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Win Tickets to UFC 98 + Airfare, Hotel and Spending Cash!

Rashad Evans Lyoto Machida UFC 98 MMA Las Vegas
(Another day, another opportunity to win big on Image courtesy of TheFightAddict)

How would you like a chance to win a pair of tickets to UFC 98: Evans vs. Machida on May 23rd, as well as airfare to Las Vegas, a one-night hotel stay, and some pocket money? Ain’t no joke, player — the ultimate UFC weekend can be yours. To get a shot at this $3,000 prize package, go here to enter our UFC 98 sweepstakes, though you may want to read the FAQ first. Basically…

— You must be at least 18 years old to enter.
— If you have AT&T Wireless or Verizon Wireless cell phone service, you can enter directly on the sweepstakes main page; it’ll cost you 99 cents, but you’ll get a totally sweet CagePotato mobile wallpaper in return. Otherwise, you can do it old-school and enter via postcard.
— You can sweeten the odds by entering the sweepstakes up to ten times.
— All entries must be received by Monday, May 11th; the winner will be selected by random drawing and announced on Tuesday, May 12th.

Sound good? Then head over to the UFC 98 sweepstakes page right now. Thanks for playing, and spread the word!


The Fight Fan’s Guide to Vegas: Special UFC 98 Edition

Las Vegas pool party
(So…you guys are Matt Serra fans, I take it?)

You’re wondering, ‘Say I go to UFC 98, what am I supposed to do in this Las Vegas place to entertain myself before and after the fights?’  Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.  We asked the guys from and MMA Fix what out-of-town MMA fans like you might be interested in, and then we combined their advice with some of our own personal favorites.  Enjoy.


Commoners Priced Out of UFC 100

As you may have heard already, UFC 100 sold out in record time with all the tickets being snatched up by “UFC Fight Club” members and newsletters subscribers before the general public got so much as a whiff of them.  That’s great news for the UFC since it justifies all the effort they’ve put into making this a historic fight card.  But with the tickets selling out so fast you can’t help but wonder how much of a role scalpers played.

For instance, says ticket prices ranged from $100 to $1,000.  But if you check out (the “official fan-to-fan ticket marketplace” of the UFC) right now you’ll see over 1,000 UFC 100 tickets already for sale.  The cheapest one will run you about $428, and needless to say it is not exactly Octagonside.  For that privilege you’ll pay anywhere from $2,500 to $24,000 (ed. note: you fucking kidding me?).  If you are an MMA fan with that kind of money to spend on tickets to a UFC event, then congratulations.  You are Shaquille O’Neal.


Good News: UFC Plans Fan Expo for UFC 100; Bad News: It’s Going to Cost You

(Please just tell me there’s a dancing seminar by Gono.)

The UFC sent out an email today announcing their first ever UFC Fan Expo around UFC 100 in Las Vegas this summer.  It includes training demos, autotgraph sessions, and “keynote addresses,” possibly from Dana White and/or Lorenzo Fertitta (though details on anything are very sketchy at the moment).  Basically, a lot of fun stuff for UFC fans in the days leading up to what is supposed to be the biggest UFC event to date.  Sounds great.

The trouble is, you have to buy a ticket, and they aren’t cheap.  You can get a two-day pass for $50 if you buy in advance, or a one-day pass for $30.  This way the UFC gets you to pay for the fights, whether you watch them live or on pay-per-view, and also gets you to pay for some idle entertainment before the fights, like watching Matt Hughes demonstrate how he choked out Frank Trigg’s pompous ass, or listening to Dana White swear his way through a speech about professionalism and ethics in business. 

Okay, those things would both be worth paying for.

If you’re headed to Vegas for UFC 100 you should a) put aside some money to buy me a beer at the Hofbrauhaus, and b) keep an eye on this website for Expo information.  It doesn’t offer much help at the moment since they just announced it, but the last question on the Frequently Asked Questions list is worth a chuckle:


Wanna Be a UFC VIP?

As part of the UFC’s effort to help the Intrepid Fallen Heroes fund, they’re holding an auction to complement the "Fight for the Troops" event on Dec. 10.  Among the items you can bid on is what’s being billed in the video above as a "UFC VIP Experience." 

