Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2009 | 4:45 p.m.
Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Keith Kizer today released the official figures from UFC 94, which drew 14,885 attendees for a live gate of $4,290,020.
The gate total for the Jan. 31 card at the MGM Grand, which featured a welterweight title showdown between Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn, becomes the sixth-largest in UFC history and right at the mark that UFC president Dana White announced in a post fight media conference.
The attendance number puts it at the top of the list for the 13 shows held inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, surpassing UFC 94 (Penn vs. Sherk) held on May 24, 2008. Some 1,263 spectators were given complimentary tickets.
The UFC’s top gate came at UFC 66 when the featured match (a rematch) between Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz drew $5,397,300. UFC 83 (St. Pierre vs. Matt Serra II), which set an attendance record of 21,390, drew $5,100,000.
The Worldly White: In other UFC news, Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole caught up with White on Monday after his return from Mexico City, where White was negotiating a TV deal for the first live card in the country.
The jetlagged White — who said he wanted to be part of the UFC crew (co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta and vice president for regulatory affairs Marc Ratner) that traveled today to Montreal to meet with Quebec athletic commission officials to hopefully rectify the rules situation concerning UFC 97, which is scheduled for April 18 at the Bell Center — will have to instead settle for another plane ride, as his itinerary takes him to the United Kingdom to watch over Saturday’s UFC 95 promotions at London’s O2 Arena.
Leopoldo Arrested: UFC veteran Kimo Leopoldo was arrested Monday on possession of methamphetamine.
According to TMZ, Leopoldo, who recently announced his desire to head the California State Athletic Commission, was arrested by Orange County police after the 41-year-old fighter was seen wearing a police jumpsuit with a badge “only cops are allowed to wear.”
The report charged Leopoldo with possession of a controlled substance as a subsequent search of Leopoldo’s car revealed a small amount of a drug thought to be meth.