UFC 139: Payout Perspective

November 21, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This week we look at UFC 139 at the HP Pavillion in San Jose, California where Dan Henderson defeated Maurico Rua in a 5 round battle.

Henderson defeats Rua in instant classic

It appeared that Dan Henderson would make short work of Mauricio Rua as it appeared that Rua was a goner in the first round. However, Rua survived, the referee did not stop it prematurely and fans saw an epic back and forth fight. Rua came back in rounds 4 and 5 but it wasn’t enough. While both fighters were gassed at different points of the fight, this is probably the reason why the UFC wanted main events to go 5 rounds. Both fighters showed a warrior mentality and left it all in the octagon.

Silva KOs Le

Sandstorm may be heard again in the UFC. Wanderlei Silva defeated Cung Le in front of Le’s hometown crowd. The win likely ensures that Silva will fight once again in the UFC. For Le, it appeared that he lacked the cardio needed to fight three rounds. A disappointing debut.

Faber submits Bowles; another rematch with Cruz next

Urijah Faber choked out Brian Bowles to earn another shot at Dominick Cruz. It seemed as though Faber’s presence on this card was undersold. Yet, there are rumors that Faber and Cruz will be the next TUF coaches. Based on Faber’s post-fight trash talk, this isn’t a bad idea considering the solid ratings this season’s TUF. The animosity between the two fighters and its debut on the FX channel should propel next season’s TUF.

Attendance and Gate

MMA Junkie reports attendance of 13,173 for a gate of $1.268 million. In comparison, Fedor vs. Werdum in June 2010 drew 12,698 fans for a gate of $1.1 million at the HP Pavillion in San Jose.

Bonuses

MMA Junkie reports the bonuses for UFC 139. Each fighter received $70,000. Interesting that there was a tie for Fight of the Night. In my opinion, Rua vs. Henderson was the clear winner for FOTN honor. If there was a tie, I would have given the bonus to Chris Weidman for Sub of the Night.

Fight of the Night: Cung Le vs. Wanderlei Silva; Mauricio Rua vs. Dan Henderson
Submission of the Night: Urijah Faber
Knockout of the Night: Michael McDonald

Sponsorships

-The usual suspects were in the octagon for UFC 139. Xyience, Dodge, Tapout, Harley Davidson, MusclePharm and Bud Light had the center of the Octagon a well as the side pads. The UFC also advertised its Ultimate Fight Collection just in time for the holidays.

– Clinchgear was featured via Dan Henderson. I really like Henderson’s branded DH apparel.

– Tom Lawlor was sponsored by XBox as part of its Kinect Sports 2 launch. He sported a t-shirt at weigh-ins and XBox 360 on his shorts. It was the only sponsor on his shorts. According to an XBox rep, this is just a one-time opportunity as it was specifically for the launch. Pat Barry had a similar sponsor opportunity with XBox 360. Demetrious Johnson remains as the only UFC fighter to continually be sponsored by XBox 360.

Twitter

Notably, Dan Henderson and Shogun were trending an hour after the PPV. In Brazil, Rua and Wanderlei Silva were trending topics after the PPV. The Henderson-Shogun battle received a lot of buzz via twitter. On another note, Bellator’s Chandler-Alvarez fight received its share of twitter buzz too.

Post-UFC 139 Headlines

– What’s next for Hendo? Does Dan Henderson fight at 205 or 185? Either division would present interesting title match-ups. At 205, Henderson would come up against Jon Jones, a guy almost 20 years his junior. At middleweight, Henderson could get a rematch with Anderson Silva.  Or, a Team Quest alum fight with Chael Sonnen. Either middleweight match-up seems more attractive than Jones.

– Cruz-Faber trilogy. Can this rivalry assist the lighter weight divisions? Certainly this season’s TUF is helping draw a steady viewership. A possible TUF with the animosity of these fighters should propel next season’s version.

Odds and Ends

– Talking about a guy’s widow’s peak and hair gel is pretty personal Mr. Faber. This rivalry is heating up and that’s a good thing.

– I wrote about the interesting weigh-ins this time around and the opportunity for a fighter to create their own personal branding. It also helps to make weight.

– Was Stephan Bonnar’s post-fight apology attempting to mitigate any possible lawsuit from Josh Koshcheck about making t-shirts with his likeness?

– For as good as Hendo-Rua was Dana White stated that the fight would have been too violent if it had aired on Fox as the UFC is still in the “education process.”

-UPDATED: Fighter Wear and fighter entrance music here courtesy of FighterxFashion.

