This event was the first UFC event hosted in New York City. It was also the first UFC event hosted in the state of New York after the longtime professional MMA ban was revoked in early 2016. To this point, UFC 7 was the only event contested in the state, taking place in September 1995 in Buffalo.
The UFC worked tirelessly to surpass the law that forbade professional mixed martial arts events in the state, including a drastic measure: they announced an event (UFC 197) for the Madison Square Garden, despite the ban still being in effect.
However, it was announced that a preliminary injunction allowing the promotion to hold the event was denied by a federal judge.The event was eventually moved and contested in the promotion’s home base of Las Vegas, Nevada.