From the sound of it, you get to choose a fighter you want to hang with (don’t say Tito Ortiz) and the UFC will fly you to an event where he’s fighting, put you up in a hotel, and make you feel like you matter during a dinner with Dana White, Rachelle Leah, and some "UFC greats."  You also get to be part of your fighter’s entourage, which means walking out to the Octagon with him and shouting ‘represent!’ while the camera man motions frantically for you to get out of the shot.

The high bid at the moment is $5,000.  The cause is about as worthy as they come, so if any of you have that kind of coin, we encourage you to go for it.  We also encourage you to go to the strip club and make it rain, because that always sounded like a cool thing to do and we know it, much like this VIP experience, will forever be beyond our grasp.

If the VIP stuff sounds a little out of your league, you can also bid on a copy of the book "Octagon," a limited edition Alligator duffle bag (just cause), or one of the thirty tickets to "Fight for the Troops" that’s being made available to the public.  Or you can just sit at home and do nothing while your life slowly slips away.  Whatever seems more fulfilling.


Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” Taking Shape, Going on Sale

Affliction Nascar
(Couldn’t have done it without you, big guy.)

As much as it looked like it might never happen at times, Affliction: Day of Reckoning is going on sale this week. The online presale started today and tickets officially go on sale Wednesday for the January 24 event. They’ve even added more fights than just the Fedor Emelianenko-Andrei Arlvoski bout in some crazy attempt to entice people by telling them what they’re actually paying for.

According to Affliction’s website, here’s what the card is looking like so far:

Main Card (pay-per-view)
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Andrei Arlovski
Josh Barnett vs. TBA
Vitor Belfort vs. TBA
Renato Sobral vs. Matt Lindland
Chris Horodecki vs. Dan Lauzon


Couture-Lesnar at UFC 91 Not Such an Easy Sell-Out After All?

(If he’d known you were such a cheapskate, he never would have come back.)

UFC president Dana White claimed with confidence that the Randy Couture-Brock Lesnar headlined UFC 91 would break UFC records this November. He predicted over a million pay-per-view buys and a sure sell-out at the box office. Turns out the tickets, or at least the high-priced ones, aren’t exactly flying off the shelves…or wherever they keep tickets while they’re waiting to sell them.

The Wrestling Observer (via MMA Payout) says only $500 and up tickets remain, but they’re “moving slowly.” Could it be that because of the economic downturn rich assholes are now slightly less rich assholes, and they’ve had to cut Octagon-side tickets at the UFC from their budget in order to keep their yachts stocked with exotic animals and Mickey’s Fine Malt Liquor? Or maybe that’s just what I would do if I were rich.

Dave Meltzer says that the tickets sold don’t include numbers from casinos which have purchased tickets to give to their high rollers, which, we’ve been told, was one of the reasons for taking this card to Las Vegas and not Portland, Oregon. Casinos can always afford ridiculously expensive seats. People have to make mortgage payments on their worthless houses.

The real story here is that while Dana White may be correct about economic problems not affecting his pay-per-view buys, it could very well be a different story for live events. If Couture-Lesnar can’t sell out the 14,000-seat MGM Grand, what will that mean for Frank Mir-Antonio Nogueira?


UFC 90 Already Nearing a Sell-Out in Chicago

(You’d be smiling too if you sold $2 million worth of tickets.)

Just a few hours after tickets for UFC 90 at Chicago’s All-State Arena went on sale, roughly 80% of them were snatched up. This means that by the time the UFC’s press conference for the event on Monday was over they’d already pulled in around $2 million in live gate money. All this for an October 25 event featuring Anderson Silva against Patrick Cote (rest his soul) and Diego Sanchez taking on Thiago Alves. It’s safe to say the UFC will be returning to Chicago frequently from now on.

Even with such early success Dana White went ahead and poured on the hyperbole at Monday’s press conference:

”This is a bold statement in a town with the White Sox and Cubs and the Bears, but I guarantee you this will be the most exciting live sporting event you have ever seen,” White said. ”I can’t explain it to you. You have to experience it.

”The closest thing that comes to it is when Mike Tyson was in his heyday. There was so much excitement about someone getting knocked out.”

After that last remark we imagine that White looked over at Cote, shrugged, and silently mouthed “Sorry!” before continuing on.

