“The city of Halifax did not disappoint,” said Tom Wright, the UFC Managing Director of Operations in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, before adding that UFC Fight Night 54: MacDonald vs. Saffiedine “was an absolute sellout.”
The Halifax Metro Centre was filled to the brim to the tune of 10,782 fight fans, which accounted for a live gate of $926,000 (CAN). That’s roughly $823,000 U.S.
It was the UFC’s first trip to Nova Scotia, and considering that it was a Fight Night event, those are respectable numbers.
“It’s been wonderful,” said Wright, who said that the promotion will surely return to Halifax, although he couldn’t give any sort of date as to when that might happen.
UFC Fight Night 54 was loaded with Canadians, but it was main eventer Rory MacDonald that carried the load on Saturday night. He’s next in line for a shot at the UFC welterweight championship that his teammate Georges St-Pierre used to rule with an iron fist.
Not only was MacDonald charged with drawing his fellow Canadians to the Metro Centre, he risked that coveted title shot. Although, as it turns out, there wasn’t much risk, as MacDonald already looked the part of champion on Saturday night, out-striking Tarec Saffiedine, who has a respectable kickboxing background and is a former Strikeforce titleholder.
MacDonald floored Saffiedine and finished him in a flurry of punches early the in the third round of the headlining bout.