At SBNation.com/MMA we're glad to have the addition of Washington D.C. radio personality Chad Dukes to our team. In his first piece for the site Chad discusses a conversation he had with WWE performer Sheamus about MMA and expands on his response. Here is Sheamus' response to if the UFC has affected pro wrestling:
I feel our product is way more entertaining... I feel that when people buy our pay-per-views or watch our product, they're going to be entertained, you know, they're going to be taken on a ride, you know, every one of our athletes are going to go out there and give 110 percent to make sure the WWE Universe watching at home or watching in the arena goes home happy, you know?
Chad explains the known in response. That wrestling's predetermined nature makes it much easier to make sure there is a constant level of drama. You're highly unlikely to pay your PPV dollars and get a main event in wrestling that resembles Frank Mir vs. Mirko Filipovic.
Chad goes on to talk about what he feels like is the big driver behind UFC 124's business success:
Dana White has stated that he believes UFC 124 will do record business. But why? Sure Georges St. Pierre is a huge PPV draw and he is fighting in his homeland of Canada. Do we really believe that if this was a rematch against that Mr. President would be so confident? Of course not. We all know why there is so much electricity flowing through the Bell Center in Montreal that it's starting to resemble the flux capacitor. The reason is the biggest heel in MMA is fighting Canada's favorite son on Saturday night. The man who cut a vicious promo on Montreal after UFC 113. called out the Montreal Canadians and GSP in one masterful stroke. Short of spitting in Alanis Morissette's face, I'm not sure what else he could have done to build so much heat in the great white north.
I'm not sure I agree with Koscheck's "heel" status as the biggest driver of the live crowd. You have to remember that Montreal already holds the prior attendance record for UFC 97. To save any of you from hitting up Google to remember what that card featured, it was the infamous Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites card. Also on the show was Mauricio Rua against Chuck Liddell. Neither of those fights featured a "heel" selling tickets.
Prior to 97 the record was held by UFC 83. UFC 83 which was also held in Montreal. The headliner for that fight was the rematch between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra. While GSP and Serra had gotten a little aggressive in the pre-fight build-up, the sales really had nothing to do with Serra's role as the "bad guy."
Montreal is a tremendous place for the UFC. The fans turn out in a big way and the Bell Centre is a building that has the capacity to fit a lot of people. Add in a guy who is a huge Canadian star in GSP and you have the recipe for huge ticket sales. With or without Josh Koscheck playing it up for the media.