Conclusion

After the big UFC on Fox airing, UFC 139 seemed like an afterthought. It was a very good card but lacked the buzz. One reason may be that Fuel aired the one hour countdown show instead of Spike TV before Spike aired it late Thursday night. Second, many casual viewers may not know Dan Henderson or Mauricio Rua. Certainly, these guys showed that they could put on a good fight. Yet, they aren’t known names. Finally, there is a level of fatigue the casual viewer (or perhaps every viewer) has with these PPVs. It seems like every other week fans are spending money on fights.  With the holidays coming up, some budgeting has to take place and that may mean a decline in PPV purchases. Based on the last couple of PPVs (UFC 136-225K buys, UFC 137-280K buys), it would not be out of line to state that UFC 139 is in the neighborhood of 250K buys. With that being said, it may be time to recalibrate how many PPV buys makes a card successful.

41 Responses to “UFC 139: Payout Perspective”

  1. Machiel Van on November 21st, 2011 2:56 PM

    I was a little disappointed by the attendance, as the Pavilion can and has played host to larger turnouts for MMA events. Interestingly, there were a fair amount of empty seats in the lower bowl, while the upper bowl was packed. This could be due to the high ticket prices (more on UFC ticket price problems later). The crowd was high energy, especially for Faber, Wanderlei, Le, and Hendo. The energy and noise in the building during the main event was off the charts. It was an incredible event to attend live, and it’s unfortunate there were not more in attendance, as I’m sure it will be a shame more people didn’t purchase the PPV.

  2. Machiel Van on November 21st, 2011 3:07 PM

    In regards to UFC ticket prices, there is a major problem with the current setup: tickets go on sale to UFC Fight Club members a full 48 hours before they go on sale to the general public. Fight Club members get access to: ticket presales and a bunch of junk no one really wants. The memberships are around $80. Each Fight Club member can purchase up to 6 tickets per event. There are tens of thousands of Fight Club members. See the problem? Fight Club members are able to buy all of the tickets available for a particular event, then sell them for inflated prices: it’s legal ticket scalping. So what you end up with is a situation where Joe Schmoe goes on ticketmaster when the public sale starts to discover that there are no tickets available, which is weird because as far as they know, they just went on sale. What they then find is that they can still buy tickets, just for a grossly inflated price. If Joe has this happen a few times, he may just conclude that UFC events are too expensive to attend and stop bothering to try and buy tickets at all. I believe this is a problem that hurts attendance at UFC events, and a problem the UFC needs to address moving forward. It’s not fair to fans, and creates an inherent problem that will be true for all events; you can buy 6 tickets if you have absolutely no intent to attend the event, so why just not do it for EVERY card and make as much money screwing over fellow fans as possible? It shouldn’t be MANDATORY to have a Fight Club membership just to obtain a ticket at box office price. With tens of thousands of Fight Club members, it’s almost guaranteed they buy all the tickets for every event. Any thoughts?

  3. Diego on November 21st, 2011 3:27 PM

    A lot of the hard core fans I know weren’t tracking this UFC, which is a shame because the card was great on paper and delivered my money’s worth.

    I didn’t even realize there was a countdown show. I was wondering why they didn’t do one.

  4. JamesG on November 21st, 2011 3:33 PM

    Countdown did air on Spike, Thursday at 11pm.

  5. BrainSmasher on November 21st, 2011 5:06 PM

    It will be interesting to see the PPV buys. The card didnt have much Buzz at all and it was kind of gutted when the UFC moved fights to create the FOX event. But the FOX event left casual fans and possible new fans wanting more and this event could see a bump from those fans. Not sure how much of an effect but it could explain things if the numbers are unusually high on this event.

  6. Jason Cruz on November 21st, 2011 9:56 PM

    @JamesG Thanks, I’ve corrected it.

  7. Jason Cruz on November 21st, 2011 9:58 PM

    Payouts for UFC 139 are out. Le tops list with $350K plus his FOTN bonus.

  8. Mossman on November 22nd, 2011 8:39 AM

    They tried to cross promote on Fox.. but to be honest they started promoting this before UFC on Fox quietly and it hurt them. Unless you were a hardcore fan you had no clue it was going on… Would be surprised to see this thing crack 350K buys…

    Gee… who was the guy who said there was no such thing as over saturation???

    When you don’t even give fans a window to understand when the event is… you’re in trouble. They have to figure out a rhyme or reason, or to be honest when the new slate of vents starts up in January for 2012… fans are going to be lost and the glut is going to choke the consumer to death with product. They have to be careful or there going to be in for another rough year.

