“UFC 120: Bisping vs. Akiyama” Steadily (and Surprisingly) Approaching Sell Out

Written by Tom Ngo
September 15th, 2010

UFC Poster 120 Bisping Akiyama Hardy Condit

For some reason, UFC 120 has not been well received despite the fact it will be available on Spike TV. Fan boys stateside may not be feeling the freebie fight card, but it certainly hasn’t affected ticket purchases as our neighbors across the pond are close to selling out the O2 Arena in London, England.

“They were close to 95 percent sold within a week. We have less than 500 left and they are probably spoken for because we had a request come in at the end of last week that we are trying to accommodate. So there’s a good chance that by the end of this week there won’t actually be any left,“ UFC UK division president Marshall Zelaznik told FightersOnly.

“I think that’s a testament to the loyalty of our fans and a sign that the fan base has grown. I am not 100 percent sure off the top of my head, but I think that this might be the highest generating revenue event that we have held in Europe.”

UFC 120 doesn’t feature a title fight, top contender bout or any box office superstars. What it will showcase is a barrage of British talent, led by the country’s most popular mixed martial artist in Michael Bisping. In addition to the middleweight’s tussle with Yoshihiro Akiyama, former 170-pound top contender Dan Hardy and the up-and-coming John Hathaway will also be competing in front of their fellow Brits.

“A lot of people questioned the card, but there has been such an uptake on tickets. We sold out of the bottom three prices in literally a day and-a-half. The other tickets then sold quick and we’re expecting close to 17,000 in there when all is said and done,” Zelaznik added.

Furthermore, UFC Fan Expo London 2010 will be kicking off the weekend’s festivities. The Octagon’s first European expo takes place Friday and Saturday, October 15th-16th, at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre in London – serving as the perfect lead-in to Saturday night’s fights.

“We’re going to have the weigh-in at the Expo, there will be Q&A’s and it will be a UFC experience,” he said. “We will have around fifteen to twenty thousand people at the Expo, I would guess.”

While all of these factors appear to be the perfect recipe for success, Zelaznik admitted that he and many other Octagon figureheads were surprised by the show’s potential record-setting numbers.

Here are the athletes expected to compete in London:

Preliminary Bouts:

Tom Blackledge vs. James McSweeney
Spencer Fisher vs. Kurt Warburton
Mark Holst vs. Paul Sass
Steven Cantwell vs. Stanislav Nedkov
Rob Broughton vs. Vinicius Kappke de Quieroz
Cyrille Diabate vs. Alexander Gustafsson

Main Bouts:

Claude Patrick vs. James Wilks
Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne
John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle
Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit
Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama

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