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UFC Fight Night 29 Maia vs. Shields Attendance: “It was a Total Sellout”

Posted on by MMAWeekly.com Staff

UFC Brazil FlagCall the UFC sellouts. They’re perfectly fine with it.

In fact, they’re more than fine with it, since they sold out UFC Fight Night 29: Maia vs. Shields on a Wednesday night at the Jose Correa Gymnasium in Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil, to the tune of 6,621 fans.

“The attendance tonight was 6,621. It was a total sellout for us,” said UFC executive Marshall Zelaznik following the event.

Operating on Wednesday nights is a relatively new approach for the UFC. They are doing it at the request of their U.S. television partners at FOX. When FOX launched the new FOX Sports 1 sports network on Aug. 17, they did so with the promise that the UFC would help them build the network by providing a Wednesday night block of programming that would often include live fights.

Maia vs. Shields was the third Wednesday night event the promotion has operated since the FS1 launch less than two months ago. And so far, Zelaznik says that they are dialing in an approach that balances the audience they can reasonably draw on a mid-week night, while still providing the UFC experience that fans expect.

“It proves that our strategy of these Wednesday nights in these more intimate arenas,” Zelaznik said of the sellout in Bareuri. “We’re optimistic this will continue to work.”

Jake Shields continued his climb back into welterweight title contention at the Jose Correa Gymnasium, earning a split-decision victory over Demian Maia in the night’s main event.

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  • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

    OK but really 6,600 attendance is nothing if compared to some team sports even on Wednesday

    • sidrwc

      For sure, but in Brazil? I’m not sure the demographics they were dealing with, but as an introduction to new markets, I don’t think it’s that bad. Clearly if they’re selling out they can make money, and hopefully expand to larger arenas should this continue

      • Stefano ‘Zwonimir’ Sega Nogaro

        if compared to Soccer there, Sao Paulo-Atletico Parananense of Thursday 15th August drew 26,000, Sao Paulo-Criciuma drew 34,000, Sao Paulo-Gremio 41,000 … sure generally attendance is lower for league matches and still I’m talking about a premier sport in Brazil, but hardly I can c an UFC card in Brazil drawing better, even a PPV, UFC 163 drew less than 14,000 while second division soccer matches in Italy draw even 25,000 or more …

  • Ed Mister

    And who says the UFC is backpeddling? A total sellout. With a great fight card and great fights. Oops, looking at the numbers, I see that even events like “Battle at the Barn” in the middle of nowhere and without a single recognizable fighter have more attendance.