UFC 130: Payout Perspective

May 30, 2011

Welcome to another Payout Perspective. This time we look at UFC 130 held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event, Quentin “Rampage” Jackson was too much for Matt Hamill.

Rampage dominates Hamill

Not the most impressive main event, but Rampage Jackson dominated Matt Hamill in positioning himself for a title shot against Jon Jones. However, Jackson’s hand may prevent him from getting the shot. With mediocre buzz for this matchup, it seemed like Matt Hamill was not ready to step up in class in the division and in hindsight it looks like he was the recipient of this match by default, not merit. Once it was determined that Hamill could not take Rampage down, the outcome was elementary.

Jackson is a guy that can turn his appeal on and off. He had talked about retiring He was good on the Craig Ferguson show, bad on the MMA Hour and gave an entertaining excuse for his appearance with Ariel Helwani  here. It will be interesting to see how he’d do against Jon Jones if and/orwhen that fight happens.

Mir defeats Nelson

The real winner of this match may be Mike Dolce of the Dolce Diet. Roy Nelson appeared more out of shape than ever before in all of his fights in the UFC. Frank Mir looked better than he did in his match with Cro Cop at UFC 119 but that does not say a lot. It was reported that Mike Dolce may meet with Roy Nelson to assess fitness and diet. A smart idea.

Stann, Story and Browne impress

The other three fights on the PPV were better than the last two. Perhaps the most impressive was Brian Stann with an impressive stoppage of Jorge Santiago. Fueled by the fact he was fighting Memorial Day weekend, Stann looks like he is ready to compete in the upper tier of the division.

Similarly, Rick Story controlled Thiago Alves and won a unanimous decision. Story is now looking for Jon Fitch.

Quietly but consistently Travis Browne is moving up the ranks in the Heavyweight division. With an impressive KO of Stefan Struve, Browne remains undefeated in his pro career.

Attendance and gate

According to MMA Junkie, the event drew 12,816 fans for a gate of $2.57 million. The number of comps were not revealed. The average ticket price for the event was $200.53. The number of empty seats were noticeable from the PPV. Ironically, the numbers rival those from UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard from January 1, 2011 where 125 drew 12,874 for a $2,174,780. One might recall that nearly half of those in attendance at 125 did not pay.

The attendance and gate do not compare to last year’s Memorial Day card between Rampage and Rashard Evans. That show garnered 14,996 fans for a $3.985 million gate. It also received over a million PPV buys. Something this card will fall well short of.


Via MMA Junkie:

KO of the Night – Travis Browne

Submission of the Night – Gleison Tibau with his RNC submission of Rafaello Oliveira. Originally on Facebook, Tibau’s submission was shown as a filler at the end of the PPV.

Fight of the Night – Stann vs. Santiago

Each of the fighters received $70K for their efforts. Stann could have received a double bonus for his KO although Browne’s was impressive.


With the news that the UFC will be offering bonuses for fighters using their twitter accounts, the UFC included each fighter’s twitter handle with their name and birthplace on their walkouts.


XBox 360 continues with its sponsorship of “Mighty Mouse” Demetrious Johnson. It was the sole sponsor of Johnson in his fight during the UFC Prelims on Spike TV. XBox 360 also demo’d the new UFC Personal Trainer for the XBox (also available on other video consoles) earlier in the week at a local Fry’s in Las Vegas.

Safe Auto Insurance continues to add fighters to its list with the addition of Matt Hamill as he wore the SA hat walking in the main event. Travis Browne continued with his sponsorship of Safe Auto.

Boost Mobile was on the mat (along with the usual sponsors) at UFC 130. This is due in part to Rampage Jackson’s involvement as a spokesperson.

Rampage also signed an exclusive deal earlier this spring to wear MMA Elite clothing.

A promo for UFC 131 during the PPV has the event presented by the UFC’s newest game: the UFC Personal Trainer.

The elevation Training Mask is starting to make its way onto more fighter shorts.

Dodge continued with its sponsorship of the Facebook fights on the UFC fan page.

Post-UFC 130 Headlines

Will Rampage get the next shot at Jon Jones? – If Rampage’s hand is injured, we could see the winner of Phil Davis-Rashard Evans getting the shot. Or, we can see Lyoto Machida get the shot.

Stann continues to impress – Brian Stann’s rise in the middleweight division continues. Perhaps he was inspired by Memorial Day weekend or he is on a roll but he looks like someone that could be in line for a title shot in 2012.

Fedor vs. Henderson – Did anyone else the official announcement of this match on the same day as a PPV seemed odd?


