by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
More than 48 hours prior to fight time UFC 103 was already setting records in Texas.
“We’re very happy with ticket sales,” said UFC president Dana White.
“It’s the number one sporting gross we’ve ever had and only second behind the Rolling Stones in 2005 (for gross ticket sales for any event),” said American Airlines Center general manager Dave Brown at the UFC 103 pre-fight press conference.
It wasn’t yet as of Thursday afternoon, but expectations are that UFC 103 will be a sellout come Saturday night.
Former UFC champions Rich Franklin and Vitor Belfort are featured in the main event. Franklin’s current home is at light heavyweight, while Belfort is building his nest at middleweight. They will meet halfway on Saturday night at a catch weight of 195 pounds, displacing the initially proposed rematch between Franklin and Dan Henderson.
UFC 103 also showcases a heavyweight bout between powerful strikers Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic and Junior Dos Santos, as well as the return of former UFC title challenger, 37-year-old Frank Trigg, against a younger version of himself in Josh Koscheck.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has held up well in a struggling U.S. economy. While revenue is declining for many entities in the sports and entertainment industry, the UFC continues to hold its ground, and even grow in some aspects.
“I’m very excited to be back hear in Texas, and I’m even more excited hearing numbers like that,” declared White when informed of the record setting ticket sales.