UFC 137: Payout Perspective
October 31, 2011
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 137 coming from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event, Nick Diaz convincingly defeated BJ Penn affirming the need for a showdown with Georges St. Pierre.
Diaz retires Penn; GSP next
So now its obvious why Dana White kept Nick Diaz on the Zuffa roster despite no-showing press conference after press conference. Diaz showed his boxing skills as well as his jiu jitsu proficiency. For Penn, it sounded like he is eyeing retirement. At only 32, it seems like Penn could still make one last run at a title. But, if he were to end his career, he was one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC.
While it appeared Penn acted like it was his last match in the UFC, he may just take some time off and reassess. At 32, he is still fairly young, but his dominant reign in the UFC is over.
Kongo dominates Mitrione
In the “co-main event,” Cheick Kongo defeated Matt Mitrione in a less than exciting match. For as much a personality Mitrione is, he could not handle Kongo. This fight was a main event in name only as a result of GSP’s injury. While it is written that this puts Kongo’s name in the heavyweight title picture, it seems like Kongo may need one or two more fights before he goes up against JDS or Cain.
Nelson defeats Cro-Cop
Nelson’s fat suit at the weigh-ins was pretty funny considering the fact that it initially looked like him. Still Nelson looked sharp. For Cro-Cop, it was his last fight in the UFC ring. He has been on the decline for a while at he gave a very nice post-match interview.
Attendance and Gate
MMA Junkie reports that the attendance of the event was 10,313 for $3.9 million.
MMA Junkie also had the bonuses for UFC. The bonuses were $75K each and were as follows:
Fight of the Night: Diaz and Penn
Submission of the Night: Donald Cerrone
KO of the night: Bart Palaszewski
Cerrone and Palaszewski were featured on the Spike TV Prelims.
Salaries were released (via MMA Fighting)
Nick Diaz: $200,000 (no win bonus) def. BJ Penn: $150,000
Cheick Kongo: $70,000 ($70,000 win bonus) def. Matt Mitrione: $10,000
Roy Nelson: $20,000 ($20,000 win bonus) def. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic: $75,000
Scott Jorgensen: $16,500 ($16,500 win bonus) def. Jeff Curran: $8,000
Hatsu Hioki: $15,000 ($15,000 win bonus) def. George Roop: $8,000
Donald Cerrone: $27,000 ($27,000 win bonus) def. Dennis Siver: $27,000
Bart Palaszewski: $18,500 ($10,000 win bonus) def. Tyson Griffin: $25,500*
Brandon Vera: $60,000 ($60,000 win bonus) def. Eliot Marshall: $15,000
Ramsey Nijem: $10,000 ($10,000 win bonus) def. Danny Downes: $4,000
Francis Carmont: $6,000 ($6,000 win bonus) def. Chris Carmozzi: $8,000
Clifford Starks: $6,000 ($6,000 win bonus) def. Dustin Jacoby: $6,000
* Griffin was scheduled to earn $34,000 for his fight against Palaszewski; Palaszewski was scheduled to make $10,000. Griffin missed weight, however, and was penalized 25 percent ($8,500) of his show money, which was added to Palaszewski’s show money total.
Diaz’s salary likely would have been the same if he had fought GSP. Also, I’m wondering how much of a locker room bonus BJ Penn received for fighting Diaz instead of Carlos Condit. Its also interesting that Brandon Vera made $120,000 despite having his fight on Facebook (and almost breaking his arm).
I am in favor of how the UFC penalizes those that don’t make weight. In the case of Tyson Griffin, who missed by 3 pounds, he forfeited his scheduled salary and that amount was given to Palaszewski. Also worked out for Palaszewski considering he picked up a KO bonus as well.
Initially a Primetime series was going to follow GSP and Nick Diaz for their showdown. However, with Diaz being reassigned, the Primetime series was scrapped. The UFC Countdown show for 137 was only 30 minutes as opposed to the normal hour edition. Still, I thought it did a good job in telling the Nick Diaz backstory as well as including his hobby of triathlons.
The re-revised promos for UFC 137 featured the infamous “Don’t be scared homie” quote. It’s weird to think that Bill Goldberg was the interviewer in the middle of Diaz and KJ Noons (the recipient of the Diaz trash talk).
The UFC Octagon did not have any new sponsors with the exception of signage for UFC Undisputed 3 which was in the Octagon and had the checkpoint area.
When it was announced that Nick Diaz would be facing BJ Penn, Metal Mullisha announced its sponsorship deal with Diaz. Diaz has worn the brand in Strikeforce. In addition, Diaz was to have a sponsor for his walkout music.
The UFC announced that the BJ Penn-UFC branded Gym in Hawaii would be taking memberships about a week before 137.
Jaco ran a deal for Brandon Vera fans with a special coupon code on Vera’s fight gear. Vera also was sponsored by Toyo Tires for his Facebook fight.
Matt Mitrione sported new fight shirt company Traumma. Strikeforce heavyweight Daniel Cormier is also sponsored by the company as he wore the shirt on a recent episode of InsideMMA.
Mitrione also wore a Chris Lytle for Senate shirt at weigh-ins. Its the first political shirt of campaign season.
Donald Cerrone wore SafeAuto and Tapout stickers on his cowboy hat during his post-fight interview. Once again, a great use of the hat by the Cowboy.
Post UFC 137 storylines
GSP-Diaz next. Carlos Condit, meet Anthony Pettis. Although, Dana White stated Condit “stepped aside” for GSP-Diaz. Condit’s manager, Malki Kawa, states otherwise. It would be disappointing if Condit does not get a shot through no fault of his own. But, let’s face it. He will have another fight before his “promised” title shot against the GSP-Diaz winner. If he loses, its almost certain he loses his shot as well. Certainly, GSP-Diaz is the match everyone wants to see. In fact, I think they made it before.
Odds and ends
-Pink gloves by the refs. I understand the intent and the cause, but do we really need it in the octagon. The NFL has jumped on the branding for Breast Cancer Awareness month, but it seems like its overdone.
-Donald Cerrone. I believe “The Cowboy” is one of the best fighters coming out of the WEC merger. I like the personal branding. Wearing jeans, cowboy hat and cowboy boots at the weigh-ins distinguishing him from others. Plus, he’s a pretty good fighter. The Cowboy will be the co-main event on PPV for UFC 141.
-Speaking of personal branding, Ramsey Nijem embracing a Chippendale’s gimmick at weigh-ins with bow-tie and no-shirt. Did we not learn anything from Dennis Hallman?
-Brandon Vera arm was nearly broken by Eliot Marshall but he still won by unanimous decision.
-I really liked Hatsui Haoki’s Dethrone “bird” shirt. FighterxFashion has the rest of the walkout shirts.
-The UFC sent a press release of video of the Penn-Diaz weigh-in which it described as a “scuffle.” Not sure if its done this before or sent to hype the card due to concern about the drawing power.
-Alex Rodriguez was in attendance. Does this help or hurt the UFC’s popularity?
The top of this card was hurt first by Diaz’s no-shows, the card reshuffle and GSP’s injury. The UFC first touted UFC 137 as being Champion vs. Champion. Despite the removal of GSP from the main event, the UFC indicated that the show was a sell-out. After GSP’s injury, the card took a big star power hit despite BJ Penn in the main event. The co-main event featured mid-card level talent (Nelson, Mittrione, Kongo and Cro-Cop). Cro-Cop is past his prime while the other 3 are not top of the card caliber. It would be hard to foresee the buys for this card exceeding 350K.