of the action in Newark. Among the star-studded crowd was former president Donald Trump, comedian Theo Von and various UFC fighters including former and current champions Alex Pereira, Justin Gaethje and Brandon Moreno.

The celebrity-filled crowd also included many people special to Jersey, including New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, ‘Jersey Shore’ stars Mike Sorrentino and Vinny Guadagnino and NY native and actor Chazz Palminteri.

Action-Packed Card Leaves NJ Fans Satisfied

The fight card boasted lots of star power from fan favorites like Kevin Holland to former champions such as Sean Strickland and current champion Islam Makhachev. The most talked about fight of the evening, however, was unsurprisingly the main event between lightweight champion Islam Makhachev and challenger Dustin Poirier.

Having spent over 13 years with the UFC, Poirier had fought with some of the most notorious fighters in the world including Conor McGregor, Khabib Nurmagomedov and Charles Oliveira. However, despite his impressive resume, he was never able to claim the title of undisputed champion.

In what may have been the last fight of his career, Poirier put on a show, competing with the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC in a battle that was much closer than the one-sided betting odds predicted. However, Poirier ultimately ended up losing in round 5 via submission, allowing Islam Makhachev to keep his title and spot as the number one fighter in the UFC. The fight was electric, filled with ups and downs and both fighters leaving everything out in the octagon, which earned them Fight of the Night honors.

While the co-main event between Sean Strickland and Paulo Costa left many fans wanting more, the bout still saw two of the world’s best middleweights go at it. Additionally, Kevin Holland secured an electrifying submission in the previous fight, winning in just over a minute and earning Performance of the Night honors along with Islam Makhachev.