Wandy vs Rampage 3 to Super Saturday?

September 24, 2008

Kevin Iole has it on good account that Wandy vs Rampage 3 may be moved to the BJ vs GSP undercard:

A very good source told me on Tuesday he expects Jackson and Silva to fight Jan. 31 (Super Bowl weekend) in Las Vegas in UFC 93. It’s a very fluid situation, but it’s almost certain it won’t happen in November and it’s very unlikely for December.

This is solid thinking by the Zuffa braintrust. As we elaborated on in our post from yesterday, the Super Saturday show will be the most vulnerable of the three show stretch starting in November. If they are wanting to bolster any card, BJ vs GSP would look to be the one. Adding another high profile match-up to BJ vs GSP will help at the gate and also make the card a must buy for any PPV stragglers that may have thought of passing on the card. The UFC doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s Super Saturday card, which only did a $2.5 million gate. The UFC may still have to battle a sinking economy come UFC 93 time, but loading up on the card will give the card the best chance at success.

The Jackson Silva fight had been rumored for November on the undercard of Brock vs Randy. MMAPayout put forth the notion in our UFC 88 wrap-up that Brock vs Randy is a “one fight” card if there ever was one. That one fight will carry the day, with the strength or lack thereof of the rest of the card having little impact on the final buyrate. The back story of Couture’s Return as well as the Pro Wrestler going for gold will drown out anything else that they can put on the card, media and promotion-wise. You are only going to see an extremely marginal increase in PPV sales by putting another attractive bout on the card. Placing a fight like Rampage vs Wanderlei on the card would be wasteful, as that fight can be mined for maximum drawing ability by placing it elsewhere.

UFC 91 Ticket Sales Update

September 23, 2008

Dave Meltzer of Yahoo reports that low end tickets are gone for the big UFC 91 showdown:

All $75 and $150 tickets went quickly on the Internet presale late last week.

All $300 tickets were gone by Sunday, so the only seats left are for $500, $750 and $1,000, with plenty available at the two highest prices. But never fear, you can still get the former $75 tickets for as “low” as $241 from scalpers.

All told, heading into the week, 7,500 tickets were sold for roughly $2.5 million.

Having three shows in Vegas over the span of two and a half months, each demanding premium pricing, may lead to a point of diminishing returns when it comes to the performance of the UFC at the gate. Brock vs Randy should yield a record gate, but possibly at the expense of a lower than the norm figure for the New Year’s card, and subsequently the Superbowl card.

The lesser than normal gates for such high profile cards can be mitigated to some degree by the seeming inability to do higher numbers elsewhere, but that wouldn’t necessarily be true of the BJ vs GSP showdown. BJ vs GSP could easily do a $5 million gate if held Canada.

The last of the three cards, BJ vs GSP, would seem to be the most at risk, but it does have it’s own built-in advantages that may help it overcome a poor showing at the ticket window. Both BJ and GSP are known for having large contingents of fans come into Vegas from their respective homelands to support their favorite sons. Smart money would have promotional efforts being rolled out as we speak, four and a half months ahead of time, in Canada and Hawaii to maximize the turnouts from these two areas.

Omaha to Get UFC Pay-per-view Event?

September 23, 2008

Catching up on some of the news that hit during our down time, this particular post on Fight Night from Omaha by Steve Cofield caught my eye:

UFC president Dana White was giddy about the support shown for the event telling the Omaha News-World the city got itself a future pay-per-view event.

It seemed like a statement that begged a follow-up question that never came. Asking the logical follow-up would yield the part being left out……that they probably earned a WEC PPV, not a UFC PPV show.

The event at the Omaha Civic Auditorium drew 9,103 and did an arena record gate of $700,000. Which is great for a mid-level show during the middle of the week for free TV, but for the UFC PPV shows you are looking at a $1.75 to $2 million gate at minimum to even start talking about hosting a PPV. They could play the larger venue in the Omaha area, the Qwest Center, but it is highly questionable if they could do sufficient numbers there. Portland just got aced out of hosting the Randy vs Brock showdown even though that show would have done in the $2 million range, which was no match for a $5 million+ payoff at the gate in Las Vegas. Omaha can’t compete at either level, which makes them hosting a UFC PPV nonsensical.

A better fit for Omaha would be a possible WEC PPV, a concept which Dana White recently discussed with Kevin Iole at Yahoo. Omaha and their $700k gate would compare favorably to other non-Vegas venues for the WEC such as Albuquerque and Sacaramento, who have recently hosted cards. If they can get the folks of Omaha to buy in to the WEC brand they probably won’t hit the $700k figure, they can do respectable and profitable numbers.

