UFC Fight Night Seattle: Payout Perspective

March 28, 2011

Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective featuring UFC Fight Night from the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington. The main event featured Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis versus Antonio Rogerio Noguiera.

MMA Payout was on the scene. The first fight started at 2:45pm. Even with an early start time, there were a considerable amount of fans in their seats in the lower bowl and even the upper section.

Attendance and Gate

As previously reported, the event was a sellout as it surpassed the UFC’s expectations. Originally scheduled to house 8,000 fans, the UFC quickly recalibrated to open the upper bowl of the KeyArena so that 14,000 fans could attend. And on Friday, the UFC released an additional 842 seats. The KeyArena has a lower bowl and an upper bowl separated by a suite level. Both upper and lower bowls were filled when the main card started and all of the suites were occupied. I’d venture to say that 3/4 of the arena was filled by the time the Facebook fights started at 4:30pm.


MMA Junkie reports the bonuses as follows:

Korean Zombie – Submission of the Night

Johnny Hendricks – KO of the Night

Edwin Figueroa and Michael McDonald – Fight of the Night

Each received $55,000 bonuses, the most of any Fight Night.


Seattle’s local newspaper, the Seattle Times did the most in terms of local press leading up to the fight. It included a web chat Wednesday with Dana White which reportedly drew a huge number of people logging into the chat. In addition, the Seattle Times Seahawks beat writer, Danny O’Neill, wrote most of the UFC stories. O’Neill, a big MMA fan, had a great piece on Dan Hardy’s visit to Bruce Lee’s grave.

Sports columnist Steve Kelley had a nice write-up on attending his first UFC fight. While Kelley has covered boxing in the past, he was impressed by the UFC.

Via Seattle Times:

These fights seemed almost primal. The octagonal cage, even more so than a boxing ring, makes a fighter feel as if there is no way out.

The mixture of ways to win, the one-overwhelming punch, the knockout kicks, the elbows to the chops, knees to the rib cage and the wrestling-style take downs, add spice to the sport

The fight was hypnotizing. It was impossible to look away. I felt myself holding my breath, just like Hagler-Leonard or Leonard-Hearns.

A good piece by Kelley who will have the unfortunate task this summer of writing columns on the Seattle Mariners.

In addition, the local Fox  tv affiliate followed Johnny Hendricks before his fight Saturday night. A good guy to follow since he won KO of the night.

Sponsorship Watch

Bud Light had the center of the ring while SafeAuto Insurance continued with a steady presence in the UFC. Dan Hardy was the latest to wear SafeAuto as a sponsor. He even wore the “SA” emblem on his trademark bandana over his face on his walkout.

Spike TV hyped up The Ultimate Fighter premiere this week as well as its new reality show, “Coal”.

A lot more fighters wore the FVSTR clothing brand including Anthony Johnson.

Antonio Rogierio Noguiera sported the new Tapout track suit in white.

The Korean Zombie sported a MusclePharm t-shirt instead of his very popular Tri Coasta “Korean Zombie” t-shirt. In fact, it appeared that Zombie no longer had Tri Coasta as a sponsor.

Odds and Ends

FightLink – The UFC offered an in-arena radio transmitter where you could listen to the audio play-by-play. The device also is an AM-FM radio. You could use the device at any UFC event you attend.  The device had a price point of $20. An increase of $10 from a three years ago.

UFC Visa – The UFC is offering fans a chance to have a UFC visa.

From an informal survey of the crowd, it looked like the Korean Zombie t-shirt was the most popular amongst Seattle fans. There were also a smattering of Dan Hardy shirts too.

Evil Everywhere – Jens Pulver was in attendance on Saturday night. He shook hands, took pictures with fans and was literally all over the arena.  Pulver seemed to enjoy the fan recognition and didn’t mind stopping when noticed.

Payout Perspective:

The Seattle fans were knowledgeable and appreciated the fights. There were a lot of standing cheers after a spirited round and general applause at the end of a good fight. I was impressed by the amount of people that showed up in the afternoon for the undercard even though there were NCAA basketball games on tv.

Seattle is fertile ground for the UFC.  Matt Hume’s AMC Pankration and Ivan Salaverry’s gym are popular in the area and Mario Miranda received one of the bigger ovations prior to his match with Aaron Simpson. The attendance blew away expectations and the KeyArena is a great venue for the UFC. Without an NBA team in the city, KeyArena is home to Seattle University basketball and the WNBA’s Seattle Storm in the summer. There is a smattering of concerts and WWE events as well. But, the KeyArena had not been that packed since the Sonics were in Seattle.

Overall, the Northwest is a region that the UFC should capitalize on. UFC 102 in Portland grabbed 16,000 fans and UFC 115 in Vancouver garnered over 17,500 fans . UFC 131 in Vancouver should surpass last year’s event considering Brock Lesnar will main event the card.

White indicated that the UFC will be back and could host a future PPV.

5 Responses to “UFC Fight Night Seattle: Payout Perspective”

  1. Jason Cruz on March 28th, 2011 3:13 PM

    Apparently Tri-Coasta still sponsors KZ as here is his new shirt.


    No word on whether there has been a spike in the sale of Eddie Bravo DVDs.

  2. assassin on March 29th, 2011 7:51 AM

    I could not find any informaton on how to apply for the UFC credit card. Did MMA PAyout run across this?


  3. Jason Cruz on March 29th, 2011 4:20 PM

    I think that it was an in-arena promotion that they did at the weigh-ins and on Fight Night. I’m surprised the UFC doesn’t have anything on its web site.

  4. Machiel Van on March 30th, 2011 6:51 AM
  5. Jason Cruz on March 31st, 2011 7:30 AM

    Thanks MV. You just don’t get the rush that you have at the arena…or the free t-shirt.

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