The last time Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) went north of the border to hit the "Queen City" for a fight card, it sold 55,000 tickets to the UFC 129: "St. Pierre vs. Shields" event on April 30 at the Rogers Centre.
This time? Not so much.
Despite the great line-up, there's been little hoopla over the city's second ever UFC event, which still has tickets available.
In reality, with so many cities around the world clamouring to host the UFC these days, Toronto should be counting its blessings. Only Montreal in 2010 and Las Vegas, where the UFC is headquartered, have ever held two events in the same year, Wright said.
The UFC will likely come to town at least once a year from now on, he said, adding the ACC show is more in line with a typical UFC event.
Wright said it would have been next to impossible to match the success of UFC 129, which had the benefit of months of debate over Ontario's MMA ban.
The difference between UFC 129 and UFC 140? No Canadian hero named Georges St. Pierre headlining the card. That might have a little something to do with the fact that the Air Canada Centre hasn't sold out just yet.
Still, "Jones vs. Machida" boasts one hell of a line-up.
What's interesting to note here is that Machida fought at UFC 129 and defeated Randy Couture in spectacular fashion via front kick to the face knockout. Whatever rub he got from that victory seems to have worn off in a big way.
Even Mark Hominick, who fought and lost in his title shot against Jose Aldo at UFC 129, is on the card against "Korean Zombie," Chan Sung Jung. In short, there's plenty of incentive for Canadian fight fans to drop some coin to see a good show.
But they're just not doing it in the same fashion they did last time.
So, to reiterate: Georges St. Pierre in the "Great White North" means big bucks and sold out stadiums and everyone else falls short. Big breaking news on that front, right?
The good news? You can still snag a ticket and see a sweet show, Maniacs. Anyone rushing to pick one up?