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White sets UFC 175 gate expectations too high for Rousey and company

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With his bold prediction of a $5,000,000 gate for UFC 175, Dana White found a way to turn the ninth highest UFC gate in Nevada into something of a disappointment.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

One note of interest from this weekend's two-card "International Fight Week" put on by the UFC was the live gate numbers for UFC 175.

The show did a live gate of $4.4 million, making it the ninth biggest UFC gate in Las Vegas history, behind Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar but ahead of Quinton Jackson vs. Chuck Liddell. This is obviously a solid gate, made even better by the fact that it was at Mandalay Bay as opposed to the MGM Grand, which has far more seats.

What makes it odd, is that UFC president Dana White told Yahoo Sports just last week that the live gate for the card was going to eclipse $5,000,000.

I can't stress enough that $4,400,000 is not a bad gate. It's a good gate. But it's also only 88% of the $5,000,000 Dana claimed the gate would surpass.

It's not as though White was in the dark on how ticket sales were doing at that point, so there was either a late press for tickets that he expected which did not take place or he was trying to make the event seem more in demand than it was and drive up interest.

Either way, it made the announcement of the gate number seem less impressive. In fact, it seemed downright disappointing. It was, after all, a number that was more than half a million short of the "business has never been better" rant White was on while talking to Yahoo.

Adding to the situation, Ronda Rousey's last fight--at UFC 170--saw White make public predictions that the gate would top $2 million, but only came in at $1.5 million.

It makes one question why White gives these bravado filled predictions. What benefit is there, really?

It would be totally honest to state that the last two Rousey gates--a fighter White has called "the biggest star they've ever had"--both came in at least half a million dollars short of public UFC predictions.

That makes it seem as though the Rousey business is far from booming and creates a narrative of "disappointing performances" that would not exist were it not for the UFC president's need to brag before the money has all been counted.