Orlando is finally feeling the love from the UFC — and it's just in time for Valentine's Day. Tickets go on sale today for the main event heavyweight title eliminator featuring No. 2 ranked Fabricio Werdum and No. 3 Travis Browne April 19th at the Amway Center.
Fans can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster or the Amway Center box office starting at 10 a.m. Prices range from $60.48 to $267.73. Among the eight additional fights on the card, UFC on Fox 11 will feature a women's bantamweight bout between former title challengers Miesha Tate and Liz Carmouche.
The event marks the first UFC visit to Central Florida and the first time the company has been to Florida in two years.
"There's a lot of fans here and they're getting what they're due," Browne said.
A UFC representative said strong pay-per-view numbers and ratings from the Central Florida area in addition to web users made Orlando an attractive market. But it's too early to determine if that television and online interest will lead to ticket sales.
Despite the high interest in the sport, Florida has yet to match the ticket sales of popular MMA states, including Nevada and Texas. UFC President Dana White expressed his disappointment with lackluster ticket sales for UFC on FX3 at BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale in June 2012.
"I know when we put tickets on sale in other places , they're gonna go boom," White said. "Here, this place has been consistently bad, so it's tough."
Central Florida, like South Florida, is populated with mixed martial arts gyms and sends a steady stream of fighters to the popular reality show, "The Ultimate Fighter."
Browne is hopeful Orlando residents will return the love to the UFC by showing up.
"We want to come back here all the time," he said. "In the past, it was one of those times where maybe the fighters they put on the card weren't really vibing with Florida's field, but you have heavyweights, a main event on the card so there's no reason why people shouldn't be out there."