    Ever heard the saying “less is more”???

  9. Diego on November 22nd, 2011 11:32 AM

    The last few cards have failed to crack 300k and it’s a shame because they’ve been good cards – Edgar-Maynard III, Pen-Diaz and now it looks like Hendo-Shogun won’t crack 300k either (or maybe just by a little bit).

    I’m concerned about what that does to fighter’s salaries. We’ve seen some brutal fights in the last few PPVs, and guys can’t take that kind of punishment repeatedly (except maybe Nick Diaz). Those are fights that shorten your lifespan. If the PPVs are coming in, that will not be good for the fighters.

  10. Diego on November 22nd, 2011 11:36 AM

    Last line: I meant “if the PPVs AREN’T coming in…”

  11. Assassin on November 22nd, 2011 12:00 PM

    We are certainly in an odd transition period from primarily PPV and Spike to primarily free TV with major PPV. 2012 schedule looks like 14 PPV (70 finghts), 4 Fox (12-16 fights), 6 FX (not sure if 3 hour or 2 hour but 24-36 fights), with 6 Fuel cards plus all other fights (no more facebook, yeah). So 14 PPV (70 fights) and 16 free cards (plus all prelim fights) on free tv for 260-290 fights.

    Fightcard overload and economy has caused people to become more selective. Honestly, i didn’t even buy this one because there was no meaning to any of the fights. If Hendo won he got a title shot at either weight which he should have had anyway, but Rua would not. Neither Silva nor Le were close to title. No offense but no one cares if Faber loses to Cruz again and Bowles is well behind. Kampman/Story, please that could have been on Spike. Bonnar/KIngsbury was also a Spike quality level fight.

    Better test will be the Jones/Machida which needs to do over 500k and Lesnar which needs over 800k to be considered sucesses (400k and 650k would be ok numbers). Look for Aldo be be back around the 250k number for the first card in 2012.

    With 2.5 cards/month in 2012. I wonder if Edgar/Henderson ends up not being a PPV, hmm.

  12. john on November 22nd, 2011 12:09 PM

    Answer to Machiel Van on the fight club getting all the tickets. The Club has a policy that they can’t resell there tickets at a profit but the UFC doesn’t enforce it. Why? because the UFC & Stubhub work together. I complained to the UFC & they told me to mind my own buis

  13. Random Dude on November 22nd, 2011 2:59 PM

    UFC 139’s payouts were less than the gate. When was the last time that happened? Dana thinks TUF will get 3 million viewers on FX…I don’t think so.

  14. Random Dude on November 22nd, 2011 5:41 PM

    correction: “payouts were more than the gate” is what I meant to say

  15. BrainSmasher on November 23rd, 2011 1:07 AM

    Mossman

    “They tried to cross promote on Fox.. but to be honest they started promoting this before UFC on Fox quietly and it hurt them. Unless you were a hardcore fan you had no clue it was going on… Would be surprised to see this thing crack 350K buys…

    Gee… who was the guy who said there was no such thing as over saturation???”

    Really? I didnt see the UFC trying to push this event at all. Certainly not on FOX. Cain and Santos got some media attention. Shogun and Hendo didnt do anything to promote it. The UFC pushed Brock vs Reem not 139 on FOX. Thats why Brock on such a part of the show. 139 was table scraps from the FOX event. I dont believe the UFC intended for it to do anything.

    As for saturation. lol. You cant expect a card with no advertisement to do well. especially when it has by far the weakest fan fare of all the cards around it. Fox ratings didnt show saturation. Neither does the TUF ratings. Even Belltaor have good numbers recently.

    The recent dip in PPV is due to injuries, more events, thinner cards, and the UFC trying to build the smaller class’ . There are a lot of new fighters from WEC and under 155 fighters who are now on PPV who used to be seen regularly for free.

    But as i have shown many times the events draw based on their quality as well as they ever have. The big fights still get huge buys. The UFC minimum buys is the same as has always been.

    It also must be considered that the UFC has been riding on some WWE fans interest the last few years. Now that Brock has been irrelevant the last couple years that interested could be gone until Brock does something meaningful. If that is the case the UFC would just be losing fans of one fighter and not losing interest due to any saturation point.

    But we will have to wait and see. Im sure that doesnt fit into your obvious agenda. It is much easier to make up some buy rate out of thin air and yell over saturation. You are starting to sound like that loser Jerry Millen. lol

  16. Mossman on November 23rd, 2011 8:51 AM

    Dude… you just said lower numbers are in part due to “more events”… are you f ing high? Or do you just like contradicting yourself more than John Kerry in a political debate?