Iceman in the Philippines Followup

September 23, 2008

You can check out video of Chuck’s Filipino tour at the UFC website. They also have a write up on his visit as well a conversation with Lorenzo Fertitta on possible shows for the UFC in The Philippines for 09.

A show in the Philippines, the home of boxing superstar and national icon Manny Pacquiao, is a no-brainer for the diehard fight fans of the nation, whom Fertitta describes as having “a deep understanding of the sport.” Summer of 2009 is being projected for the UFC’s initial foray into Southeast Asia, with the plan not only to showcase the company’s established stars, but to also give the event a local flavor.

“It will be a combination of bringing over some of our stars and then hopefully having some local Filipino fighters, and maybe bringing in some of the guys from Japan and South Korea,” said Fertitta, who believes the UFC’s success in the country can be boiled down to a couple key elements.

Donruss Announces Red Alert Trading Cards

September 22, 2008

Exclusive Red Alert 3 Trading Cards Featuring MMA Superstars Randy Couture and Gina Carano

Free With Pre-Order of Red Alert 3 on Xbox 360

Available now at GameStop, pre-order your copy of Red Alert 3 for Xbox 360, and you’ll receive two limited edition Donruss Red Alert 3 trading cards when you pick up your game. These awesome cards from the trading card industry’s leading manufacturer, Donruss, feature two of the biggest stars from the world of Mixed Martial Arts, UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy “The Natural” Couture as Allied Commander Warren Fuller, and undefeated EliteXC superstar Gina “Conviction” Carano as the deadly Soviet Commando Natasha. These cards will only be available at GameStop stores nationwide and online, while supplies last.

“We have done several promotions over the past two years with EA, exposing their audience to trading card collecting,” said Carl Braun, Director of Games for Donruss. “It’s obvious that a very high percentage of trading card collectors play video games but we also know the video game player is an ideal trading card collector. With Command & Conquer Red Alert 3, one this year’s biggest releases, and MMA being the fastest growing sport in the world, this was a great way to work with EA again to bring collectors closer to Gina Carano, Randy Couture, and Command & Conquer.

Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 ships this fall on PC and Xbox 360. Mr. Couture and Ms. Carano will star in the Command & Conquer franchise’s trademark live-action movie sequences, alongside a diverse group that includes a host of award-winning actors, action stars, science fiction legends, up-and-coming starlets from around the globe and mixed martial arts fighters.

The cast of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 follows (in alphabetical order by last name): Gemma Atkinson (the UK’s Hollyoaks), Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Hunt for Red October), Andrew Divoff (LOST), Kelly Hu (X2, The Scorpion King), Jenny McCarthy (Scream 3, former Playboy Playmate of the Year), Ivana Milicevic (Casino Royale), Jonathan Pryce (Pirates of the Caribbean), J.K. Simmons (Spider-Man, Juno, Burn After Reading), Autumn Reeser (The OC, Valentine), Peter Stormare (Prison Break, Armageddon), George Takei (Star Trek, Heroes), and two of the most recognizable names in competitive mixed martial arts Randy “The Natural” Couture (former UFC Heavyweight champion) and Gina “Conviction” Carano (Undefeated Elite XC fighter, American Gladiators).

The Donruss Trading Card Company is a leading manufacturer of sports and entertainment trading cards, produced under the Donruss, Playoff, Leaf, Score and Americana brand names. As the second oldest trading card company, Donruss has established a well-deserved reputation in the realm of sports collectibles. Donruss is known for pioneering the Rookie Card phenomenon and manufacturing the finest, high-end trading cards available at any price.

UFC Fight Night 15 Payouts

September 22, 2008

Nate Diaz — $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win)
Josh Neer — $9,000
Diaz defeated Neer via split decision

Clay Guida — $26,000 ($13,000 to show, $13,000 to win)
Mac Danzig — $15,000
Guida defeated Danzig via unanimous decision

Alan Belcher — $26,000 ($13,000 to show, $13,000 to win)
Ed Herman — $16,000
Belcher defeated Herman via split decision

Eric Schafer — $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Houston Alexander — $13,000
Schafer defeated Alexander via submission (arm triangle choke) in round one

Alessio Sakara — $34,000 ($17,000 to show, $17,000 to win)
Joe Vedepo — $3,000
Sakara defeated Vedepo via knockout (head kick) in round one

Wilson Gouveia — $36,000 ($18,000 to show, $18,000 to win)
Ryan Jensen — $4,000
Gouveia defeated Jensen via submission (armbar) in round two

Joe Lauzon — $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Kyle Bradley — $4,000
Lauzon defeated Bradley via technical knockout (strikes) in round two

Jason Brilz — $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Brad Morris — $4,000
Brilz defeated Morris via technical knockout (strikes) in round two

Mike Massenzio — $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Drew McFedries — $16,000
Massenzio defeated McFedries via submission (kimura) in round one

Dan Miller — $10,000 ($5,000 to show, $5,000 to win)
Rob Kimmons — $5,000
Miller defeated Kimmons via submission (rear naked choke) in round one

Total Payroll:$307,000

Courtesy of MMAMania.com

Silva Contemplating Retirement

September 22, 2008

Michael David Smith at MMAFanhouse comments on the rumors going around the net that Anderson Silva may be contemplating retirement:

I suppose I can see where Silva might feel that way: He has completely cleared out the middleweight division in MMA, to the point where there really aren’t any good fights left for him at that weight, and he has suggested that he’d like do new things, including fight Roy Jones in a boxing match. Maybe, at age 33, he’s just ready to move on.

