Patrick Cote. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ticket sales for UFC 90 may have gone a little better than expected so far. Similar to the UFC’s inaugural venture up to Canada earlier this year, the show is nearly sold-out just one day after tickets went on-sale to the general public.
Only 3,000 or so seats remained as of yesterday afternoon according to UFC President Dana White, who met with media and fans at the Woodfield Mall in Chicago yesterday for a pre-fight press conference concerning the event (Video here). With a gate over $2 million so far, UFC 90 is expected to smash previous attendance records for the Allstate Arena, which were set by WWE at Wrestlemania 22 in April 2006.
‘‘This is a bold statement in a town with the White Sox and Cubs and the Bears, but I guarantee you this will be the most exciting live sporting event you have ever seen,’’ White said yesterday. ‘‘I can’t explain it to you. You have to experience it. The closest thing that comes to it is when Mike Tyson was in his heyday. There was so much excitement about someone getting knocked out.’’
‘‘Chicago is the biggest pay-per-view market for us, and ratings for Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter reality show are huge in Chicago,’’ White continued. ‘‘We’re going to beat WrestleMania as the highest-grossing event ever at Rosemont.’‘
The show’s main event features a middleweight title showdown between reigning champion Anderson Silva and upstart contender Patrick Cote, who has cancelled out his prior four-fight UFC losing streak with another quartet of fights in the win column. According to White, it’s a fight that everyone knows that Cote wants, but that Silva actually wants as well.
“Silva told me, ‘This kid’s going to come out and stand up with me.’,” White said according to MMA on Tap partner site Rogers Sportsnet. “We’re going to go toe-to-toe. He’ll bang with me. It will be a great fight for me and for the fans.”
Additional notes from yesterday’s press conference: Mike Swick will reportedly be added to the event against an opponent yet to be determined. Also according to MMA Rated, Silva could potentially fight at light heavyweight later in his next fight if he gets past Cote. The winner of Diego Sanchez vs. Thiago Alves is also expected to receive the next shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre as well.
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