Apply to be a UFC fighter online

April 26, 2011

The UFC and are offering ordinary people the opportunity to apply online to be a UFC fighter. is a job search web site that has been a UFC sponsor since the fall of 2010.

Via UFC web site:

With thousands of fighters applying annually to the UFC for the opportunity to fight in the Octagon, applicants can now post their profiles, videos, photos and their fight history on A simple application is then automatically shared directly with UFC management for their review.

Payout Perspective: has appeared in the Octagon at UFC events but there has been no brand activation until now. Let’s be honest, don’t expect any fighter applying online to appear in the Octagon any time soon. If you were really considering a foray into the octagon, you’d tryout for The Ultimate Fighter. Secondly, I think the UFC has a scouting department. So, if you’re good and on the rise, someone within the UFC will let Dana White know. Yet, this is a novel idea and a bit of a social media tie-in as users will be able to see other applicants. The applicants will need to fill out an application on’s web site so it will expose people to’s web site and what it has to offer.

Bellator 42 ratings: 199,000 viewers

April 26, 2011

MMA Junkie reports Bellator rebounded from its worst ratings of the season hitting an average of 199,000 for its Easter weekend offering. Bellator 42 on MTV2 included a solid 180,000 viewers for its replay.

Via MMA Junkie:

In addition to the 199,000 viewers who tuned in for the live broadcast, 180,000 tuned in for an immediate replay on MTV2. That’s a 59 percent increase over Bellator 41, which drew 132,000 for the first airing and 107,000 for the replay.

 The first-run season-four ratings include:

  • Bellator 35 ratings: 200,000 viewers
  • Bellator 36 ratings: 230,000
  • Bellator 37 ratings: 173,000
  • Bellator 38 ratings: 150,000
  • Bellator 39 ratings: 174,000
  • Bellator 40 ratings: 218,000
  • Bellator 41 ratings: 132,000
  • Bellator 42 ratings: 199,000

Payout Perspective:

The yo-yo continues for Bellator ratings. It’s a pleasant surprise considering the Easter holiday and the fact that Bellator was going up against another boxing event on Showtime. Bellator head Bjorn Rebney has maintained that the ratings will eventually come with the goal of establishing its core audience. He also stated that MTV execs are happy with the overall viewership for its Saturday night time slot.

UFC introduces

April 25, 2011

The UFC announced the launch of its web site which will cater to its Spanish speaking fans.

Via press release:

The site will cater to the culture of the blossoming audience of Hispanic fans who are drawn to the UFC’s fast-paced, exciting action. What’s more, the site will include news, video and special content featuring charismatic Hispanic stars such as UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, top welterweight Diego Sanchez, and Octagon® girl Arianny Celeste. will remain intact, offered in Spanish only, and available in Latin America.

Payout Perspective:

It’s surprising that it took this long for the UFC to establish this web site considering the big push for Cain Velasquez last fall. Of course, the UFC has been busy with the acquisition of Strikeforce and its other initiatives. The web site should attract a growing demographic of UFC fans. We will see how will feature its Hispanic stars. It will be interesting to see what kind of push Dominick Cruz will receive against Urijah Faber. Will the marketing focus on Cruz’s heritage or the rivalry with Faber?

More Details Behind Zuffa-Strikeforce Purchase

April 25, 2011

Dave Meltzer over at is reporting some interesting details behind the Zuffa-Strikeforce purchase, which details why the UFC broke the news that Saturday morning and some info behind the bidders and the acquisition timetable.

On F4WOnline’s latest newsletter (subscription), some more notes regarding the deal between Sports Valley Sports and Entertainment and Zuffa were released:

– SVSE was looking for a strategic business partner who would help fund Strikeforce in order to expand and become a PPV revenue company.

– The key members during the negotiations were Lorenzo Fertitta and Lawrence Epstein from the UFC, Dana White was not involved.

– Talks began in December and terms and money had been agreed on by January.

– The story behind the Saturday announcement is summarized best from the quote below, taken from the write-up.

The plan was to make the public announcement on 3/14, however a media outlet found out and was going to go with a story on 3/12. That’s when UFC contacted Ariel Helwani as they wanted to get the word out first and get their version of the story out immediately.

–  MMAPayout was aware of the story 2 weeks before it broke that Saturday but could not confirm it before the story broke.  A few MMA outlets were on to the story already by that weekend, and it is said that Ariel Helwani was already flown in to tape the interview with Dana White by the end of the week to release it with the official announcement.  When the UFC realized that another MMA outlet was going to break the story first, they decided to release the tape and break the news on Saturday morning instead of Monday to get their version of the story out there first. Josh Gross of ESPN reported the news shortly after it broke that Saturday, followed by MMAJunkie and the other outlets that evening.

