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UFC 72 tallies $1.2 million at gate; UFC eyes other foreign markets

UFC 72: "Victory" was a success, selling out the Odyssey Arena in Belfast northern Ireland with 7,850 fans packing the stands, according to Yahoo!

The paid gate totaled about $1.2 million (Sidenote: It cost the UFC about $1.4 million just to market the event in Ireland).

Here's a snip:

"UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta said officials overpriced the tickets, which had a top price of $500 U.S., but it didn't matter. The fans were out in force – long lines snaked around the arena more than an hour before the first fight – and had by all indications the time of their lives."

This report contradicts one we passed along just before showtime on Saturday, which mentioned that the UFC was giving away comp tickets to fill seats.

I wasn't in Belfast on June 16, making it a little hard for me to determine which scenario is indeed accurate.

Regardless, the important thing is that it did appear from the pay-per-view (PPV) telecast that the Irish fans were into the fights, chanting and cheering on the competitors.

Now the Fertittas continue to keep the show on the road, planning to penetrate untouched markets such as Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and others.

Here's a snip from Renzo:

"The cool thing about it, and the reason I like moving things around, is every time we go to a new place, we create new fans. There are going to be a lot of people in the arena tonight who don't know the UFC. Maybe they heard about us from a friend, but they weren't sure. But I know this: They'll leave here a fan. Going forward, our plans are to continue to hit it hard. We're going to do at least two more fights this year in the U.K. ... and slowly grow the tentacles out."

It's hard to put a price tag on attracting new fans — it appears success wasn't measured in dollars on the Emerald Isle.

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