Originally this card looked liked this:

Edgar vs. Maynard II

Rampage vs. Thiago Silva

Mir vs. Nelson

Arguably, this card would have been more intriguing than the one that took place Saturday night. Rampage-Silva would have been my pick as the fight to watch. The two guys can mean mug and fans would be treated to a slugfest. Going off of the classic draw on New Year’s night, many would have liked to see the Edgar-Maynard rematch. Finally, Mir-Nelson looked good on paper.  Obviously, things outside of the UFC’s power caused for the retooling of the card. It also had to reshoot an “In the Moment” starring Rampage Jackson (which wasn’t too bad). While there were some interesting fights for MMA fans (Stann-Santiago, Torres-Johnson), it lacked the attraction for the casual viewer. Thus, its likely the buy rate for the PPV would be under 500K. Compared to last year’s Memorial Day show which drew 1 million PPV buys, this will have to be a disappointment.

UPDATED 5/31/11

UFC Salaries via MMA Weekly:

Notably, Roy Nelson only made $15K for his fight with Frank Mir. He made the same in his fight with dos Santos at UFC 117. Brian Stann’s ($46K) made 3x more. Low man on the salary list was prelim fighter Chris Cariaso who made $4,000. Mir and Jackson topped the list at $250K.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson: $250,000 (no win bonus) def. Matt Hamill: $32,000
Frank Mir: $250,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus) def. Roy Nelson: $15,000
Travis Browne: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Stefan Struve: $21,000
Rick Story: $34,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus) def. Thiago Alves: $33,000
Brian Stann: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus) def. Jorge Santiago: $36,000

Demetrious Johnson: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus) def. Miguel Torres: $30,000
Tim Boetsch: $36,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus) def. Kendall Grove: $28,000
Gleison Tibau: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus) def. Rafaello Oliveira: $10,000
Michael McDonald: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus) def. Chris Cariaso: $4,000
Renan Barao: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus) def. Cole Escovedo: $6,000

11 Responses to “UFC 130: Payout Perspective”

  1. Michael on May 31st, 2011 5:55 AM

    Hi Jason,
    it will be interesting to see the buy rate.
    The lowest since 2010 was 215k for UFC 110 (which is, incidentially my favourite UFC ever!). If this UFC does similar numbers, one could assume, that there are at least 200.000 people who are still going to buy the PPV, even if the cards every once in a while aren’t that attractive. Or said differently: that there are 200.000 households, who would always to buy a ufc PPV.

    … which would be an outrageous number, given that the card really wasn’t all that attractive…really…not

  2. Jason Cruz on May 31st, 2011 6:34 AM

    Michael: UFC 110 was in Australia and buy rates tend to be lower for international shows. If UFC 130 has a similar buy rate, it would truly be disappointing, but not unexpected.

  3. mmaguru on May 31st, 2011 4:07 PM

    UFC 130 should have reach 300K buys, but anything over 400K would be a miracle. I believe Roy’s salary is linked to his TUF contract. I’m not sure how they are designed exactly for each fighter but wiki has some insight – “$150,000 is guaranteed for all three years if nine fights are fought”.

  4. Ironbuddha on June 1st, 2011 7:51 AM

    I’ll be shocked if it hits 300K. I work with 6 mma fans and not one of them, including myself, even bothered to watch 130. This is the first time in 10 years I haven’t purchased a PPV, and my co-workers are just as die hard as I am. While its clearly a small sample size, when die hards can’t be bothered to order it……

  5. Mike on June 1st, 2011 1:15 PM

    Good for Tibau, he deserves that $50,000 payday. I trained with him at ATT and I remembered how dedicated he was. Even when his only mode of transportation was stolen from him (motorcycle) he would jog almost 2 miles each way with all his gear to train everyday. Congratulations big guy!

  6. RICK on June 1st, 2011 7:42 PM

    Or maybe IronBuddha, you should just not be considereding yourself a “diehard”! Its MMA at the greastest level there is right now, why in the hell would you not buy if what your saying is true? Stop the hating, it was a good card, and regardless, with it appears good or not beforehand, i will buy it! That is the meaning of a true fan!! Good luck, cheapass IronBuddha!

  7. Diego on June 2nd, 2011 8:02 AM

    It’s not a card that caused a great stir, but I’m a big Rampage fan and I was at least curious about the rest of the card as well so I bought it. My other diehard friends also bought it, and overall it was an enjoyable card to watch.

  8. Diego on June 2nd, 2011 8:03 AM

    I figure it will do between 400-500k based on the strength of Rampage’s drawing power.

  9. Michael on June 2nd, 2011 9:02 AM

    So, RICK, what you are saying is: You purchase anything, as long as it says UFC, no matter the content? – Sounds great!

    Although I do agree that sometimes as you say, a card turns out great during the event, or the other way around..

  10. mmaguru on June 8th, 2011 5:11 PM

    Latest form gerweck.net
    Based on the current projections and estimates, the UFC 130 PPV generated in the neighborhood of 300,000 to 325,000 buys, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

  11. Jose Mendoza on June 8th, 2011 5:13 PM


    Oddly enough, 300k-350k was my PPV estimate. Thanks for the info. 🙂

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