2023 UFC Recap – Highlights and Lowlights

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It’s time for our 2023 UFC recap. UFC 296 was the final event of the year. The next UFC event isn’t until January 13th 2024. We’re going to look back at the highlights and lowlights of the year.

We’re going to review how our handicappers performed betting on the UFC in 2023.

We’ll also dig into the numbers, such as how many fights there were, how those fights ended, records that were broken and much more in our 2023 UFC recap. Let’s start by reviewing our handicappers.

2023 UFC Recap – Handicappers Review

We had 22 handicappers turn a profit betting on MMA in 2023.

Ben Burns (+$600) and Kyle Parker (+$600) generated the most profit this year. You can access all of our UFC predictions by signing up to Sports Hub. We release UFC predictions for every single event.

When logged into your account, you can also view the complete MMA betting leaderboard.

We’re planning on having a huge 2024 betting on the UFC and we’d love for you to join along with us.

We’ll now analyze some stats, numbers and records in our 2023 UFC recap.

2023 UFC Recap – Stats, Numbers and Records

The UFC set multiple records in 2023 and the business continues to grow exponentially.

We’ll dig into some of those numbers in our 2023 UFC recap. This year was the UFC’s 30th anniversary and revenues were higher than ever before. More people watched and bet on the UFC than ever before.

Here’s some data released by the UFC about how this year went for the company:

  • The UFC sold out 20 events and set gate records in nine of those events.
  • The company signed its biggest sponsorship deal with Anheusr-Busch (Worth $100M+).
  • The UFC set a record in sponsorship revenue (25% increase from 2022).
  • UFC Fight Pass had more subscribers in 2023 than any other year.
  • Noche UFC was the most streamed Fight Night card on ESPN+ in the company’s history.
  • The UFC had 1.9 billion views on their YouTube channel in 2023.
  • UFC.com set a record for visits in a year (115.2 million).

How Many UFC Events Were Held in 2023

The UFC hosted 43 events in 2023. Here’s a quick breakdown for our 2023 UFC recap:

  • There were 17 events hosted at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
  • There were 14 pay-per-view (PPV) events.
  • The UFC visited eight countries in 2023.
  • The UFC visited 21 cities in 2023.

The UFC set a record for highest attended Fight Night card of all-time, as 18,712 attended the Charlotte card (UFC Fight Night: Rozenstruik vs. Almeida) back in May 2023. UFC 295 had a Gross Total Revenue of $12,432,563, which was the second highest-grossing event in Madison Square Garden history.

The UFC will continue to set gate records, as the sport has never been more popular.

How Many UFC Fights Were Held in 2023

We’ll now analyze the total number of fights and other interesting facts in our 2023 UFC recap.

There were 520 UFC fights in 2023. The lightweight division had the most fights (77), followed up by the welterweight division (61), featherweight division (60), middleweight division (56) and bantamweight division (55). There were 35 heavyweight fights in 2023, which are always popular with UFC fans.

There were 19 undisputed title fights, with six title changes taking place in 2023. Four champions were at the top of their division all year (Alexander Volkanovski at featherweight, Islam Makhachev at lightweight, Leon Edwards at welterweight and Zhang Weili at women’s strawweight).

The women’s bantamweight and women’s featherweight titles are vacant due to Amanda Nunes retiring.

Here are some interesting facts we wanted to include in our 2023 UFC recap:

  • The total fight time of all fights was 93 hours, 59 minutes and 21 seconds this year.
  • There were 159 knockout victories (30.6% of all fights).
  • There were 102 submission victories (19.6% of all fights).
  • There were 248 fights that went the distance (47.7% of all fights).
  • There were 125 fighters that made their UFC debut in 2023.
  • There were 159 Fight Night bonuses awarded in 2023.

2023 UFC Recap – Fights of the Year

We’re going to recap some of the biggest UFC fights of the year in our 2023 UFC recap.

  1. Islam Makhachev vs. Alexander Volkanovski (UFC 284)

Without a doubt, the first fight between Makhachev vs. Volkanovski was the “Fight of the Year”. The fight went the distance, with both fighters doing damage, but Makhachev earned the unanimous decision win.

  1. Brandon Moreno vs. Alexandre Pantoja II (UFC 290)

Pantoja has Moreno’s number. Pantoja defeated Moreno on The Ultimate Fighter. He also defeated him at UFC Fight Night 129 in 2018. The two met at UFC 290 in July of this year. The fight went the distance, but Pantoja won a split decision, which means he’s 3-0 against Moreno in his career.

  1. Justin Gaethje vs. Rafael Fiziev (UFC 286)

These two had a slugfest at UFC 286 back in March. Gaethje risked it all to slug it out with one of the best strikers in the UFC. Gaethje ended up winning the striking battle (106 vs. 97) to earn a decision win. Both fighters earned a $50,000 Fight of the Night Bonus for the show they put on for the fans.

  1. Geoff Neal vs. Shavkat Rakhmonov (UFC 285)

Rakhmonov went 2-0 this year, with both wins coming by submission. His first fight was against Neal and it was one of the best fights of the year. Both guys dealt out a lot of damage, but neither folded from the big shots. Rakhmonov ended up landing one of the submissions of the year in the final round to win.

  1. Irene Aldana vs. Karol Rosa (UFC 296)

I wanted to include one women’s fight in these rankings for our 2023 UFC recap. This fight just happened at UFC 296 earlier in December. It was a slugfest between two strong women. The two fighters combined to throw nearly 700 strikes. Rosa landed 204, while Aldana landed 145. Aldana had more power and won.

That wraps up our 2023 UFC recap, we’ll see you in the New Year with our expert UFC predictions.