UFC is going where? That had to be the cry from many folks when the promotion decided to hold an event in market No. 72. The region's population is only 625,000 but it turned out in full force and really embraced Ultimate Fight Night 15. The event at the Omaha Civic Auditorium drew 9,103 and did an arena record gate of $700,000.
UFC president Dana White was giddy about the support shown for the event telling the Omaha News-World the city got itself a future pay-per-view event.
"No doubt," White said. "That crowd was rocking. It sounded like a pay-per-view in here."
Give partial credit for the success to the media. Mixed martial arts promotions really struggle at times to get the local media to blow up an event but The News-World writer Nick Rubek did an excellent job with his fight night story and also did an extensive post-fight notebook.
He seemed to have good knowledge of the sport using this line to describe the main event:
MMA purists will tell you it doesn't get much better than the conclusion to the evening's main event between Nate Diaz and Josh Neer. Not necessarily because of slugout finish or an electrifying knockdown. Quite the opposite, actually.
He also mentioned that Diaz shirked his media responsibilities before and after the fight:
In the true drama moment of the night, headliner Diaz put on a second performance in the post event press conference. Sitting next to Guida, Diaz was asked about the possibility of a fight with the an to his right. That's about the time Nick Diaz, Nate's older brother, burst into the room and caused a scene, telling Nate to wrap it up. Nate, who sprinted out of the arena to avoid interviews on Tuesday, promptly got up and shuffled out of the room on his way out of the arena.
Rubek was also on the ball picking up on a diss by Eric Schafer. If you watched the cage closely after his win over Houston Alexander was sealed, Schafer made a funny face as he mocked Alexander's signature troop salute.