Thousands attend UFC Fight Night in Rio Rancho

Local Sports

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – UFC is back in the Land of Enchantment and fans can’t be happier.

“Love UFC, man. It’s a great time. Who doesn’t love fighting, death, it’s amazing,” said a fan. Thousands of fans flooded the Santa Ana Star Center for the Main Event between Corey Anderson and Jan Blachowicz.

“Blood, finishes, decisions are great, but we saw last week, they play a factor so finish the fight,” Anthony Heller of Wisconsin said. But the big attraction for many new Mexicans, the chance to see local favorites like John Dodson, Tim Means, and Diego Sanchez.

Fans were cheering on fight after fight since early Saturday afternoon. It’s a big moment for our state since the last time UFC brought fights to New Mexico was 2014 in Albuquerque. Local fans who spoke to KRQE said it’s been too long since New Mexicans were given the opportunity to see their favorite fighters in the octagon.

“Everything is always in Vegas, New York City, and I think the smaller crowds, smaller towns are amazing. They’re the ones that support them daily. I think it’s wonderful,” said Yvette Chavez of New Mexico.

Locals say they event brought the community together and hope it’s not the last time UFC is in town. “Of course it puts us on the map a little bit more, and everyone that’s coming out here will help with the income and the hotels, and the foodservice, and it will just be great for our community,” said New Mexcian Michelle Perry.

UFC officials say the arena was near capacity with nearly 7,000 people in attendance.

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