UFC 132: Payout Perspective
July 3, 2011
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we look at UFC 132 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The featured bout was Dominick Cruz defending his Bantamweight title againt Urijah Faber.
Cruz defeats Faber in entertaining matchup
Welcome to the UFC Dominick Cruz. A back and forth bout saw Cruz take control of Faber in the end to earn his first UFC win and successful title defense. As we discussed here, the UFC will need to start actively promoting its Bantamweight champ. An example of this can be found in last week’s print edition of the Sports Business Journal. The UFC has a full page ad on the back page were it shows its current champions: Velasquez, Jones, GSP and Edgar. It neglects to include Jose Aldo and Cruz. Last night’s action was fast-paced and entertaining. The UFC can get behind the lighter divisions and sell this type of action. We will see what happens in the future. Certainly, a Faber win would have made life easier marketing this division.
As for Faber, a rematch could happen sooner than later. But, he has lost his last four shots at a title. How many more chances can he get?
Axe Murderer KO’d by Leben, career over?
As predicted, the Wanderlei Silva-Chris Leben matchup featured a big knockout. It was a little surprising that it happened in the first minutes of the fight but Chris Leben took a couple haymakers and returned his own to KO Silva. Dana White essentially stated that Silva’s career is over in the UFC. Similar to Chuck Liddell, Silva will have to have someone tell him to stop fighting. Although he has an exciting fight style, the years are catching up to him and a body just can’t sustain that many shots.
Ortiz upsets Bader, keeps job
The gravedigger celebration was brought out once again as Tito Ortiz submitted Ryan Bader in the upset of the night. For as much heat Ortiz receives, the arena seemed to be at its loudest. Bad news for Bader as he will need to regroup after two straight losses.
Attendance and gate
MMA Junkie reports that UFC 132’s attendance was at 12, 947 for a gate of $2.3 million. The numbers are in line with its other Vegas shows this year: UFC 125 (12,753, $2.57M) and 130 (12,874, $2.174M) (h/t MMA Supremacy).
MMA Junkie reports the bonuses for UFC 132. Each received $75K.
Fight of the Night: Cruz vs. Faber
KO of the night: Carlos Condit
Sub of the night: Tito Ortiz
There were several KO of the night candidates including Chris Leben, Melivn Guillard and Rafael dos Anjos.
Spike TV debuted the UFC’s Countdown show during the day Wednesday of fight week instead of its regular primetime spot. While subsequent airings were shown at night, it could be seen as passive aggressive programming as a result of the looming hole the UFC will leave Spike when/if it goes to another network.
Bud Light Lime, MusclePharm, Dodge, TapouT, Harley Davidson and Xyience were in the Octagon. Bud Light Lime branding utilized the lime color as the ring girls donned lime attire at the weigh-ins and during the PPV. Also at the weigh-ins Bud Light Lime owned the space in front of the scale fo the weigh-in.
In the leadup to UFC 132, Form Athletics, a company co-founded by Faber, held an autograph session featuring Anthony Pettis and Mark Munoz and other UFC fighters to promote Faber’s main event. Pettis and Munoz also appeared at a Las Vegas ABC Store to sign autographs on behalf of its sponsor Xyience.
The movie Conan took over the Harley Davidson check point. It also made a mistake by having its star, Jason Momoa, try to hype the film. The Goldberg-Momoa interview was as awkward as the man-hug at its conclusion.
Matt Wiman sported a PETA-inspired sponsor on his shorts: Meet your Meat.com.
Notably, Faber trended during and after UFC 132 but Dominick Cruz’s name did not. . Also trending were “Crippler” for Chris Leben and “Siver” for Dennis Siver. (h/t MMA Supremacy)
Also, Justin Bieber was at the fights and posted it on twitter. Pretty good mainstream publicity considering Bieber has over 10 million followers.
Post-UFC 132 Headlines
-More small guys? Saturday’s main event showcased the reason why fighters 155 and under should be on more PPV cards. While most are relatively unknown, hopefully Jose Aldo, Mark Hominick, Brian Bowles, Might Mouse Johnson and Dominick Cruz will become regulars on PPV cards.
-Melvin Guillard looks like he has resurrected his career. The Young Assassin looks poised to make a run at the Lightweight title
-Losing Faber. Urijah Faber is one of the most marketable faces in the UFC. His looks and athleticism have earned him mainstream appeal from the likes of Rosie O’Donnell and Jim Rome. The UFC would have loved to see Faber win the title as it would lend notoriety to the division. Despite losing, he still can be the face for the small guy in the UFC. It will be interesting to see how the UFC will book Faber because an upset loss in his next fight could be damaging .
Odds and ends
– Watching the replay, you can see Faber’s muay thai coach, Master Thong, peek over the shoulder of Bruce Buffer as he was announcing the judge’s scores. He saw the score before it was announced.
-Dominick Cruz was awarded his blue belt after his title defense. Cruz has to be the toughest blue belt around. Ironically, Faber was awarded his brown belt after his last fight against Eddie Wineland.
-If we saw Wanderlei Silva’s last fight in the UFC, someone must pick up his entrance music.
A second straight week of solid fights from the UFC. The night saw some great action, a W for Tito Ortiz and a great five round fight from Faber and Cruz.