UFC 90 To Chicago Made Official, Silva Re-launch Continues

July 29, 2008

Las Vegas, NV ( USA ) – Sports fans in Chicago unite! The UFC® is coming to town and it is bringing the world’s greatest pound for pound fighter, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, for a middleweight title fight against his number one contender, Patrick “The Predator” Cote. The UFC will make its historic first trip to Chicago this fall when it presents UFC 90: SILVA vs. COTE live from Allstate Arena on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2008.

This will be step two in the re-launch of Anderson Silva, as discussed earlier. The first step seemed to be an overwhelming success, with Anderson drawing excellent ratings in his Fight Night 14 bout against James Irvin. The next step seemed to be an undercard spot vs Yushin Okami on the Chuck Liddell vs Rashad Evans card from Atlanta. Liddell’s fights generally do larger than normal PPV Buys, so the plan was to have Silva share some of th spotlight with Chuck in hopes of jumpstarting his attractiveness as a headliner. Fate intervened, though, as Okami had to bow out due to injury.

The change in opponents also lead to Silva’s next fight be moved back to October. Silva has been placed back in the headlining spot, with Thiago Alves vs Diego Sanchez scheduled for the semi-main. Anderson would have been better served by the spot on the Chuck bill, as it would give him a further chance to solidify his drawing power. His demolition of James Irvin drew well on cable television, but without most folks seeing Patrick Cote as a credible opponent that will give Silva much of a challenge, it may be hard to get the boost in PPV buys that UFC is looking for. Dan Henderson was seen as much more credible and as a threat to Silva and their fight only drew 325k to 350k buys.

Never underestimate the power of free TV, though. Anderson was the beneficiary of a marketing campaign leading up to Fight Night that hailed him as the best fighter on the planet, which may transfer over to some incremental increase in PPV sales.

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