You may or may not be aware, but MMA (esp. UFC Pay-Per-View) is a HUGE sport in North America. It is so much bigger than traditional boxing, it's silly. To give you an idea, the biggest UFC fight in terms of PPV buys was last summer, and scored about 1.2M buys (at about $39 each for home viewers, and bars pay give-or-take $500 for an event). The biggest boxing event last year got 240,000 buys.
UFC is huge in Canada in particular, the last two events in Montreal (spring 2008 and 2009) have each been the biggest ones ever, with over 22,000 at each event. Montreal has the biggest arena in all of NA, BTW (arena, vs. stadium). With fights, you get all the hockey seats filled, plus a whole bunch more on the floor, so it is a real money-maker, moreso than a hockey game or concert, in part because you get so many crammed in.
Vancouver recently ruled to allow MMA on a two-year trial basis, and right away the UFC has booked a fight for June 12th at GM Place. Tickets will run from $85 to $10,000, so it will be by far the biggest gate ever at GM Place.
Our local event:
Victoria’s Armageddon Fighting Championships Returns with it's Second MMA Cage Fighting Event. After the smashing success of AFC 1: The Big Bang in August 2009, British Columbia's premier Mixed Martial Arts organization (AFC) is set to make their return to the Bear Mountain Arena on March 6 with AFC 2: Aftershock, where UFC veteran Kalib Starnes (9-4-1) will make his return to the cage, as he faces "The Loudmouth Assassin" Marcus Hicks (19-10).
In the co-main event, Nick Hinchliffe (14-5-0) and Dan MacIver (6-0-0) renew acquaintances. Having met in 2008, MacIver looks to remain unbeaten, while the former King of the Cage champion Hinchliffe looks to exact some revenge.
AFC 2: Aftershock also features the MMA debut of Winnipeg Blue Bomber and Victoria native Justin Shaw, the return of UFC 4 veteran Jason Fairn, and much more.
$25 and $35 - General
$40,$50,$60,$80,$100,$125 - Floor Seats
$150 - Cage Side
PHONE FOR TICKETS- 250-478-8384
TICKET LOCATIONS - Juan de Fuca Rec Centre, Sports Traders Downtown, Platinum Lounge in Mayfair, Island MMA / Peterecs and Zuma.
For more info check out AFC's official website
I'll be hoping to get a bit of an interview with the promoter, Jason Heit, he has a colourful history, including stints as as body-guard for some celebs, including Robbie Williams, who, while not big here, is HUGE internationally. AND, the maker of I still think one of the best ahead-of-its-time videos (year 2000), watch (skip ahead to about 2:45 to watch the best part if you want):