Why UFC is having trouble in the U.K.

By Andrew Garvey

Just read in the latest Observer where you note the October 26th UFC Fight Night in Manchester has sold just 5,500 tickets.  I'm not sure its as much Bisping losing steam as a ticket seller as it is a combination of that and 3 other, bigger factors.
1. UFC just isn't as hot as it was a few years ago.  Partly I feel this is because the UK fanbase has been somewhat abandoned by the company as the number of shows has greatly decreased, as has the star power of the fighters on them.

2. The TV situation isn't great.  Everything is on so late at night that its extremely difficult to make new fans to replace the ones who have moved on to something else.  And BT Sport's scheduling may be even worse than ESPN's was.  .

3. And I think this is a really big one - ticket prices.  These have increased dramatically in the last few years, to the point they're now basically a rip-off.  I had a lot of friends who went to see UFC 70, at the MEN Arena in 2007.  They all bought the cheapest tickets and those were in the £30 range.  I forget the exact price but that's roughly the cost.  I just checked and, at the same arena in 2009, the cheapest tickets for UFC 105 were £40.  For UFC 138 in Birmingham in 2011, in a smaller arena, the cheapest tickets were £50.  For October, in Manchester for the third time, the cheapest tickets are £75 and with booking fees they go up into the £83 range.  They're simply pricing themselves far too high.

Send us a news tip: newstips@wrestlingobserver.com

Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news from this site or from our newsletters, please include a link to www.wrestlingobserver.com

For the most in-depth and detailed news and analysis on pro-wrestling and MMA, always turn to Wrestlingobserver.com/Figure Four Weekly Online, the #1 website of its kind on the Internet. Members receive online access to both the Wrestling Observer and Figure Four Weekly newsletters and growing archives, Wrestling Observer Radio with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer three times per week, the popular Bryan and Vinny Show three times per week, additional radio shows including Figure Four Daily with Alvarez, Mike Coughlin's Five Star Radio, the Dr. Keith Lipinski Show, The Adam and Mike Big Audio Nightmare, Tough Talk and the Karl Stern Wrestling History Show, the infamous BOARD, and more! Members also have full access to the thousands of hours of audio in our radio show archives which date back to 2005. For your convenience, we offer secure online payments using your VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover card or PayPal account. Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now! Don't miss out on the fun, sign up now!

Want full access? QUICK AND EASY SIGN-UP, AS LOW AS $9.99 PER MONTH!