    And yes… PPV mins AND averages are down…

    In ’09, ’10, and even into early 2011 less than 300K buys WAS ABYSMAL for a UFC PPV… now it’s the average min??? in that time period I know for a FACT that the average was 450K PPVs per event and that’s not from metzler, rovell, or your mom cooking you meatloaf while you jerk it to free facebook fights… it’s direct from the horses mouth.

    You can be a keyboard warrior and contradict yourself from here to tomorrow, but even the projected “industry expert” numbers are showing the trends. Do you even understand the basics of Microeconomics? Supply? Demand?

    You can question me all you want…but you’d be wrong…and will continue to be.

  17. Mossman on November 23rd, 2011 8:56 AM

    and 139 marketing started running two weeks prior to UFC on Fox on FX, Fuel, and ESPN!!! It was on ESPN.com for two weeks.

    Yes it was quieter than most, as I am sure they slashed the budget… but it was running.

    The UFC is going to get into the situation where they confuse the shit out of the consumer. They are promoting PPVs on one channel, while promoting a live event on another… It doesnt help that the majority of PPV promos are run by their content distributors… i.e. DirecTV, COX, Comcast, etc. They provide a donut spot to those distributors and the distributors run the commercials at will… for free, as it is part of their agreements and DUH… it helps DirecTV or Comcast or whoever sell the PPV fights since they also get a cut.

    Its muddled messaging, consumer confusion, and you are going to lose people bigtime in the cross streams… For christ sake figure out a schedule, programming rhyme and reason, and promotional window for each event so consumers can get into a rythym!!!! This might be the biggest problem holding this brand back!

  18. BrainSmasher on November 23rd, 2011 4:04 PM

    Maybe you would like to try and keep my words in their proper context before you argue them. I didnt say PPV average i said minimum. Which is the lowest number the UFC can draw based on their brand name with any talent they put on a card. That number has always been 300K and still is. Anything above that is directly related to the talent and the match up of the card. This year the great match ups and big name stars have been missing for many reasons. That in its self has nothing to do with any saturation point.

    Now back to saturation. The term can be used to explain many scenario’s. But you and other writers in this site have specifically said that the UFC’s problem is to many PPVs and the public not being able to afford them and the public getting tired of MMA. I disagree on both counts. There is nothing contradicting in what i said. The ratings for TV have been as good as ever. So that shoots down any theory of the public being tired of MMA. As for the public not being able to afford so many PPVs. As i have said the UFC brand still hits 300K. Big fights still sell. So i see no proof of this type of saturation. Not saying it isnt possible and there isnt cases of some having to choose which PPVs to buy. But that has always been the case and Dana White has always said he doesnt expect people to buy every PPV. There could be 3 PPVs a year and someone wouldn’t or couldn’t buy all 3. But i dont think it is having a significant impact.

    What i said that you spun around is the UFC does have a lot of events and with the injuries have had to water down some cards. That is still a type of saturation but not what you and others were referring to. Without the major injuries and having to push smaller weight class’ the UFC numbers on PPV woud be higher. But this year there has been many match ups and fighters as headliners that do not sell.

    The NBA ratings dropped like a rock for year after Jordan retired and soem say they still have not gotten back to that level even today. But that doesnt mean the NBA was doing anything wrong. They sure as hell didnt start cutting back the number of games they play. There are many reasons why the average buys of the UFC PPV are down. From the lack of impact of Brock to all the stars being inactive, etc. But that doesnt mean the UFC is doing anything wrong.

    From a business stand point 300K buys is still a lot of profit. It still makes them the world wide leader in PPVs. It still makes so much profit that even a great network deal couldnt match the payday. It would be foolish to cut out PPVs. Especially when they have made that many work in the past and the stars will be on the cards this year that were hurt. Not to mention the stars the Fox deal will make.

    You seem to put some kind of importance on the UFC doing a high average PPV number. The UFC is a business who is wanting profits. Just like Pepsi or Coke. Pepsi doesnt sell a 20 ounce bottle for $10. They sell it for $1 and sell millions of them. Until the UFC brand minimum quits making a profit there is no reason to cut back.

  19. Sampson Simpson on November 24th, 2011 10:07 AM

    It’s difficult to say whether 300k is alot of profit or not.

