11 for 11: No. 9 UFC’s big shows in Toronto and Rio
December 22, 2011
UFC 129 in Toronto was the company’s first stadium show which set records for attendance, gate and bonuses. The bonuses were the biggest ($129,000) in recent memory. It also held the first of two UFC Expos held this year. In the end, the UFC had a substantial impact on the economy in Toronto.
The card featured the showdown between GSP vs. Jake Shields, Jose Aldo vs. Mark Hominick and Randy Couture (in his final match) vs. Lyoto Machida.
UFC 129 was the biggest PPV buy of this year (excluding UFC 141) with 800,000 buys. We will see how it does in January for UFC 142 as Aldo headlines the card.
UFC 134 in Rio De Jineiro, Brazil was a return for the company. The show was a sellout and similar to Toronto, the crowd was hot during the entire show. Anderson Silva headlined the show by defeating Yushin Okami. Notably, the UFC promoted that it would air the prelims on a digital screen in the Little Brazil section of Times Square to watch the prelims. Unfortunately, due to Hurricane Irene, this promotion was thwarted.
Bonuses were huge as well with every category winner getting $100,000.
Unlike 129, UFC 134 did not score as well with PPV as it only garnered 335,000 buys.
The UFC’s return to Toronto this December did not garner as much fanfare as 129 but received a nice PPV number of 480,000 buys worldwide.
These two shows paved the way for international expansion for the UFC. 129’s stadium show displayed the type of draw and economic impact it could have over an area when it comes to town and its Rio show spawned UFC 142 and the first international TUF.