Our friends over at SeatGeek — a site that uses algorithms to identify the best deals on the market and to forecast how ticket prices will move over time — is producing some pretty interesting data concerning this weekends UFC 124 in Montreal. Not all that surprising, but it seems GSP is the driving force behind the highest average UFC ticket prices in quite a while.
At an average price of $264.41, UFC 124 is surpassing top grossing events like 'UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2,' ($242.44) and 'UFC 123: Rampage vs. Machida' ($252.13). 'UFC 121: Lesnar vs. Velasquez' came in at a disappointing $220.93 average ticket price.
I don't think it would be out of bounds to say that Georges St. Pierre is now the UFC's top drawing fighter. With the recent unseating of Brock Lesnar by Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, I expect to see GSP take the lead in straight PPV buys. I just don't see Lesnar being able to draw after the manner in which he lost, but we'll have to see when and who he fights next.
St. Pierre's marketability makes him a selling force. Since signing endorsement deals with both Gatorade and Under Armour, GSP is easily the most mainstream fighter competing in MMA today. While he already has a fairly faithful male audience, it's his ability to bring in female viewers that makes him such a prize for marketers. With the entire Canadian nation - and market - behind him, why wouldn't he be?