Last week, UFC president Dana White predicted welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre’s return home would break both the North American MMA attendance and worldwide mixed martial arts gate records. Well, one out of two ain’t bad.
During the “UFC 124: St-Pierre vs. Koscheck” post-fight press conference, the promoter claimed 23,152 screaming St-Pierre fanboys packed the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on Saturday night. GSP’s backyard brawl is now the most viewed live MMA contest in North American history.
UFC 83 in April 2009 took place inside the Bell Centre, as well. That card also featured you know who and was the Octagon’s prior attendance record holder with 21,451.
Unfortunately, the UFC’s end of the decade extravaganza only garnered a live gate of $4.586 million. While that’s an astronomical number given today’s economic climate, it still falls behind the rematch between former light heavyweight champs Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz in December 2006.
UFC 66 took place inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and earned the company a cool $5,397,300 at the door.
It’s obvious our northern neighbors love them some MMA. Although adding GSP to the equation significantly increases the chances for a box office show, White was noncommittal when asked if the French-Canadian would headline the company’s Toronto debut in April 2011.