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A lot is being made of the low gate for UFC 81:

The gap between total and paid attendance for UFC 81 means a number of complimentary tickets were given out -- 3,416 in total. "Comps" also affected UFC 81's live gate, which was just $2.4 million -- the sixth lowest out of the venue's past seven UFC events.

There are some easy explanations for this that don't fit the delusional "UFC is Dying" mantra that floats around various parts of the online MMA world.

First, UFC 79 in Vegas was just 1 month before this, and drew the second highest gate ever, with the highest ticket prices UFC has ever charged.  Ticket prices were down slightly for this, but they were still higher than they were last May for Quinton Jackson and Chuck Liddell's big fight.  It's just too much money in too short of a period of time, the good seats were going at 1000 for 79 and 800 for this one.  Dana really needs to watch these price increases during a period of economic crunch.

And further the appeal of the show was to try to get WWE TV fans to watch it out of curiosity.  The jury is still out on that one.