Although “UFC Primetime” started the UFC 129 pre-fight festivities last week, UFC director of Canadian operations Tom Wright claims the hoopla machine for the biggest MMA show to hit North America officially kicks off today.
Georges St-Pierre will defend his welterweight crown against Jake Shields in front of 55,000 fanatics on April 30th at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. While the show has been sold out since day one, the Octagon wants to ensure their Toronto debut leaves a lasting first impression.
In addition to the standard media junkets, the UFC is holding a two-day UFC Fan Expo the weekend of the event with Q&A sessions, grappling matches, workshops and much more.
“We’ve got a full plan for the eight-nine days leading up to the event. It’s called the Takeover Toronto Plan,” Wright told TheMMAHour. “We’ve got everything you can imagine going on in the city getting ready for the big fight.”
Speaking of the record-setting show, Wright said the company will add additional video monitors, including four 55’x30’ LED screens cubed directly above the cage, to ensure fans don’t miss a beat – or beatdown.
“Typically we might only bring in four to six screens into the Bell Centre or Rogers Arena in Vancouver,” Wright added. “In this case, we’re bringing in a total of 13 screens and some of them are absolutely massive.”
The Octagon returns up north on June 11th for UFC 131 inside the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. Wright is aiming for one more show in Canada before year’s end, most likely taking place in December.