    1. Not all PPV sales are priced at 44.95 due to varying international rates.

    2. You have no idea what the UFC spends on marketing each event. The more marketing… the higher the break even point.

    3. Consistent PPV marginalizes the market as it under exposes the product to a new potential fan base. TV ratings of 300,000 is considered an utter failure. The fact that only 300,000 house holds are consistently privy to the product does not bode well for the future. It happened in boxing in the 2000s and the domestic industry is felling the repercussions now.

    UFC might not necessarily be doing anything “wrong” right now but I do believe they will abandon the PPV model altogether in the near future.

    16 events x 300,000 buys x $20 split from distributors = $96 million net not counting marketing costs incurred per event.

    Writing is on the wall that the $100 million annual budget by Fox will point to UFC getting out of the PPV market sooner than later.

  20. 5 Oz. MMA Link Club : Five Ounces of Pain on November 24th, 2011 11:31 AM

    […] The “Payout Perspective” for UFC 139 (MMAPayout.com) […]

  21. Random Dude on November 24th, 2011 11:39 AM

    “You seem to put some kind of importance on the UFC doing a high average PPV number. The UFC is a business who is wanting profits. Just like Pepsi or Coke. Pepsi doesnt sell a 20 ounce bottle for $10. They sell it for $1 and sell millions of them. Until the UFC brand minimum quits making a profit there is no reason to cut back.”

    So they should keep increasing the number of events even if revenues are staying the same or as we know actually decreasing? More events for less revenue does not make for more profit. There is a cost to doing additional business.

    Also explain why payouts for UFC 139 were more than the gate. Has that ever happened in the post-TUF/post-SpikeTV era? Particularly on a fight card filled with a bunch of good fighters and good matchups?

  22. BrainSmasher on November 24th, 2011 6:32 PM

    “So they should keep increasing the number of events even if revenues are staying the same or as we know actually decreasing? More events for less revenue does not make for more profit. There is a cost to doing additional business.”

    So what if the sport has peaked like some of the Chicken Littles keep saying on here? Then there is only a set number they can get. What is better 24 events at 300K buys or 12 events at 300K buys? Fact is every Org from Affliction to WEC to Pride needed 100K buys. We know the expense Affliction had. It was much more than the UFC cards. I think 100-150 buys turns a profit for the UFC. So they make well over 5 million off a 300K buy rate.

    This is the first year the UFC numbers have been down and there is very good reason for it with the big draws not fighting. GSP had 1 fight vs a guy noone cared about and it did very well. Brock didnt fight at all. They didnt get any PPVs out of Cain who was riding high off Brock. Anderson Silva fought in Brazil which killed his otherwise great PPV numbers. 205 division was lack luster all year with everyone but Jones having no momentum and Jones wasnt a draw. So why drop the number of PPV’s when most of those problems arenot typical and will be fixed next year? With 2 fights from Brock, 2 from GSP, Hendo vs Silva and Chael vs Silva, Overeem, Santos, and Cain actually on the PPV’s. The UFC should be back to where they were last year and will need each and every event to get those fight out there.

    “Also explain why payouts for UFC 139 were more than the gate. Has that ever happened in the post-TUF/post-SpikeTV era? Particularly on a fight card filled with a bunch of good fighters and good matchups?”

    Wasnt the card in the same state as the Fox event the week before? Im sure ticket prices were lowered for 139 just as they were for UFC on FOX. Plus the UFC doesnt sign contracts before each event. Just so happen there was some high paid guys on this card. Also remember Cain vs Santos was supposed to be on this card. If it was ticket prices would have been higher as would ticket sales. I dont see where you are going with this. The UFC always gets 2 million plus from all PPV events except for some east coast events. 139 was clearly under different circumstances.

  23. Assassin on November 25th, 2011 10:46 AM

    Good discussion all.

    Saturation: When the amount of product provided in a market has been maximized in the current state of the marketplace. At the point of saturation, further growth can only be achieved through product improvements, market share gains or a rise in overall consumer demand.

    I believe with the new TV deals in place, 2012 will tell us much more about the current and future state of affairs for the UFC than 2011 did. Good or bad, it will certainly be different as Dana tries to build the brand to non hard-core fans while still serving his core base that purchase all(most) all the PPVs.

  24. Jose Mendoza on November 26th, 2011 12:24 AM

    BrainSmasher:

    It is believed that the UFC needs to sell about 200K +/- 25K PPV’s (depending on event) to break even.

    Affliction needed 150K to be considered a success, but you have to consider how much more the UFC spends in marketing/promoting/production and their other activities such as international expansion (shows) to name a few.

    Early UFC 139 PPV trending numbers from Meltzer are 270K.

