Zelaznik: It’s been incredible. You never really know how successful a new territory will be, but we have been blown away by our final analysis. The event sold out in a day. It would have been the fastest-selling event in the companies history, but we held some back from the pre-sale. It’s currently the second fastest-selling event in UFC history. People are travelling from all over to see it. Half of the tickets sold have been to fans outside of the New South Wales area. In fact, the event sold out so quickly that for the first time ever for an international event we are arranging a close-circuit experience for fans without tickets. It will be in the ballroom at the Acer Arena, which holds around 800 people. Tickets will go on sale for around $50, and were looking to have a few significant [fighters] make the trip and hold a Q&A with the fans.
Early indication is that there won’t be the knife fight that we saw in Germany. There’s been more openness with the press over there. One article, right at the beginning, raised the usual pejorative argument, but now that same paper features a daily fighter blog. We have a very good deal with a free terrestrial partner to screen the event live, and we hope this event will take us to the next level.
UFC Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik talks about the UFC's first venture into Australia and how the sport is being received in a relatively new territory. It's great to see the sport not having to prove itself over and over again while trying to shed the negative human cockfighting stigma from the 90's. I'm sure there will be some backlash, but it appears it will not be near as bad as Germany for UFC 99 last year.