Strikeforce HW GP: Overeem vs Werdum Payout Perspectives

July 1, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective! This week we’ll be taking a look at at the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix second event televised on Showtime, headlined by the current Strikeforce HW champion Alistair Overeem versus Fabricio Werdum and Josh Barnett versus Brett Rogers.

The event aired on Showtime and took place at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It featured Strikeforce HW GP first round bouts between Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum & Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers. The other fights on the main card were Jorge Masvidal vs KJ Noons, Daniel Cormier vs Jeff Monson, and Chad Griggs vs Valentijn Overeem.

The prelims portion of the event was aired on HDNet and was headlined by Justin Wilcox vs JZ Cavalcante. The other fights on the prelims were Conor Heun vs Mango Almeida, Nah-Shon Burrell vs Joe Ray, Isaac Vallie-Flagg vs Brian Melancon. Todd Moore vs Mike Bronzoulis – which took place after the main event, and did not air on TV due to time constraints.

 

Fighter Disclosed Payouts

Fighter payouts were not disclosed for the event.

Attendance and Gate

MMAJunkie reports that Strikeforce: Overeem vs Werdum achieved an attendance of 7,639 for a gate of $543,060. The numbers falls inline with most Strikeforce shows that don’t feature Fedor, who has consistently been able to break 10,000 in attendance and the $1M gates.  In fact, this was the best gate Strikeforce has ever done outside of San Jose that did not feature Fedor.

– 11,757 spectators, “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” (June, 2010)
– 11,287 spectators, “Strikeforce HW GP: Fedor vs Silva” (February, 2011)
– 9,059 spectators, “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg” (January, 2011)
– 8,635 spectators, “Strikeforce: Houston” (August, 2010)
– 8,196 spectators, “Strikeforce: Nashville” (April, 2010)
– 8,136 spectators, “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” (May, 2010)
– 7,639 spectators, “Strikeforce HW GP: Overeem vs Werdum” (June, 2011)
– 7,559 spectators, “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Noons II (October, 2010)
– 7,146 spectators, “Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu II (December, 2010)
– 7,123 spectators, “Strikeforce: Feijao vs Henderson” (March, 2011)
– 7,010 spectators, “Strikeforce: Miami” (January, 2010)
– 6,500 spectators, “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Daley (April, 2011) *Estimated, no official release*
– 5,259 spectators, “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” (June, 2010)

 

Ratings

MMAJunkie reports that Strikeforce: Overeem vs Werdum averaged 624,000 viewers (1.7 rating) and peaked at 719,000. The average number was good enough to make it the second most watched (average audience) Strikeforce event on Showtime, only trailing Silva vs Fedor (741K), which was just set back in January of 2011 .

Interesting to point out that Nick Diaz now has 2 of the top 5 most watched MMA events for Strikeforce on Showtime. It also marks another extremely successful event – on the television side – for the promotion, which has been riding high on momentum in 2011. It is also key to note that the 4 big Strikeforce events in 2011 have placed in 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 8th in terms of most average viewership for an MMA event on Showtime ever. Strikeforce events in 2011 now hold 4 out of the top 5 most watched MMA events on Showtime.

– 741,000 viewers (1.1 million peak), “Strikeforce: Fedor vs Silva” (February, 2011)
– 624,000 viewers (719,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Overeem vs Werdum” (June, 2011)
– 576,000 viewers (856,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Carano vs Cyborg” (August, 2009)
– 561,000 viewers (853,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Cyborg” (January, 2011)
– 528,000 viewers (806,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Daley” (April, 2011)
– 517,000 viewers (peak not available), “Strikeforce: Miami” (January, 2010)
– 412,000 viewers (700,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Werdum” (June, 2010)
– 412,000 viewers (520,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Feijao vs Henderson” (March, 2011)
– 367,000 viewers (470,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Houston” (August, 2010)
– 350,000 viewers (509,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Diaz vs Noons II (October, 2010)
– 341,000 viewers (465,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Henderson vs Babalu II (December, 2010)
– 308,000 viewers (448,000 peak), “Strikeforce St. Louis: Heavy Artillery” (May, 2010)
– 164,000 viewers (197,000 peak), “Strikeforce: Los Angeles” (June, 2010) [Special Wednesday Show]

 