– Multiple legit offers were made for Strikeforce, including some from the boxing world.  UFC had the best deal and wanted to make it because it would eliminate their main competitor, gain marketable athletes, and would be able to run more shows and expand. One note here is Pro Elite’s alleged 40 million offer, which apparently was mostly a paper offer, was never considered a legit offer.


Links to MMAPayout coverage regarding the Zuffa-Strikeforce purchase can be found here:

Zuffa Purchases Strikeforce, Agrees to Blockbuster MMA Deal

Mystery Strikeforce Third Bidder, Early Signs Of Sale, & UFC Purchase Notes

Exploring Why SVSE Walked Away from Strikeforce & MMA

Limited edition GSP figure at UFC 129 expo

April 25, 2011

Canadian based collectible figure company, Round 5, announced the release of a limited edition Georges St. Pierre figure available only at the UFC 129 Fan Expo in Toronto.  In addition, it is offering purchasers the opportunity to have their own likeness on a Round 5 figurine.

 Via Round 5 press release:

Markham, ON (April 25, 2011) – Round 5 President Damon Lau officially announces the release of the Georges “Rush” St-Pierre UFC Fan Expo Toronto 2011 Exclusive figure and gives details on how Round 5 collectors can have their own likeness turned into a Round 5 figure.

The limited edition GSP figure will only be available at the UFC Fan Expo in Toronto, and will feature GSP in his black gi and signature headband he wore at “UFC 94: St-Pierre vs. Penn 2” where he defeated BJ Penn via 4th round TKO to retain his welterweight crown. Also included in this release is a die cast replica of the UFC title belt. 

“The biggest fight in UFC history is happening in Toronto, and as a Canadian company we felt that we had to really give our hardcore collectors something incredible,” said Lau. “We don’t expect that these will be available for more than a few hours, so if you want one, you should arrive early.”

Only 1000 units of the GSP Fan Expo Toronto Exclusive figure have been produced, the figure will retail for $25.00 and can be purchased only at the Round 5 booth at the UFC Fan Expo in Toronto on April 29-30.

Round 5 will also provide attendees of UFC Fan Expo Toronto with the unique opportunity to receive a one-off Round 5 figure created in their own likeness.

“We will randomly attach “Golden Tickets” to the back of select GSP figures, these tickets will entitle the purchaser to have their head scanned, and printed onto an existing Round 5 body,” Lau said. “These figures will be official Round 5 products and will be one of a kind pieces.”
Round 5 will have a 3D imaging scanner at their booth. Five lucky collectors will win the opportunity to have their heads scanned. The resulting unpainted heads will be attached to their choice of existing Round 5 bodies.

According to the press release, Round 5 is the officially licensed collectible figure company of the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

With only 1000 units available at $25.00, the Round 5 booth will have long lines of fans clamoring for one of the GSP figurines. The crowd will probably resemble the frenzy for Cabbage Patch Kids in the 1980s. It will be interesting to check eBay next week to see how many GSP figurines will be sold and for how much. This is an example of the many Canadian-based businesses taking advantage of the throngs of fans heading to UFC 129 this weekend. It’s a chance for companies like Round 5 get in front of consumers. Aside from GSP, Round 5 has other figurines that many fans will purchase once the GSP collectibles are scooped up.

UFC Primetime on ESPN2 ratings: 144,000 viewers

April 25, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that ratings for the unannounced UFC Primetime episodes last Wednesday drew an average audience of 144,000 viewers.

Via MMA Junkie:

The debut episode of “UFC Primetime” scored 610,000 viewers on Spike TV. In addition to ESPN2, replays have aired on ION Television, Fuel TV and Versus.

Payout Perspective:

There is no word on the ratings for episode two’s airing on Spike TV Wednesday night but it appears that the true goal of the UFC Primetime airings on various networks is to get the word out for this Saturday rather than drawing a high episode rating. We should expect that if the UFC wanted a big overall rating, it would have promoted it. Looking back, I do not recall any specific tweets from Dana White telling his followers to check out ESPN2 last Wednesday. The UFC seems to be too media savvy to let its product go unannounced when its on television.

WWE Tough Enough ratings: 2.196 million

April 24, 2011

Television by Numbers reports that this past week’s episode of WWE’s Tough Enough received an average of 2.196 million viewers and a 0.8 rating for the 18-49 adult demographic.


