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  • 10 Aug
    NEW YORK -- James McDonough settled into his seat in Section 315 high above Madison Square Garden with his 14-year-old son, James Jr. and his wife Linda before the start of UFC 205 on Saturday night. As far as family outings go, this would be one of their more expensive excursions of the year.The face value of each ticket McDonough paid to watch the first-ever UFC event in New York City was $831, bringing his familys admission cost to nearly $2,500 before buying a single drink or hot dog.It was expensive, but Ive been getting the pay-per-views ever since the UFC started, McDonough said. Ive been going to different cities and states to watch events for a while. Im glad that its finally here. The New York fans have been dying for this for years. This is beautiful for us. We get on the train, come up here, watch the fights and go home.McDonough, who is a 58-year old architect from Huntington, came to the fight with his family to watch Chris Weidman, who lost to Yoel Romero in the third round on Saturday night. His son, like Weidman, trains at Matt Serras Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Huntington.Its great that to finally see it live and person in New York, James Jr. said. I love the UFC. I dont know if I want to be a UFC fighter, but its a great experience to see it first-hand.With the average ticket price commanding more than $1,000 and floor tickets fetching as much as $15,000 on the secondary market, UFC 205 was the hottest ticket in New York City, beating out the Broadway phenomenon Hamilton for at least one weekend.Seated in front of the McDonough family on Saturday night was Patrick Power, a 29-year old UFC fan from Dublin, Ireland, with his brother, Stephen. Both of them wore green Ireland soccer jerseys and had the flag of Ireland draped over their shoulders.We follow Conor wherever he goes, Power said. Its great to be here in New York. We usually have go to Las Vegas, but this has been great. I hope they have more fights here in New York.Power said he paid $1,000 for his ticket, which is the most he has paid for a Conor McGregor fight, but said it was worth it to watch McGregor live.Conor is a hero back home, he said. Theres no filter with that guy. He just says whatever he thinks, and I think everyone respects that. He entertains everyone. If it wasnt for him, I dont think tickets would be as expensive as they are.Its no secret that UFC had to make its first fight in New York City and at Madison Square Garden a big show with big names. They needed McGregor to headline the card, and outside of an early Ronda Rousey comeback, no one else was really going to cut it at the top of the marquee in Manhattan. McGregor fans travel from all over the world to see him fight, and no one can sell a show quite like McGregor when it comes to his gift of gab or penchant for throwing water bottles and chairs. Hes a UFC fighter trapped in the body of a WWE promoter.As McGregor fans passed each other in the corridors of Madison Square Garden they yelled some of McGregors most famous press conference lines at each other.Who the f--- is that guy?!Shut your f---ing mouth!Youll do f---ing nothing!So it wasnt the most family-friendly environment, but then again, there werent many families in a crowd mainly dominated heavily by the companys 18-35 demographic, many of which saved up to come to UFC 205 in New York as soon as the date was announced.I went to UFC 200 and it was great, but I knew I wanted to come to New York; I wanted to be a part of history, said Pablo Bustillos, a 21-year old student from Houston, who paid $1,200 for his ticket. This is the most exciting thing in the world. I know some people think thats a lot to pay, but I love it. I know most people are here to see Conor McGregor, but I actually want to see Eddie Alvarez win.While UFC 205 was the companys first event in New York since mixed martial arts was banned in the state 20 years ago, it will be the first of many upcoming cards that will tell how big the market will be for UFC, which was sold to WMG-IMG for $4 billion in July.The fight was ridiculous to get here, said UFC president Dana White, who has worked for the past 15 years to get the UFC into New York. It should have never happened, but at the end, it made it bigger. It made it a bigger event. It made it more special. I wouldnt change it for anything in the world.UFC Fight Night will be held in Albany on Dec. 9 and UFC 209 will be held in Brooklyn. White said the company is also looking at holding cards in Buffalo and Syracuse. UFC 205, however, was the equivalent of the companys Super Bowl, and they priced the tickets accordingly with three championship fights, headlined by McGregor, who knocked out Eddie Alvarez in the second round to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two titles in two different weight classes.Conor is the biggest star and the biggest villain, and I came here to see him, said Masih Kazerouni, a 31-year-old lawyer from Irvine, California, who flew in for the event with four of his friends. The tickets I have were selling for over $1,000. The last time I paid prices like that was when I took my dad for Fathers Day to watch Cleveland and Golden State in Game 7 of the NBA Finals and that was $800. So this is more expensive than Game 7 of the NBA Finals, but this is their Game 7. This is their biggest event ever. Victor Moses Chelsea Jersey . -- Charline Labonte couldnt have asked for a better homecoming. Olivier Giroud Chelsea Jersey . -- The Bishops Gaiters are showing they belong among the countrys top varsity football teams. . Anthony Davis had 31 points and 17 rebounds in his seventh straight game with more than 20 points, but that was only enough to keep the Pelicans competitive into the final minutes. Andrew Bogut had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Golden State, which rebounded from a loss a night earlier in Oklahoma City and snapped a two-game skid. Victor Moses Jersey . LeBron James and Chris Bosh didnt need any more. Williams scored 11 points in 10 minutes, Alan Anderson scored 17 points, and the Brooklyn Nets finished the exhibition season with a 108-87 win over the Miami Heat on Friday night. Marcos Alonso Chelsea Jersey . Shot outdoors against the stunning backdrop of Banff, Alta., the networks 30-minute original production airs tonight at 8pm et/5pm pt on TSN2. The four All-Star teams will play for $100,000 in prize money during TSNs annual skins game, airing live this weekend on TSN from The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre. The Australian Jockeys Association has urged thoroughbred racing authorities not to be influenced by the decision of Harness Racing officials to ban the whip in that code.Des OKeeffe from the AJA said Racing Australias whip policy for thoroughbred racing was now best practice and said comparing the two codes was like comparing apples and oranges.Harness has used a much longer and thinner whip that has no padding and is in effect more like a stockwhip whereas jockeys now carry a heavily modified, much shorter and softer equestrian style riding crop that relies on a heavily foam padded flap, OKeeffe said.Harness Racing Australia announced on Saturday that whips would be banned in harness racing from September 1 next year.Racing Australia, through a sub-committee led by former chairman of stewards and Racing Australia board member Des Gleeson, has just completed a review of the whip rule in thoroughbred racing which currently permits jockeys to use the whip five times before the 100m of a race, but not in consecutive strides, with no restrictions in the final 100m.We are absolutely confident that the sub-committees recommendations when adopted will actually result in less use overall, while maintaining the safety of the riders and the integrity of our racing and most importantly, the welfare of our horses, OKeeffe ssaid.ddddddddddddiders in Australia are all for responsible encouragement of their mounts and welcome the proposed addition of discretionary powers becoming available to stewards when policing the rule. Without discretion, the existing rule that was in place over the last twelve months didnt make good sense.Racing Australia chairman John Messara, speaking on RSN927 on Monday, said they felt they had made sufficient changes to the whips and the whip regulations to satisfy people.Messara said that they would be saying a little bit more about the outcome of the review shortly, but said there would not be a whole lot of change to the rules, but rather mild alterations.If there are changes at all it will be to give the stewards a tad more discretion, such that they can take the race as a whole rather than one part of the race and look at sort of literal, specific breaches, Messara said.I think youre going to see some changes where there will be possibly less use of the whip at the end of the race, at the terminal part of the race.And Im seeing it myself and the stewards are seeing it, that jockeys are far less keen to use the whip at the end of the race now than they have been in the past. 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