The injury bug hasn’t just been decimating the UFC’s PPV events. The reverberations from dozens of top guys pulling out has also put its strain on smaller cards. The UFC needs solid names on their FX and FUEL cards in order to keep people at home on the weekends, otherwise guys might decide to have a life and do something involving women. Thus, a lot of people (many of the snaggletoothed Brits) weren’t very impressed with the announcement that Stefan Struve vs Stipe Miocic would headline the UK’s only UFC event of the year.
Fans in North America might have enjoyed Struve doing his newborn baby giraffe impression around the cage, but that was because they had bigger, better fights higher up the card to look forward to. Miocic is the real fighter to watch in this match, but he hasn’t gotten the exposure he needs to justify the nutty prices the UFC is asking for this card:
If it’s a UFC on Fuel card, at least that should mean tickets to see it live won’t cost such a premium, right? The £75 – £225 range ($118 – $353 USD approximately) would suggest otherwise.
Of the events this year to grace the Capital FM arena, UFC on Fuel is the most expensive with its starting price tickets between double to triple the value of other events, such as the WWE RAW World Tour, and national / international comedy and pop music headliners ranging from Eddie Izzard and Michael McIntyre to Jessie J and Cheryl Cole, all of whom have a much higher profile and reach in the live entertainment market here than the UFC does currently.
Even comparing the prices to recent PPV events such as Junior dos Santos vs Frank Mir, ticket prices started at $75, some $40 less, and Nottingham by no means is considered the ‘Las Vegas’ of England.
And if tickets don’t move fast, Dana White will scratch his bald head at the post fight press conference and say he doesn’t understand why the UK is such a tough market. Even if it feels like the Gods of MMA are punishing England, there are logical reasons for all this. Injuries. English athletes sucking. The cost of coming to Europe. With the internet being so effortlessly global, sometimes we forget what a hassle and expense it is to haul a big sporting enterprise across the Atlantic for one night.
And while Struve vs Miocic may not be the most amazing headline fight in the world, Stipe is probably going to go somewhere. Maybe two years from now people will look back at this card and go “Wow! Heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic was on this tiny FUEL card in the middle of Sherwood Forest!”