  25. CAINtheBULL on November 26th, 2011 12:57 AM

    My opinion:

    1. The fans base was left feeling deflated after a very short fight on FOX. UFC/MMA didn’t deliver in the entertainment department. At least, that’s what some fans felt.

    2. Hendo/Shogun have never been huge draws. Shogun vs Machida did about 500k. Hendo has done much less ( I believe) headlining events.

  26. BrainSmasher on November 26th, 2011 1:02 AM

    How was that number arrived at? Some of the PPVs have much less marketing. So i would say the 300K buy events had much less costs. Either way my point being. The UFC made the number of PPVs work already and with healthy headliners or new stars created by the revamped TUF or Fox events it will be once again and would be stupid to reduce the number of events.

    MMA PAyout doesnt get into it as much as before but the events have always been seen as part of what drives PPV buys. It is needed to have live events in as many markets as possible to drive interest and keep them buy PPVs year around. Now it would be crazy to incur the same cost to run the event and not put it on PPV and draw 300K buys. Putting it on for free would just further saturate the market that you guys claim is in effect.

    There is no point in complaining when this is the first down year they have had and their is a ton of changes coming next year that are all positive.

  27. mossman on November 26th, 2011 1:43 PM

    BS – its called common sense, as Sampson said… You don’t try to make up losses on lackluster sales… but introducing more product of the same lackluster product to the market. You have to eliminate supply to drive up the demand again.

    And your argument that the “lowest brand value PPV number” whatever the hell that is… is 300K. Which is incorrect. Since 2009 if a fight was projected to do less than 400K…Dana would lose his shit. THE NUMBER IS DOWN.

    The UFC is losing its hardcore fans, because they have gone to the well WAAAAAY too many times. And are doing nothing about building new fans. Running fights on a channel that gets 5M viewers for a Cops re-reun on a saturday night, just because 99% of the country has the channel, is not “building your brand”. They have to do more to develop the casual fans, and bring new ones into the fold to stop the massive hemorrhaging of “core fans” that no longer buy.

    And you want to call people Chicken Little, but your excuses and anecdotal reasoning for the lack of viewers OVER A TWELVE MONTH CALENDAR is directly refuted by your hero Dana White himself everyday. He says he has enough talent to put on even more events. He believes that injuries have a affected a few cards, but arent an excuse for poor buy rates. Hell using your math, Hendo/Shogun should of been projected to do better than Shogun/Machida as it included an American and was a domestic fight… (Instead of featuring two brazilians and being in Montreal) INSTEAD it did approximately HALF of the buys… Weird.

    Stick to trolling mma junkie rumors and giving your two cents on fight outcomes there…

  28. BrainSmasher on November 26th, 2011 4:45 PM

    Ahhh did some get butt hurt? Dana isnt my hero. I dont get emotionally invested in pointless stuff like this as you seem to. Maybe if you would focus more on your own goals you wouldn’t be so jealous of Dana Whites success.

    As for the Shogun fight. Shogun vs Machida was a rematch of a controversial fight. Also it was a title fight. IF you read as many MMApayout articles as you do talking out your ass in the comments section of them. You would know that Title fights sell many times more than non title fights. Especially non title fights where one is coming off a loss and arguable should no longer be in the UFC verses a guy who hasnt been in the UFC in years and was never a draw. But you are more than welcome to spin it around to fuel your jealous hatred and to try and trick as many fans as you can in turning into trolls like yourself.

    Here is MMAPayout.com article in January of this year saying 2011 UFC PPVs will be a rebuilding year and Dave Metger reported PPVs would be way down. The year turned out as expected yet you claim the entire way the UFC does business is the reason for the decline.

    http://mmapayout.com/2011/01/2010-ufc-ppv-buy-rates/

    Keep on keeping on, Chicken Little!

  29. Doug on November 27th, 2011 7:20 AM

    How could you say Rua and Henderson are not well known. they are two of the biggest names in MMA. Maybe you need some more knowledge before you write an article!!

  30. mmaguru on November 27th, 2011 9:31 AM

    Buy rate estimates are 270K . Early estimates but seems plausible.

  31. Sampson Simpson on November 27th, 2011 10:12 AM

    The truth of the matter is that nobody knows what the UFC spends on marketing or per PPV event and nobody knows what the actual domestic & international buy-rates are.

    The only tell tale signs of an organization flourishing is the official payscale for their talent. From what I read on the official purses, the fighters are not making anything more significant than they were a few years back.

