Event: UFC 119 (Frank Mir vs Cro Cop)

9/25/2010 at Conseco Fieldhouse (Indianapolis, Indiana) >> Find UFC Tickets

With UFC 119 this weekend, SeatGeek has once again teamed up with James Kimball from MMAmania.com to offer an analysis of the upcoming event headlined by Mir v. Cro Cop. I have included some great guest commentary from Kimball in italics below, followed by a full secondary market ticket price comparison for UFC 119, 118, 120, and 121 – there is some interesting stuff here, so enjoy!

UFC 119 is not the strongest of cards. There’s no way around that. The UFC was extremely fortunate to have their 116, 117, and 118 events come together the way they did during the summer. They were bound to have a relatively weak show come around. Having said that, the original main event for the UFC’s debut in Indianapolis was scratched when Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was forced to pull out due to injury, making the task of putting on a top-notch show near impossible. Nogueira vs. Frank Mir 2 did hold some intrigue as the two heavyweights previously faced off at UFC 92 with Mir winning in dominant fashion. It was later revealed that Rodrigo suffered from a staph infection prior to their bout, raising questions to the validity of Mir’s win. But we digress.

With Nogueira’s injury, the UFC scrambled to find a suitable replacement to oppose Mir, and in stepped MMA legend Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic. “Cro Cop” isn’t what he used to be, a fact that is not up for debate. But the skill that turned him into the legend he is today, his striking, hasn’t yet completely abandoned him. Mirko’s only chance to win this fight comes on the feet. Everyone knows this, including Filipovic himself. Despite the fact that “Cro Cop” is coming off a submission victory against Pat Barry at UFC 115, there is little to no chance he could pull off the same feat against Mir, an accomplished submission artist who is considered to be one of the best in the division. While Frank’s ground game is, and always will be his strong suit, his stand up game has improved by leaps and bounds in the recent years. When it comes down to it, Mir has more ways to walk away the victor, simple as that. I foresee the early part of this fight taking place on the feet, where Mir will perform adequately, before Frank finds an opening to get the match to the ground where he sinks in a choke. Look for a second round submission victory for the former champ.

UFC 119’s co-main event features the aforementioned Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s twin brother, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. “Lil Nog” will battle rising 205-pound prospect, The Ultimate Fighter 8 winner, Ryan Bader. Bader is a fighter who many believe, including myself, possesses the skill set to one-day fight for a title. It just so happens that in this match up, Bader’s strength of wrestling, is Nogueira’s weakness. While Rogerio is formidable on the ground with his jiu-jitsu prowess, he was pushed to the limit by Jason Brilz his last time out, a guy who is nowhere near the level of wrestler that Ryan is. I like Bader moving one step closer to a future title shot with a unanimous decision win over Nogueira.

I tend to agree that this event just isn’t as compelling as the amazing summer lineup that UFC pulled together. With that said, it is not as bad as Coleman v. Couture, Liddell v Franklin or any of the other awesome 1999-2004 main events the UFC has tried to slip by us – in fact I am pretty sure I will purchase the card on Saturday. Anyway, really I want to take a look at the ticketing data to see how it compares to the general sentiment among MMA writers and fans regarding UFC 119.

  • As you likely noticed in the graph above, fan demand is not nearly as strong for UFC 119 as it was for Penn v Edgar, and continues to be for UFC 120 and UFC 121 – in fact it is about 60% less on average on the secondary ticket market ($124 is 40% of the $307 avg. price of the other three events in this chart)
  • There are obviously many factors at play here: UFC 119 is not a title fight unlike UFC 118/121 and the market is arguably not great – UFC 120 is taking place in the increasingly passionate UK market
  • With that said, it is still clear that fans just aren’t willing to pay as much for these types of filler events
  • In defense of the UFC though I understand that Nogueira was injured (as James pointed out above), but would that really change demand dramatically?

Historical UFC 119 Ticket Prices

UFC 119 historical avg ticket prices

  • Since the beginning of August ticket prices have fluctuated around the low $100 range
  • There are still UFC 119 listings available on SeatGeek for under $75, which is a great price for the UFC, especially if you have never been to a UFC event live (and don’t care exclusively about the card)

Enjoy the fights this weekend, let’s collectively root for a Cro Cop head-kick like the good old days – I mean the Bader fight will certainly go down as the standard “wrestling dominates Jiu-Jitsu boring type of fights” we are growing used to, so we need some action.