White also vowed that UFC 90 would be the highest-grossing event in the arena’s history, edging out Wrestlemania for that honor. Then they moved on to discuss Thiago Alves’ problems making weight, which we’ve all been assured won’t be a problem this time around, even though he’s currently about thirty pounds over.

In a final bit of UFC 90 news, Mike Swick is expected to be added to the card, though an opponent has not yet been named.


Epic Fail: EliteXC’s Live Gate

Robbie Lawler EliteXC MMA
(Robbie Lawler does his best Joe Stevenson impression at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin via Fightlinker.)

The California State Athletic Commission has released figures on the attendance and gate revenue for Saturday’s “Unfinished Business” show, and good Lord are they awful. Of the 8,541 seats available for the event, only 2,871 — or 33.6% — were purchased by fans. Of the remainder, 3,701 were given away as comps, and 2,023 went totally unused. The 2,871 paid tickets brought in $268,715 in revenue, which is less than the dollar value of the tickets that were given away ($340,960).

So, not only was “Unfinished Business” a ratings disappointment, but its live attendance (6,752 Stocktonites in total) was destroyed by other major MMA events held in California recently. For example…

Affliction: Banned — 14,832 total attendance, 11,242* paid (Anaheim, 7/19/08)
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson — 7,288 total, 6,750 paid (San Jose, 6/27/08)
WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — 12,001 total, paid figure unavailable (Sacramento, 6/1/08)
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le — 15,192 total, 14,710 paid (San Jose, 3/29/08)
UFC 76 (their most recent event in California) — 13,770 total, 11,817 paid (Anaheim, 9/22/07)
* figure is debatable.

Back in May, EliteXC’s “Primetime” card — held at Newark’s Prudential Center and starring Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano — drew a respectable 8,033 spectators. EliteXC plans on holding their next CBS show in October at the 20,000-seat BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Of course Kimbo is going to be a big draw in his home state, but unless EliteXC likes hearing the echo of thousands of empty seats, they might want to think about scaling back a little.


Cote Out/Day In at UFC 83 & Other News

According to The Fight Network, Patrick Cote is out at UFC 83. It was just days ago that Cote’s involvement in the event was being reported in a match-up against Alan Belcher. Now Cote is being forced not to take the fight due to injury. MMA Mania is quoting Cote’s manager, Stephane Patry, on the matter:

“We were still talking [to the UFC] about an opponent when Patrick fell on the ice. He went for the MRI, and the doctor told him it’s sprained and he can’t train for four to six weeks – so he won’t be available to fight [in April]… We were not going to take that fight [with Belcher] anyway. It wouldn’t make sense.”

Snap! Patry say no-makey-sense. Whatever, we move on. On to Jason “Dooms” Day that is. Day has signed a multi-fight deal with the UFC and his virgin fight with them will now be against Belcher at UFC 83 on April 19th. Middleweight Day is 15-5 and 14-2 in his last 16. His split decision win at HCF: Destiny on February 1st over former UFC 185-pounder David Loiseau probably boosted him to his own UFC signing.

Belcher is 12-4 and will be going for his third win in a row. Not many of his fights go to decision, so he’ll look to wrap the win up early.

And in other news:

-Remember THQ? No, it’s not the miracle tablet that makes you go all smiles for the better part of a cab ride, but the video game maker that’s been working on the UFC’s new video game. The game will be revealed in a ‘to date’ format at UFC 84, which is slated for Saturday, May 24th. MMA Junkie is saying the company made the teasing comments during a financial/stockholder conference call.

THQ’s five-year contract gives them the rights to UFC games until the end of 2011 for all console and portable platforms, and wireless formats. A street date should also be revealed at UFC 84, and maybe even the official name of the game. It’s been referenced as “UFC 2009″ and “Ultimate Fighting Championship 2009″ so far. So get your thumbs loosened up and tell your mom to slide your TV dinners under the basement door. There’s games to be had.

-The Dayton Daily News is reporting that tickets for UFC 82 are going fast and about 10,000 have already been snatched up. The UFC expects a sell-out, of course. Last year, the Nationwide Arena in Colombus, Ohio hosted UFC 68 where it set a UFC attendance record with 19,049. It’s own venue record could go down on March 1st.