The reality show starring Stone Cold Steve Austin was down from last week with an overall 1.53 rating. The replay following Monday Night Raw did an additional 1.16 rating with over 1.5 million viewers (H/t


Payout Perspective:

We have discussed the fact that Tough Enough is beating TUF in the ratings battle but TE does have one of cable’s top shows, Monday Night Raw, as an anchor. Also, it’s obvious that TE can script the course of the show whereas TUF cannot. TUF cannot control who wins and loses during the fights and created the “wildcard” fighter as a way to combat any upsets. TUF will have to continue to tweak the concept in future seasons to try and keep TUF fresh for viewers.

Mayhem signs with UFC

April 23, 2011

MMA Fighting reports that Jason “Mayhem” Miller has signed with the UFC. Miller’s last fight in Strikeforce was last April and his contract with Strikeforce has since expired.

While the news of Miller’s signing enhances the UFC middleweight division, Luke Thomas at SB Nation points out the issue with this signing:

But now what is the value add? Strikeforce is still a less exposed brand even with Zuffa’s marketing machine, now with fewer contenders. Existing contracts that still provide certain freedoms to fighters are still in play, but it’s not even clear the UFC will allow that to continue. And with the declining Japanese market combined with the increased exposure and monetary returns fighting in the UFC offers, is there really a compelling reason to sign with Strikeforce?

As the integrity of the roster crumbles by having top talent slowly bleed into the UFC, the idea that fighters will want to sign with Strikeforve (sic) over the UFC or that it’s even a brand to keep alive will slowly fade. If there are contracts in place that have to be maintained, then there’s little the UFC can do but wait. Wait they will, though. The trajectory is clear: the future of Strikeforce is no future at all.

Payout Perspective:

Miller’s signing with the UFC eliminates the possibility of a fight with Nick Diaz. Arguably, that fight would have drew eyes to Strikeforce due to the backstory and the genuine hate between the two. But what Thomas underscores is the fact that the UFC and Strikeforce cannot operate as business as usual when it comes to talent acquisition. Is there really going to be a bidding war for the services of a fighter? Did Strikeforce make a push for Miller to resign with the Strikeforce? A bidding war between UFC-Strikeforce would seem ludicrous since both entities are owned by the same company.

It is obvious that when Strikeforce contracts expire, Zuffa will decide the direction of the fighter: resign with Strikeforce, sign with UFC or decide not to resign the fighter. With the Miller signing, we are beginning to see the plan of either using Strikeforce as a feeder system for the UFC or as Thomas indicates, eventually phasing Strikeforce out.

TUF 13 Episode 4 ratings: 1.3 million viewers

April 22, 2011

MMA Junkie reports that TUF 13 Episode 4 ratings scored an average of 1.3 million viewers with a 0.93 household rating. It scored a 1.24 rating among M18-49 and a 1.23 for M18-34.

Television by Numbers reported slightly different numbers yesterday. According to the web site, The Ultimate Fighter scored an average of 1.296 million viewers for a 0.8 household rating.

Payout Perspective:

Anyone else notice that the ratings came out a day later than usual. Episode 4 ratings remained steady from last week but remains below expectations considering its top PPV draw (and highest) paid star is a coach on the series. This week’s episode even featured a guest appearance from Matt Hughes but could not gain traction. The move to put UFC Primetime on ESPN 2 does not hurt TUF, but it doesn’t help in any semblence of a boost in ratings.

UFC Primetime appears on ESPN2

April 21, 2011

UFC Primetime series St. Pierre vs. Shields debuted on ESPN2 last night to the surprise many as the airing came with no notice. In addition, UFC Primetime was seen on Spike TV as part of the regular Wednesday night lineup.

MMA Junkie reports:

UFC president Dana White today confirmed the series will continue to air on the all-sports channel as the UFC continues to look for increased viewership on a variety of networks.

No word on whether the UFC and ESPN will broadcast further UFC programming.

UPDATED 4/21/11, 4:35PM:  Via MMA Fighting: ESPN reports that “Primetime episode 2 at 11:00 and 11:30 p.m. on ESPN2 generated a combined .3 cable rating.”

Payout Perspective:

The internet was a-twitter last night when UFC Primetime appeared on the “Deuce” without prior notice. It seems strange that there was no lead-up seeing as the UFC’s intent was to produce more viewers to the show. Is this the equivalent of a product “soft launch”? Doesn’t the same night airing of its series cannibalize ratings on Spike TV? Ratings will be interesting to compare the first two weeks on Spike TV versus next week’s airing on ESPN2.

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