UFC 135: Payout Perspective
September 25, 2011
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. In the main event, Jon Jones defeated Quentin “Rampage” Jackson to retain the Light Heavyweight title.
Jones stops Rampage
Jon Jones handled Rampage Jackson to retain his Light Heavyweight title. Its becoming apparent that Jones’ length is his greatest attribute. Jackson looked motivated, in shape and had the correct game plan to deal with Jones. However, Jones was ready for Jackson and it was apparent that Jones could do whatever he wanted with Jackson. The 3rd round after the bell throw of Jackson and eventual choke served as notice that Jones is here to stay.
As for Jackson, it was weird for a loser of a bout to call out someone else. But, Rampage vs. Shogun Rua would help a UFC Japan card that has its share of skeptics.
Kos KOs Hughes
The fight was entertaining until the last few seconds of the first round when Koscheck poured it on and KO’d Hughes. For Hughes, the KO is the second of its kind as BJ Penn did the same to him last year. Its hard to say if Hughes will or should retire, but for a Hall of Famer to be knocked unconscious like that is not good for a legacy. For Koscheck, it was a nice return from December’s injury. The win should put him back into the welterweight title picture.
Attendance and Gate
Although not verified by the Colorado state athletic commission, Dana White announced the attendance at the Pepsi Center as 16,344 for a gate of $2 million. (h/t MMA Junkie)
MMA Junkie reports that the following fighters were awarded $75,000 each for their fights.
Fight of the Night – Jones vs. Jackson
KO of the Night – Koscheck
Submission of the Night – Nate Diaz
Diaz displayed his jiu jitsu proficiency in submitting Takanori Gomi. It was a textbook transition. Hopefully, in a push for an exciting fight, the UFC does not stray from its roots.
Promotion of the Fight
UFC Fight Night 25 featured a Jones-Rampage head to head debate. The same was done on ESPN. I have to say I am not a fan of these head to head debates. I know its supposed to draw heat but it seems forced.
More and more, UFC fighters are getting their chance on late night television. Jones and Rampage on Jimmy Kimmel to sell the fight.
It was a little weird to see the two sitting so comfortably close to each other and sharing their couch with Dr. Phil.
The Jones-Rampage press conference had its share of funny moments. The best being the picture of Rampage clowning Jon Jones’ “stare into the distance” when they both did the staredown at the initial press conference.
The drama of the alleged “spy” in Rampage’s camp brought some intrigue to the matchup. But, most people were interested in the matchup regardless of the “spy”.
MMA Elite, Harley Davidson, MMA Authentics, Edge, Musclepharm, Xyience, Toyo Tires were all in the Octagon with Bud Light taking the center again. Video game Gears of War3 (for XBox 360) signage was also present in the Octagon. It also was the presenting sponsor for UFC 135. Noticeably a lot of different sponsors in the Octagon this time around.
Musclepharm – Not only did it announce its new partnership with the UFC earlier in the week, but its gym was featured during the UFC Countdown show as Rampage trained for the fight there. It also was the spot where Rampage discovered the “spy” from the Jones camp. Notwithstanding the implication that a MP exec was a spy, it was a good week of activation for MP. The MP gym was adorned with its memorable logo.
The US Marines maintained its Keys to Victory segment featuring Koscheck and Hughes.
FighterxFashion has a good rundown of the walk out wear from UFC 135 including Rampage “chains”. Just in time for Halloween…or your next street fight (j/k, I hope).
Interesting that Jon Jones did not have any special brand activation with any of his sponsors. If I missed it, let me know.
Odds and ends
– The high altitude coupled with the Heavyweight match-ups lead to two matches that slowed down considerably as the match progressed. Maybe some booking info to learn from in the future.
– Whenever Rashard Evans steps into the Octagon with a suit, he receives boos. It reminds me a little of Ric Flair. The pinstripes did add to the “heel” status he received last night. Notwithstanding, it was a little awkward for Evans after the stare-down with Jones since it looked like he wanted to leave but Rampage was still in the Octagon. It was like he was trapped a bit. It was a good spot but
– Don’t mean to talk about pro wrestling too much, but did Ben Rothwell come out to the Monday Night Raw theme?
– Did anyone notice Rampage’s corner-man whisper in his ear prior to his Rogan post-fight interview. It was like he reminded him to challenge Shogun in Japan.
UPDATE re PPV Buys
MMA Supremacy did an informal poll on the anticipated PPV buys for this pay per view. With Rampage, Jones, Hughes and Koscheck at the top of the card, many believed this to be between 500K-700K in buys with a smattering of people believing it to be 300-400K in buys. It will be interesting to see. Although Jones is the biggest rising star in the UFC, he has yet to become a PPV draw. The UFC hopes that this will change soon.