BOSTON — UFC 292 at TD Garden was a roaring success, no matter how you slice it.

From the intangible (crowd reaction) to the tangible (money generated), the first UFC pay-per-view event in Boston since UFC 220 in 2018 made a strong case for the company to return sooner rather than later.

“This thing broke tons of records,” UFC president Dana White said after Saturday night’s action at TD Garden. “The gate, the pay per view. Social media was massive, too, and now that (Sean O’Malley) won, it’s probably going to be even bigger.

“We’re going to do an economic study on Boston. The economic impact that we had on this city had to be massive, too — for not a Celtics or a Bruins game or Patriots game, you know what I mean? So, big night. Big night.”

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White announced Saturday’s attendance as 18,293, a sold-out crowd that brought energy from start to finish. According to White, the $7.25 million gate revenue for UFC 292 made it the highest-grossing event in TD Garden history besides the NBA Finals featuring the Boston Celtics.

“We’re the biggest thing other than — the craziest (expletive) sports town on earth — their team that plays here,” White said. “We’re the biggest thing that’s ever been here.”

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The main card was headlined by two title fights: Aljamain Sterling defending the bantamweight championship against Sean O’Malley, and Zhang Weili defending the women’s strawweight belt against Amanda Lemos.

Weili emerged victorious in the co-main event, dominating her opponent, much to the delight of the Boston crowd.

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“Boston is amazing. I love this city so much,” Weili said through a translator. “In 2019, I was here to watch an event and I liked here. So, then from that time, I was thinking, ‘OK, maybe one day I can fight in Boston.’ So, when UFC told me, ‘How about we fight in Boston for this fight,’ I said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ And it’s kind of a dream come true. It’s unbelievable that the people in this city give me such massive support. Yeah, I love Boston.”

While Weili clearly was a fan favorite, O’Malley stole the show. The crowd cheered anytime he was shown on the big screens ahead of the main event. And his second-round knockout of Sterling — the product of a brutal right hook — nearly blew the roof off TD Garden.

“I know the bantamweight championship merch is already going (expletive) crazy right now,” O’Malley said. “It’s crazy.”

“Anytime I get an excuse to come back to Boston, I’m coming, believe me.”

UFC president Dana White after UFC 292 at TD Garden

As supportive as the fans were toward Weili and O’Malley, the same can’t be said for Sterling, a New York native who already cemented himself as one of the greatest bantamweights in UFC history. The crowd mercilessly booed him during his walkout and introduction, creating a fascinating dynamic for the main event.

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“I think it makes it fun. There’s a good guy and a bad guy,” Sterling said of being jeered. “I don’t know why I’m the bad guy, but I’m the bad guy. So, just embrace it, have fun with it. It’s kinda like a WWE thing. I think we all kinda grew up watching that. There’s always someone you love to cheer for (and) there’s someone you love to hate. And I think that’s what makes it fun. I don’t really look too much into that. I use the boos to kinda fuel me.

” … The boos don’t bother me. If anything, I’m glad the crowd actually has a reaction.”

So, when will UFC return to Boston?

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“Anytime I get an excuse to come back to Boston, I’m coming, believe me,” White, a New England native (and huge Patriots fan), said. “Like I say when we go to all these cities — and listen, we’ve been selling out since you could put people back in the arena again, and there’s so many places that we haven’t been. When we do these events, we have lots of sponsors and other people who are here, so people were hitting me up, ‘When are you coming back to Chicago? When are you coming back here? When are you coming back there?’ So, (there are) so many cities that we’ve got to get back to. But I love this city. I love the Encore. I love the food in the North End. I love the steak tips out in South Boston. I’ll get back here as many times as I possibly can.”

If there was any question as to whether Boston, a massive sports city, has a hunger for consistent UFC events, it surely was answered in the affirmative Saturday night.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images