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UFC Number Meaning: We Look Into The Numerical Assignments


Last Updated on May 22, 2024

I'm mostly weak and tired during the weekends. And when I'm not out on a date, watching UFC — weird as it sounds — helps me relax and connect with friends indoors. My point here is that I'm not an MMA fanatic or fighter. 

But then…

I realized the UFC events have numbers and didn't quite understand the theme. Neither did my friends. So I did my research to know what it means, just the way you are now. Except I'm way ahead of you, and I've simplified the concept. In this guide, I'll discuss the meaning of UFC numbers and everything you should know about UFC numbers.

Meaning Of UFC Number

Ultimate fighting championship ( UFC) numbers their event in sequential order of how they come up. It might sound easy, but you still notice they have other events and different numbers. This is the simplest way it can be explained.

There was only one type of event at the start of the UFC, the UFC pay-per-view, which was numbered. However, due to MMA's expansion, competitors and fans now benefit from the other UFC competition aside from PPV. 

If you're willing to understand the basics of these numbers tradition, you need to understand each event first.

How UFC PPV Event Numbering Works

The UFC PPV events are the most important of all UFC competitions. They are the numbered event you often see advertised for high-profile or championship bouts. For example, UFC 200.

Most times, the title for UFC PPV consists of the fighter's name, like UFC 262 Chandler vs. Oliveira. Also, trilogies and rematches have an honorific number at the end, like UFC 252: Cormier vs. Miocic 3. They won't have extra texts like Vegas or Fight Island for the number. All these are for non-PPV events.

The numbered UFC events are known for being the most plentiful and first events in history. This explains why they have the highest number of sports. They started from UFC 1, which began in 1993, to the latest event at the time of writing this guide( UFC 276).

The Differences Between Numbered UFC Events

Man wearing black body suit with hood

Aside from the popular PPV competitions, there are several other UFC events. They are selectively named events like UFC Fight Night 48, which does not need a direct purchase. However, you need a paid ESPN + or cable subscription if you wish to watch such an event.

The different names can also give you an overview of the event, like the streaming service or physical location.

Unlike the UFC PPVS events, the non-PPV or fight night event cards are mostly referred to according to the names of the headlining fighters.

Because of this, it might get difficult for you to remember them, unlike the PPV events.

UFC Fight Night

UFC Fight Night is arguably the most popular martial arts competition besides PPV. In addition, the total event card aired through network television without payment made the event notable.

UFC fight night started with UFC Ultimate Fight Night in August 2005 on spike Tv. This is arguably the most popular competition aside from PPV. The total event card aired through network television without payment made the event notable. When UFC Fight Night 6 debuted the following year, the name would be slightly altered by deleting the redundant "Ultimate."

Fight Nights are no less thrilling, even if they frequently lack the top-ranked fighters featured in UFC "numbered" PPV events. Nevertheless, these occasions have given rise to some of the best fights of all time, including the five-round brawl between Anderson Silva and Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 84.

These days, you can enjoy the competition through ESPN+.

UFC Vegas

Because these tournaments usually take place in Enterprise, Nevada (part of the Las Vegas metropolitan area), UFC Vegas's name is a little deceptive. The activities started in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

UFC Vegas events almost always take place in the UFC Apex Center sets them apart from other sporting events. Before UFC Vegas 1, several other UFC events like Woodley vs. Burns. It happened in May 2020.

The Apex Center, conveniently situated close to Las Vegas, is used to hold fights outside other convention facilities.


UFC ESPN+ is a relatively straightforward concept. These events are accessible via the ESPN+ app for those with a paid subscription. This event series, however, should not be confused with the UFC on ESPN, which has a similar name.

In recent years, UFC and ESPN have collaborated to offer a more user-friendly method of watching fights. You can watch all the UFC events fight nights aired on ESPN by downloading the app and subscribing.

UFC Fight Night Events

Woman UFC fighter posing in front of camera

Below are the title fights that went on to become the biggest UFC PPV events in history:

UFC 229: Khabib vs. McGregor (2.4 million buys)  

The biggest fight in UFC history. We are featuring the clash between the most dominant fighter the world has ever seen, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and the unprecedented Irish global superstar, Connor McGregor.

UFC 202: Diaz vs. McGregor II (1.65 million buys) 

This is one of the greatest fights in history. With the motto "Anytime. Anywhere. Nate Diaz fought Connor McGregor at a 170 pounds limit.

UFC 100: Lesnar vs. St-Pierre (1.6 million buys) 

Up to UFC 202, the event held the record for the largest UFC event. It included fights between Brock Lesnar and George St-Pierre, Frank Mir and Thiago Alves, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, and a young Jon Jones.

UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz (1.317 million buys) 

The occasion where one of the biggest surprises in UFC history occurred. Nate Diaz submitted to McGregor to give him his first defeat.

UFC 206: Alvarez vs. McGregor (1.3 million buys) 

The first time UFC visited Madison Square Garden was in New York City. Additionally, it was the event where McGregor eliminated Alvarez in the second round, making history. 

He was the first man to wear two belts at once (being the Lightweight Champion and UFC Featherweight simultaneously).

UFC 194: Aldo vs. McGregor (1.2 million buys)  

The fight that made Connor McGregor a superstar. He beat Aldo in what's acclaimed as the fastest knockout in UFC title fight history, which took only 13 seconds.

UFC 116: Lesnar vs. Carwin (1.16 million buys)  

One of the most significant UFC events, along with UFC 100, when Brock Lesnar was arguably the sport's top star.

The event went on to win Best Major Show of 2010 in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards — it was a first in the UFC. 

UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey (1.1 million buys) 

The event saw Ronda Rousey make her comeback after she had lost her title and invincibility at UFC 193 a year prior. Unfortunately, Ronda's return wasn't triumphant because Amanda Nunes eliminated her in the opening round.

You can stream these iconic fights on UFC Fight Pass with a monthly subscription. The platform also shows every other UFC event, which includes UFC fight nights and Pay-Per-View. However, you'll still have to pay for any PPV event, UFC on ESPN, and main cards on Fight Nights.    

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here, I'll answer some common questions related to UFC numbering:

How Much Do They Pay UFC Fighters?

In 2021,an average UFC fighter earned up to $160,022. About 38% of fighters earned less than $25,000 ( average US income), and over 42% earned six figures in 2021.

Connor McGregor, the highest-paid fighter, made over $10,022,000 without the PPV bonus. 

Where to Watch UFC Events?

1. UFC PPV Events

You need to subscribe to ESPN +, which costs about $4.99 monthly. UFC Fight Night Pass And ESPN+ stream the early preliminaries of the match. But you must pay for the UFC events to watch the main card. 

2. UFC Fight Nights

To watch the UFC night, you just need a subscription to ESPN+. Then, you can access all the fights from the UFC fight night. 

3. UFC on ESPN

All you need is a subscription to ESPN +. 


That's a wrap on UFC numbers meaning, hopefully, you now have a clear picture of what they mean. Just in case you still struggle to grasp the whole concept or can't point it out to curious friends. Remember, it's simply the number of PPV events the UFC holds in ascending chronological order. 

So on UFC fight nights, the number you see is the current one counted from the first fight night at UFC 1.

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