It’s slim goddamn pickings this morning for news, but one bit of stupidity I wanted to comment on was the idea of a stadium show in the UK:
“We are going to continue to do four big events in the UK per year,” Zelaznik said from the UFC’s UK headquarters in Knightsbridge. “We will be confirming our next UK event in a couple of weeks.
“We hold records in the biggest indoor venues in the UK already, and the next step is running big outdoor shows. The UFC in a UK football stadium would be an incredible fan experience.”
That’s evil stormtrooper general Marshal Zelaznik saying this, so take it worth a grain of salt since I doubt he’s allowed to pick out his own clothes let alone the place and size of his venues. There’s many many reasons why a UK stadium show is a terrible idea, but I’ll try to get through the main points and you guys can fill in the blanks on your own:
UK Attendance has been so-so thus far: Mind you, this could be in part because the UFC keeps putting together some uber-shitty cards over there. CroCop vs Gonzaga, Rich Franklin vs Yushin Okami, and Matt Hughes vs Thiago Alves headlining shows does not make for killer ticket sales. Thus far only 2 out of 5 cards in the UK have involved title belts, making the region seem less important than the US.
You’ve got Bisping aaaaand … no one: The UFC has struggled to develop any decent UK or European talent. This was understandable back when they first returned to Britain for UFC 70 … but that was 15 UFC events ago and still there’s no standout UK talent in the company worth putting on the main card. The biggest thing the UFC has to a Bisping backup is Paul Taylor. That’s fucking pathetic.
There are 1001 better places to do a stadium show: The UFC’s Montreal show sold out before tickets even went on fucking sale. There are popular Canadians fighting in every weight division of the organization, and many of them are contenders. And lets not forget you’ve got a Canadian champion who’s also #2 on the pound for pound list. If you’re going to do a stadium show somewhere, why do it in the UK when you’ve got a market like Canada?
Again, I bet this is just Zelaznik flapping his gums and playing up the decent success of the UFC breaking into the UK. But it’s still a dumb ass idea.