    Dana White & Company can claim locker room bonuses and having made numerous millionaire MMA fighters but the truth of the matter is that official pay stub from the commissions are not very high for professional athletes of any kind.

  32. Random Dude on November 27th, 2011 1:00 PM

    “Wasnt the card in the same state as the Fox event the week before?”

    Not a good excuse for a low gate. San Jose and Anaheim are far away from each other. Philadelphia and New York City are much closer and would be considered two different markets.

    I don’t think any large-scale event promoter (concerts, WWE, etc) would be happy with the idea that they would get lower ticket sales because of holding two events within 400 miles of each other a week apart. In fact Baltimore, MD and New York City, NY are closer to each other than San Jose and Anaheim. California is a huge state, and those two UFC events were in completely different metropolitan areas.

  33. BrainSmasher on November 27th, 2011 10:19 PM

    The UFC doesnt have a philly card 1 week away from a NJ card. You hvae to be kidding to think it had not effect.

    It has been believed that as much as 50-60% of Vegas event fans come from LA. Which is the same distance as LA to San Jose. So i think saying it was to far away is BS. 139 was a shit card that was gutted to make the Fox event. A lot of Cali’s got cheap Fox event tickets to see what was supposed to be the real main event in San Jose. There was no reason for them to travel to San Jose a week later to see a average card.

  34. Mossman on November 28th, 2011 7:43 AM

    SS – I do… that’s what I’ve been saying…

    It used to be 300K for an international and 450k PPV buys for domestic.

    and you’d be surprised how little they spend in marketing. Whatever number you are thinking of… cut it in half.

  35. Random Dude on November 28th, 2011 7:51 AM

    “The UFC doesnt have a philly card 1 week away from a NJ card. You hvae to be kidding to think it had not effect.”

    My point was plenty of other large events (baseball, football, hockey, concerts etc.) often have multiple events in neighboring metropolitan areas on the same day/same week and are able to sell plenty of tickets. If the UFC cannot do this it is not as popular as you are making it out to be or its popularity has waned as everything suggests it has.

    “It has been believed that as much as 50-60% of Vegas event fans come from LA.”

    So basically you agree that the UFC and MMA is not as popular as you are claiming? If a metropolitan area like Las Vegas with 2+ million can’t sell out a UFC event of 12-1600 seats on their own what does that tell you? UNLV home games do over 20,000 regularly and sometimes have a lot of traveling fans/opposing fans. Why aren’t mma fans doing this for the UFC?

    Compare it to this past Sunday. Both Oakland and San Diego had home games on the same day. San Diego is a losing team with no hopes of the playoffs and the Denver game was almost blacked out due to not selling enough tickets.

    Chargers had an attendance of 64,436 and Oakland had an attendance of 59,244, in the same state, on the same day. I doubt too many people traveled from Chicago to Oakland to watch the game and the same is probably true of Denver fans traveling to Oakland.

    Baltimore, Philly, and NY Jets also had home games on Sunday and I don’t think they had problems filling out their stadiums. What % of the 71,345 in attendance traveled from San Francisco to Baltimore to watch the game?

    Both the UFC events had low gates and plenty of comped tickets. So very few were willing to travel to see the events from the various nearby metro areas and most locals were not interested unless the prices were lowered. You blame it on the quality of the cards, but over 60,000 are willing to see the hopeless SD Chargers play their home games all season.

  36. BrainSmasher on November 28th, 2011 2:51 PM

    “My point was plenty of other large events (baseball, football, hockey, concerts etc.) often have multiple events in neighboring metropolitan areas on the same day/same week and are able to sell plenty of tickets. ”

    UFC 139 although cheap by UFC standards had a average ticket price of $133. The average MLB ticket is $25. Average for the NBA is less than $50. The average NFL game is $76. As for concerts it depends on the group. But the biggest bands would have a average of $50-$60 i would think based on prices i have paid.

    “If the UFC cannot do this it is not as popular as you are making it out to be or its popularity has waned as everything suggests it has.”

    No one ever said the UFC was more popular than the NBA, NFL, or MLB. So no one is making it out to be anything and you are foolish to even expect the UFC to be that big already. NBA teams being popular has nothing to do with whether or not the UFC popularity has declined.

    “So basically you agree that the UFC and MMA is not as popular as you are claiming? If a metropolitan area like Las Vegas with 2+ million can’t sell out a UFC event of 12-1600 seats on their own what does that tell you? UNLV home games do over 20,000 regularly and sometimes have a lot of traveling fans/opposing fans. Why aren’t mma fans doing this for the UFC?”

