Ok, so you’ve got your ticket to the UFC in Sydney on March 3 2012, right? Think you’ve got all sorted? Well, if it’s your first time in Sydney for the UFC then the planning and preparation doesn’t end there!
Here are a few other tips to help you on your way and help you have an awesome time at the UFC in Sydney 2012!!
If you’re coming in from interstate, be prepared to see a fair amount of TapouT on your flight along with pretty much any other MMA brand out there! Any flights going to Sydney around March 3 will have a fair share of UFC fans flying in – be well prepared to discuss with the person sitting next to you which fight you think has the best matchup and who you think will win.
A trickier matter is when exactly to fly in. If you want to catch the weigh-ins you’ll need to be there the day before the fights. In 2011 the weigh-ins were held at the Allphones Arena and opened to the publc at 1pm with the first fighters hitting the scale at 2pm. Get there early to get a good seat as there will definitely be a queue.
If you do go to the weigh-ins, it’s a great chance to buy any UFC merchandise that you’re after. There will be a merchandise stall there and buying your goods at the weigh-ins means you’ll beat the mad rush of the fight day crowd.
Tip: For UFC 127 a lot of people who tried to fly in on the morning of the fights missed out when Tiger Airways had a delay. If you want to decrease the chances of missing out, get in at least the day before the fights.
Sydney trains run straight to the Arena and most major stations are signed with which trains you need to catch to get to Sydney Olympic Park (where the Arena is located). If you’re catching a train from the Arena after the fights it’s a good idea to buy your return ticket when you arrive at the Arena in the morning – saves you lining up with the 10,000 other people for a ticket after the fights have finished!
Staying in Olympic Park close to the Allphones Arena is a little more expensive than other places in Sydney but you have to factor in that hotels like the Ibis or Novotel are walking distance from the Arena so you don’t need to pay for a train in and out. There are plenty of restaurants and fast food places around these hotels to keep you entertained if you’re just there to see the fights. However if you want to do some sightseeing or enjoy a bit of Sydney nightlife, you’re better off staying in the city.
Last year a lot of the UFC famous faces – including the ring girls – stayed at the Star Sydney Casino and Hotel so that’s a spot you may want to book in for. Like last year, you may just see UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste relaxing by the pool!
In The Arena
For UFC 127 in 2011, doors opened at 10:30am with the first preliminary fights starting around 11am.
You can’t take bags inside the Arena so make sure you’ve emptied out everything you need into your pockets and go check any bags you have into the coat check before proceeding into the Arena.
You also can’t take any video recorders or cameras with large detachable lenses – but you should be ok with your standard digital handheld camera.
Once in the Arena, there’s food, beer and programs for sale. You can also buy a UFC Radio that lets you tune into the commentary. Some people like it but some people think the quality lacks and distracts from the awesome live atmosphere of being at a UFC event. You’ll probably find that the crowd around you will provide enough commentary any way!
It’s great to get in early and watch the preliminary fights as with the Arena nowhere near full you can get to the front of your seating section and get a closer look at the Octagon.
Bruce Buffer is there right from the start too so if you’ve got a floor seat it’s pretty easy to catch him for a photo while the fights are on – he’s a friendly guy! The UFC ring girls show up once the fights kick off and they’re pretty easy to catch for a photo too.
If you’re in the upper seats, you’ll be able to rent binoculars for around $10 (you’ll need a drivers licence as a deposit). There are plenty of big-screens around the Arena so you can always see the action from no matter where you’re sitting but the binoculars let you look around and see all the other action going on too. They’re great for celebrity watching, checking out the ring girls and seeing what Joe Rogan and Dana White get up to between the fights.
After The Fights
Like any sporting event – get out as soon as you can and get your gear from coat check or get on the train ASAP before the crowd hits. Alternatively, stick around take some photos of the Octagon and wait for the crowds to leave.
Got any other tips from your UFC Sydney experiences? Leave a comment below…