Today I'm going to write a blog on the topic of my upcoming website, the state of MMA in Ontario. Stay tuned for the website within a couple weeks!
On Saturday August 14th, Dalton McGuinty (the premiere of Ontario) announced his groundbreaking decision that he would be moving forward, and he would allow MMA to be legal under the sactioned rules of the New Jersey Athletic Commission. This announcement meant that tens of thousands of MMA fans in the GTA would now have access to UFC shows, but not only that, up and comers could now fight in their home province at local "independent" MMA shows, which will most likely lead to more gyms being opened.
After selling out the 35,000 in around 10 mins, they were forced to release more for the newsletter presale the next day, and the 5,000 or so they released for the free presale were gobbled up quicker then you could blink your eyes. Then for the public on sale date of Feb 12th, the 5,000 or so more they released were quickly bought out as well. At an event where they were skeptical of selling 35,000 they had sold an extra 10,000 in record time. (in perspective 11,000 people attended Strikeforce on the weekend). The tickets ranged from $50-$800 dollars from ticket master, but people are hard pressed to find anything less then $200 now.
The sellout smashed previous UFC attendance and sales record, which was 21,451 at UFC 97 in Montreal (us Canadians love our fighting I guess)
With this record sellout I expect to see at least 2 UFC events per year in the GTA.
UFC 129 will not be the first sanctioned MMA event in Ontario though, as a small show being held at Casino Rama in Orilla has slipped through the cracks and will be held around a month prior to UFC 129. The show will be called "MMA: The Reckoning!". The show will feature Canadian prospect Chris "The Polish Hammer" Horodecki vs. a yet to be names opponent. The show should be good but is in my opinion overpriced for a non-UFC event. The cheapest seats are $60 (on par with UFC's cheapest, but most likely much better seats, and the most expensive are $200, which seems a little much for a show with a bunch of up and comers.
I wish "MMA: The Reckoning!" success, but I think it was a bad move scheduling their show before UFC 129, it would have been a much better idea to wait for people to buy and pay off their UFC tickets before they held their show.
Thanks for reading and I hope to update my blog sometime today!