will set European mixed martial arts gate and attendance records when the show bows at the 02 Arena in London, UFC UK president and managing director of international development Marshall Zelaznik said on a Thursday conference call for the event.
Demand for tickets was so high that UFC recently reconfigured the arena to allow additional seats to be made available. Zelaznik later told MMA Fighting that over 17,000 fans would fill the arena, breaking the record of 16,693 from UFC 105 in Nov. 2009.
"I think it's a testament to how big the UFC is getting here in Europe and the UK, and a testament to the fighters themselves," Zelaznik said.
The largest gate in European MMA history took place at the same venue, when 16,235 fans paid $2.7 million to watch Quinton "Rampage" Jackson defeat Dan Henderson and unify the UFC and PRIDE 205-pound titles at UFC 75 in September 2007.
While UFC 120 doesn't feature any title fights, the strong appeal to British UK fans is clear, with British fighters taking roles in the three biggest fights of the evening.
In the main event, Michael Bisping
takes on Yoshihiro Akiyama
. In the co-main event, former No. 1 welterweight contender Dan Hardy
looks to rebound from his UFC 111 title loss to Georges St. Pierre against Carlos Condit
, and buzz-worthy 22-year-old prospect John Hathaway
looks to improve to a perfect 15-0 with a win over veteran Mike Pyle
"When I fight in England the crowd's fantastic and they get behind me. That feels very special," Bisping said. "I always feel an extra incentive to perform and give the fans what they came to see."