    Again where did i claim any level of popularity for the UFC? You might want to pull your head out of your ass and try to follow along a little closer. I never argued the UFC was more popular than anything. I argued their popularity hasnt declined. So if you want to compare the UFC to anything compare it to the UFC a couple years ago not to the NBA or NFL.

  37. Random Dude on November 28th, 2011 3:38 PM

    “I argued their popularity hasnt declined.”

    And you did that poorly. Poor gates in big markets, a lot of comped tickets in big markets, significant decreases in PPV, lack of new advertisers, etc. and you think their popularity hasn’t declined? Maybe you should check the location of your own head before telling others to find theirs.

  38. Sampson Simpson on November 28th, 2011 9:23 PM

    “SS – I do… that’s what I’ve been saying…

    It used to be 300K for an international and 450k PPV buys for domestic.

    and you’d be surprised how little they spend in marketing. Whatever number you are thinking of… cut it in half.”

    That means you have a direct line with the 2000 or so cable companies here domestically… NOPE.

    Like I said… the only TRUE barometer for the health of the UFC is the REPORTED wages to the state commissions. Those are not on the rise.

  39. Mossman on November 29th, 2011 9:49 AM

    SS – I’m agreeing with you overall. Im just stating fact on numbers…

    and to answer your question – “That means you have a direct line with the 2000 or so cable companies here domestically…”

    Yes.

    Like I’ve said… You never know who you are talking to… Some people actually know what the f they are talking about.

  40. Sampson Simpson on November 29th, 2011 7:10 PM

    That’s a strong line of information if it’s true.

    You must be able to find out the real PPV figures on HBO PPV as well?

  41. BrainSmasher on November 29th, 2011 9:31 PM

    “And you did that poorly. Poor gates in big markets, a lot of comped tickets in big markets, significant decreases in PPV, lack of new advertisers, etc. and you think their popularity hasn’t declined? Maybe you should check the location of your own head before telling others to find theirs.”

    Like i said and you seem to not understand. That has nothing to do with popularity of the sport or the UFC. The lower numbers reflects the popularity of the fighters on that event. The worst PPVs have about the same buy rates as they ever have. The difference is this year the UFC has tried to use new headliners and they are not going over as well as other headliners.

    Tony Williams did a report for mmapayout.com about the biggest draws in Sept of last year. Since then some of those draws have retired or have ran into a string of loss’. Of the top 10 draws he listed. Chuck and Randy have retired. Forrest has basically quit and just shows for a paycheck. Brock has not fought since the report. Evans sit out a year and a half killing his momentum he got from the Rampage fight. Since rampage was a draw he has lost to Evans had two borring fights with Machida and Hamill and got killed by Jones. So he isnt in the position he used to be. BJ Penn hasnt been able to win at all.

    That is 7 of the 10 top draws from 2006 to 2010. All of them were either absent in 2011 or at a low point of their career. ie no momentum. There are 3 guys left. 2 are in the same position in 2011 as there were in previous years. GSP and Silva. GSP fought 1 time this year and his PPV drew 800K buys. GSP’s average buy rate in all the previous years he has headlined was 682K. So no decline there. Anderson Silva fought 2 times in 2011. But only 1 can really count because the other is a international event and those always do poorly. That 1 US event drew 725K. Silva’s average in the other years as a headliner was 456K. No decline there.

    The only fighter left is Machida. We really cant use him because he has fought like crap recently so he isnt the draw he used to be. But the 1 event he has fought on this year was headlined by GSPwhich makes it misleading. His average was 572K and his 2011 fight drew 800K.

    IMO, the UFC popularity hasnt declined. But they are in a transition phase where they are replacing the old big name headliners who has been huge for the last 5 years on PPV with new headliners.

    These are the new headliners who now had to carry PPVs in 2011. Edgar, Maynard, Fitch, Jones, Faber, Wineland, Aldo, Hominick, Nelson, Hamill, Santos, Nunes, Cruz, Akiyama, Okami, Diaz, Kongo, Mitrione and Velasquez. They are now trying to build the next generation of fighters

    The UFC just needs to get the new fighters over with the fans. You have to be a die hard fans to know half of the headliners these days. Frankie doesnt draw like Penn did. Santos doesnt draw like Brock, Jones doesnt draw like Forrest, Jackson, Evans or Machida used to. The FOX deal is just what the UFC needs to get these guys over. 2011 is just a changing of the guard. Its been a down year but doesnt mean the UFC has peaked or is losing popularity. At this point we just dont know and nothing really suggests that. We will just have to wait and see.

Got something to say?