With the UFC recently booking of the Roger Center in Toronto to host UFC 131, there has again been talk of the UFC holding an event at Cowboy Stadium. Of course questions began to be asked following the UFC’s successful trip to Dallas and their use of the American Airlines Center where they broke attendance and gross gate numbers for that building. Now, the UFC will test “the stadium” as a venue in Canada before making the move the US for a stadium show.
One question that comes right at the top of the list is could the UFC draw 50-60 thousand paying customers into Cowboy Stadium? Manny Pacquiao drew over 50 thousand when he fought Josh Clotty and another 40 thousand for his bout with Antonio Margarito. A bout that would have featured Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao would have undoubtedly drawn an even larger number.
So we know what boxing’s top name can do in a stadium like the ‘death star’, but what could the UFC do?
The UFC enough sells tickets and PPV’s relying just on the three letters UFC but to fill a stadium it will take a combination of that dynamic as well as a bigger than life star or a bigger than life match up.
With George St-Pierre quickly becoming Canada’s favorite son, his name on the marquee in Canada at the Rogers Center will bring the fans in droves. In Dallas, it may be a different story.
Dana White has said that it would take the “right kind of fight” to facilitate Cowboy Stadium, so who would that include?
The first name to come to mind would be Brock Lesnar. Love him or hate, we all pay to see him. The numbers do not lie. A year ago a fight with Fedor Emelianenko would have been “that kind of fight” but we know how that came to a halt. Now even if Fedor’s people and Dana White could hash out an agreement a fight with Lesnar has just a little less appeal considering they have both come off of losses.
Randy Couture is a huge draw but may have concluded his career after he embarrassed James Toney. Speaking of James Toney, a fight between Toney and Quinton Jackson could have had that kind of spark if Toney would have not looked so inept against Couture.
The next option, the super fight.
Georges St-Pierre versus Anderson Silva. Shogun Rua versus Silva. That is to say he gets by Vitor Belfort who may just be the guy that can KO Silva. I will expound on that in a later article.
The answer would be the right combination of a super fight supported with a star studded line up that had guys willing to step down from the normal main event status and work the main card.
It is not if, but when the UFC puts Cowboy Stadium on the board as a venue. The good news for Dallas MMA fans is that the event will likely be the biggest event or at the very least feature the biggest bout in UFC history partnered with some great undercard names. If I had to say when I would expect to see the UFC in Cowboy Stadium, I would say no later then next summer. Perhaps sooner if they draw monster numbers in Toronto.
What do you think, over or under 60 thousand in Cowboy Staduim when the time comes? What is the right kind of fight to headline such an event?