UFC returns to Toronto…again
By Adriano Mancini
The UFC will once again be returning to Toronto for the third time since the Ontario government legalized the sport in early 2011 with UFC 152.
The success of UFC 129, which was the first legalized UFC event in Ontario, set the bar too high for any other events that were to take place.
The sold-out Rogers Centre was the host venue for UFC 129. It was the first official UFC event to take place in Ontario.
The fight card for that historic event featured fan favourites Georges St-Pierre and Jose Aldo to name a few.
“That first fight in Toronto was considered a historic event, everybody wanted to be a part of the first UFC event in Toronto,” said Morgan Campbell, a business reporter for The Toronto Star. “So they easily filled up 55,000 people.”
Yet what many fans are describing as a respectable fight card with reasonable ticket prices, many tickets remain available to the public.
“Today people will take the time to look at the card, look at the price and decide if they want to go,” said Campbell. “The fact that this event is not historic anymore doesn’t help.”
UFC fan Jeffrey Santos, 21, said Saturday’s fight card may have something to do with lack of public interest.
“Other than the Jones fight, this card is not that exciting in terms of fighters,” said Santos.
Despite a large quantity of tickets still available to the public, many hardcore UFC fans don’t believe the sport has reached a plateau in terms of popularity.
“I think the sport is still popular, I usually watch every UFC event at a bar or restaurant and it is sometimes difficult to find a place that still has seating available,” said Brandon Amaral, 23, an avid UFC fan.
UFC 152 takes place in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday September, 22nd 2012.