Storylines

Strikeforce Hosts Second Major Show Under Zuffa Ownership, First HW GP Event

– The event had a good amount of hype, as can bee seen by the great viewership numbers Showtime was able to pull that night.  Although many were anticipating the HW bouts between Overeem vs Werdum and Barnett vs Rogers, the main event and co-main event did not deliver good quality fights.  Barnett was easily able to take Brett Rogers down and dominate him with his wrestling and ground game.  Overeem vs Werdum was an odd fight, where Werdum wanted no part of Overeem’s standup game and applied a strategy where he would try for a takedown, pull guard, or try to sucker Overeem into his guard, a strategy he was able to successfully execute against Fedor.

The odd part of it all is that when Werdum chose to strike with Overeem, he was doing pretty well, better than most predicted.  According to FightMetric, Werdum out-landed Overeem in significant strikes (43-32), total strikes (62-46), head strikes (51-31), and leg strikes (7-2). Overeem only bested Werdum in body strikes (13-4).  In terms of grappling, Overeem did not attempt a single submission while Werdum attempted 12 and landed 1.  As a result, FightMetric awarded the decision to Werdum 29-28, though if you watched the fight live, it appeared that Werdum was afraid of Overeem and openly pleading for Overeem to come into his guard did not please the judges nor the fans, both in attendance or at home watching.

Both Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem came out of the show not looking so great, which hopefully should not affect the next round since the match-ups are excellent.  Josh Barnett will take on Sergei Kharitonov while Alistair Overeem will face Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, probably the fighter with the most momentum heading into the second round after defeating Fedor handedly in their first round fight.

***

Strikeforce Imposes Sponsor Fee

– Just weeks before the event took place, it was announced that Strikeforce sponsors would have to pay a sponsor fee, similar to what the UFC does in that regard.  The announcement of the fee put fighters in a tough spot, where they had sponsors already lined up for the event but after the “fee” was adopted, those sponsors dropped out.  The notion was that sponsors that have grown with the fighters in small shows and supported their endeavor in pursuing MMA were dropped once the fighter reached the “big stage”, which is a shame because most fighters would not be able to get to Strikeforce or the UFC without those same sponsors who gave them a revenue stream when they were just starting out.  Again, as a business decision, it makes perfect sense for Zuffa, but this is one of those odd transition nuances after Zuffa purchased Strikeforce. Both the fighters and sponsors now have to adjust to the new policies enforced by Zuffa.

Post-Event Notes

– The next major show was announced during the event, Strikeforce: Fedor vs Henderson which takes place in Chicago and will be headlined by Fedor Emelianenko vs Dan Henderson, Marloes Coenen vs Miesha Tate for the women’s welterweight title, Tim Kennedy vs Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley vs Tyron Woodley, and Tarec Saffiedine vs Scott Smith.  The prelims include Sarah D’Alelio vs. Ronda Rousey and Alexis Davis vs. Julie Kedzie.

– Strikeforce was granted a Nevada promoter’s license and is planning four Las Vegas events in 2011.  The Challengers events will be permanently moved to Las Vegas (Palms Casino Resort), starting with Strikeforce Challengers 17: Voelker vs. Bowling 3 set for July 22. Strikeforce also has an August 12 event booked for the same venue.

 

Twitter and Google Trends

– Good news for Strikeforce here, as the key words “Overeem”, “Werdum“,  “Barnett”, “Brett Rogers“, “Noons“, “Masvidal” “Monson”, “Cormier”, “Chad Griggs” and over on HDNet in the prelims Justin “Wilcox“, and “Joe Ray were all top twitter trends during the evening of the Strikeforce: Overeem vs Werdum event. The event trended so well (best ever for Strikeforce and for a Showtime MMA event), that for the first time in Strikeforce history, their announcers “Gus Johnson“, “Frank Shamrock” and “Mauro Ranallo” were all trending. Even Strikeforce cage-side guest “Michael Irvin” was a trending after a few seconds of air-time on Showtime.

– “Strikeforce heavyweight tournament” was the sixth most “hot search” on Google that night according to Google Trends.

 

Sponsor, Promotion and Marketing Watch

– All the usual sponsors where there for this event: Rockstar, GoDaddy, MusclePharm.  “Blowout Cards” and “Training Mask” also had some presence sponsoring fighters.

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