Losing a top three pound for pound fighter will hurt the sport, but Anderson taking leave of the UFC would have a negligible effect on business. As great as Anderson has performed in the Octagon, his performance at the box office has been almost inversely proportional.

While researching the PPV numbers for our most recent segment on Inside MMA segment, Anderson’s lack of PPV punch jumped out. Measuring PPV draws since the explosion of MMA in early 2006, Silva has been a consistent under-performer on PPV. Anderson Silva has averaged 337,500 buys when heading up a PPV. The shows without him in the line up did an average of 525,238, a drop of -37.5%.

It may be hard to believe but the UFC PPV buying public looks to go out of its way to not buy Anderson on PPV, judging on the numbers. Even a nondescript card like UFC 78, headlined by Rashad Evans vs Michael Bisping, did better on PPV than everything on Anderson’s PPV resume, barring his fight against Travis Lutter.

His under performance wouldn’t be such a bad thing if he weren’t scheduled to receive a large bump in pay after renegotiating his contract at the beginning of the summer. When factoring in base pay, PPV percentages, and bonuses, Silva will make a low seven figure salary when performing on PPV. Paying Silva like he is a PPV draw when he isn’t is going to be hard to explain when guys that DO draw come up for renewal and are being offered comparable numbers.

Fedor Instructional Book Released

September 22, 2008

Victory Belt Publishing came out last week with an instructional book authored by top heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko. The book tries to give the reader a comprehensive look at Fedor’s keys to success, judging form the following product description:

In Fedor, the undefeated, undisputed heavyweight MMA champion of the world unveils for the first time his trademark striking and grappling techniques through descriptive narrative and more than 2500 step-by-step color photographs. Detailing dozens of throws, punching combinations, cardio workouts and ground and pound techniques, this book leaves no stone unturned.

Victory Belt has put out similar instructional books in the past featuring such MMA stars as Randy Couture, BJ Penn, and Karo Parisyan. You can pick up a copy of Fedor for yourself at Amazon.com, among other online retailers.

Iceman Leading International Efforts

September 21, 2008

UFC has made no secret that they look to possibly do a show in The Philippines at some time in the 2009 calendar year. Leading up to that end, they have been sending over fighters to do press and public workouts to help increase the visibility of the UFC in the country. Previous workouts have been held by Fil-AM star Brandon Vera.

The UFC look to have pulled out the big guns as well, as Chuck Liddell is currently in The Philippines doing press and public workouts to bolster these efforts. Filipino website/news bureau ABS CBN News details Chuck’s adventures:

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans crammed the Atrium area of the SM Mall of Asia Sunday afternoon to catch a glimpse of Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell while doing an open workout.

Most of the MMA fans started gathering at the Atrium as early as 2 p.m. The crowd began roaring at 3:45 p.m. when they saw the 6’2″ Liddell climbing into the ring.

Liddell, who beat the likes of Tito Ortiz and UFC legend Randy Couture, showed the “moves”, mostly based on Kempo karate and Koei-Kan karate, to the delight of local MMA fans.

The crowd even went nuts when the former light heavyweight champion greeted them “Mabuhay”.

Even grown men, most of whom trained in martial arts, suddenly acted childlike upon seeing their UFC hero.

“Elated po, napakasaya,” said Jayson Guijano when interviewed about Liddell’s visit.

Guijano said he is a Shotokan Karate second dan black belter and Liddel is his Number 1 UFC idol. “Idol ko talaga si Chuck ever since,” he said.

After the exhibition training, some of Liddell’s fans climbed into the ring for autographs.

Liddell was very accommodating, signing his name on almost everything that was brought before him, including beer cans.

Renzo Gracie "Legacy" Trailer (Video)

September 21, 2008

Renzo Gracie Legacy that will debut soon at the US Sports Film Festival. Above is the trailer for the movie, which judging from the clip looks to be quite good. The film will also available on DVD on November 12th at renzogracielegacy.com. Once the full service site is back up look for an interview by MMAPayout.com’s Andrew Falzon with Legacy director Gethin Aldous.

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