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UFC 105 is one of the top ten selling UFC events ever

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Question. What is the capacity of the M.E.N. Arena?


UFC 105 is already one of the top ten UFC events ever in terms of volume of ticket sales, with 70 per cent of seats at the Manchester Evening News Arena already sold.


And UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik today told Fighters Only that the event could find itself in the top five most successful UFC shows ever if sales continue at this same pace.


?We had 70 per cent of tickets sold as of yesterday. I had a look at some charts today and its in the top ten fastest-selling shows in UFC history. The presale before Randy [Couture] was announced was already going through the roof,? he revealed.


?So it seems either people really want to see their British heroes like Mike [bisping] and Dan [Hardy] but I think it also has a lot to do with Manchester. We haven?t been there since 2007 and I think that part of England is hungry for it. And its like a perfect storm - you have great British talent, you have a legend and you are in Manchester.?


?Dana and Lorenzo are excited for this, they are jacked up for it. Dana and Lorenzo wanted to be in Manchester. They had a good time the last time they were there and they are excited for this. We had other options but they said, ?No, we want to be in Manchester,?? he added.


Turbulence within the UFC?s various weight divisions created one or two problems putting the UFC 105 card together.


Dan Henderson was lined up to be the main event but is currently out-of-contract and deep in negotiations with the UFC, while a rumoured BJ Penn v Diego Sanchez headline fight was moved to UFC 107 when Quinton ?Rampage? Jackson pulled out of that card due to filming commitments.


Naysayers believed the card would lack star power and that the UFC would have trouble shifting tickets for the event. But the addition of Couture and the volume of sales thus far has put paid to both of those lines of argument.


?Tickets were selling really quickly before Randy Couture was added to the card, but there is no doubt that anyone who was on the fence about buying a ticket, fell over the fence on to the side of buying (laughs). And this isn?t Randy?s swansong tour, he is coming down into this [205] weight class to be competitive,? Zelaznik says.


?Probably if he walked straight into a title shot at light-heavyweight some people would not question it. So the British fans have a chance to see him as he starts his march back towards the belt in a highly competitive division. You could almost put this fight up alone if it were boxing.?


With sales buoyant - and a sold-out arena seemingly almost inevitable - the UFC top brass are very happy with the way their next UK show is turning out.


?I was talking to Lorenzo last night and I was saying how ecstatic I was with sales, and that was before I even looked at the latest figures. I think we may be the sixth or seventh fastest-selling UFC event already,? says Zelaznik.


?Last time we were in Manchester, we set the venue merchandising record and we were number three on revenue and I feel we might even break it this time.?

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Don't you agree that one of these days the UFC may put up an event in a football stadium or anything like that with enormous capacity?


I think it's possible. However, it would have to be the right venue. For one, it will have to have a roof and two, have to be the right size. If it's too big, you lose the atmosphere that make UFC events so good (also, more difficult to see the octagon).

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