A crowd of 7,596 enthusiastic fans flocked to the USF Sundome to witness the UFC’s first venture into Tampa. UFC Fight Night 17, headlined by Joe Lauzon and Jeremy Stephens, raked in a live gate of $428,000. The final figures should be released by the Florida State Boxing Commission some time next week.
The last major MMA event held in Florida had been EliteXC’s “Heat” at the Bank Atlantic Center. EliteXC’s final card under the guide of Jeremy Lappen and Jared “Skala” Shaw attracted 7,701 spectators to Sunrise, FL. and fetched a live gate of $677,793 and 847 of those seats had been given out as “comped” tickets.
After UFC Fight Night 17 concluded, Dana White spoke to the St. Petersburg Times and informed them that the UFC will return to Tampa in 2010.