ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 16: UFC President Dana White speaks with the media after a press conference promoting UFC 145: Jones v Evans at Philips Arena on February 16, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gave its UFC 152 fight card a major facelift when it added the Jon Jones vs. Vitor Befort light heavyweight title fight to its Sept. 22, 2012 pay-per-view (PPV) event, emanating from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
By including "Bones" vs. "The Phenom," UFC was hoping to appease fight fans who missed out on watching UFC 151, which was canceled after an injury to Dan Henderson set off a catastrophic chain of events. Or, perhaps, it was done to inject new life into a mediocre fight card struggling to sell tickets.
Either way, the new-look UFC 152 event has not been able to sell out, according to Toronto's TheStar.com.
But while introducing Saturday's combatants, UFC Canada president Tom Wright uttered something UFC executives rarely have to say two days before a major event: Tickets are still available.
Wright acknowledges relatively tepid ticket sales but says the UFC brand is at least as strong as it was last spring.
"We'll get through this. It's not the first bump in the road we've faced," Wright says. "There's lots more room for this brand to grow."
ZUFFA managed to sell out the 55,000-seat Rogers Centre, also in Toronto, when it crossed the border in April 2011 for UFC 129: "St. Pierre vs. Shields," thanks largely in part to the inclusion of hometown hero and reigning UFC Welterweight Champion, Georges St. Pierre.
Is "Bones" to blame?
When the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion returned to "Hogtown" with Jones facing Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 from the Air Canada Center last December, ticket sales lagged and many seats were still available just 48 hours before showtime.
There's a lot to consider here, including economy, over-saturation and a questionable main event.
What's your take?