UFC 142: Payout Perspective

January 19, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This week we look at the UFC’s return to Brazil in which Jose Aldo defended his featherweight title against Chad Mendes.

Aldo finishes Mendes and celebrates in crowd

Jose Aldo’s explosive power was on display as a knee coming out of a clench ended Chad Mendes’ title shot. After the fight, Aldo ran into the crowd which provided a great moment albeit a gasp for UFC security.

Realistically, Aldo’s security breach is much ado about nothing. He knew that he had the crowd behind him and he wanted to celebrate with his fans. Sure, someone could have done harm to him, but as I stated, he knew his audience. If someone wanted to do harm to him, they could have done so on the walkout. While the trampling of fans may have occurred, it seems as risky as when fans storm the court or field as they do in football or basketball. Do fans feel concerned when a Green Bay Packer does a “Lambeau Leap” after a touchdown? Yet, this was a “teachable moment” for UFC security for next time. It was awkward seeing Aldo trying to shake UFC security as he was trying to celebrate. Even Reed Harris tried to step in to direct Aldo back to the cage.

For Aldo, he’s cleaned out the Featherweight division. It will be interesting to see what he’ll do next. A possible superfight with Frankie Edgar (or Ben Henderson) would be a great matchup and something that could be promoted as a battle of current division champs.

Belfort chokes out Johnson

What a bad trip for Anthony Johnson. A failed weight-cut, losing a portion of his show purse, a first round submission and Johnson returns to the United States without a job. Johnson weighed in on Friday at 197 pounds for his middleweight fight. That means he was 11 pounds over (considering the 1 pound allowance). Belfort, understandably would agree to take the fight if Johnson weighed no more than 205 pounds on Saturday. If Johnson didn’t make it, it certainly would have killed the top end of the PPV. Fortunately, he made weight Saturday.

Still, making Dana White sweat the night before whether one of his fighters would make weight was the likely nail in the coffin for Johnson’s UFC career.

Johnson has had past problems with cutting weight. He definitely is a chiseled athlete, but an athlete that should fight at 205.

For Belfort, its another step back toward Anderson Silva’s title.

Attendance and Gate

According to the Wrestling Observer (subscription required), the attendance at the HSBC Arena garnered 10,605 paid fans for a gate of $2.8 million. The arena is said to hold 14,000 so we may extrapolate the number of comps assuming the arena was at capacity.

In Brazil, UFC 142 was seen on Globo, its top-rated network. Although the three live fights were shown between 12:45am to 2:00am, it garnered 23 million viewers (Wrestling Observer).

Bonuses

MMA Junkie reports that the bonuses were worth $65,000 each. Edson Barboza won KO of the night for his spectacular spinning heel kick of Terry Etim. Barboza and Etim also won Fight of the Night. The leg lock machine, Rousimar Palhares won for submission of the night.

UFC Prelims on FX

This was the first time that the UFC Prelims appeared on FX and it received an 880,000 viewer average. The ratings were lower compared to its regular showings on Spike TV. We will try to update you with the UFC 142 Countdown rating  on Fuel.

Sponsorships

The Octagon included MetroPCS, Xyience, Burger King, Bony Acai, Manguinhos Refinaria, and IntegraMedica with Bud Light in the center of the Octagon. In addition to these sponsors, the UFC advertised its upcoming video game UFC Undisputed in the Octagon.

Burger King also ran a promotion with Anderson Silva in which he would have lunch with a fan that won a contest for what the Spider should do to celebrate 1 million twitter followers. The Burger King sponsorship has only been in Brazil but we shall see if the relationship will extend to the United States.

KMart is back with the UFC as it placed a voiceover at the beginning of the first round of each fight for its new promotion offering $10 off for UFC 143. It was a nice form of brand activation as its logo and the promotion reminded viewers at the beginning of each first round on the PPV.

MMA Junkie reported on soccer clubs getting into the sponsorship of UFC fighters in Brazil. The UFC was said to be cautious about the newfound sponsor money due to the intense rivalries between the clubs.

Along with his normal pre-fight sponsor banner, Belfort had another banner in honor of his kidnapped sister. He also spoke about the rash of kidnappings in Brazil at the post-fight press conference.

Silva also participated in the UFC’s #Hunt4UFC promo where he gave out tickets to lucky fans.

It will be interesting to see how much value the Brazilian sponsors such as IntegraMedica and Manguinhos will bring to the UFC and vice versa.

Odds and ends

-Another set of fights which ended with first round stoppages. UFC 134’s main events all ended in the first round and the same occurred for UFC 142.

-Aldo’s crowd surf and Barboza’s heel kick were featured on Deadspin right after the fights. Barboza’s heel kick made number 3 on ESPN’s top plays of Saturday night.

-No word whether there were any glitches with the XBox Live platform as many of those shut out of UFC 141 were given 142 for free.

-For you pro wrestling fans, Aldo’s run in the crowd, reminded me of DDP of WCW fame heading into the crowd after a match.

-Mike Pyle embraced the “heel” role in his victory over Brazilian Ricardo Funch as he egged on the crowd after his victory.

Conclusion

UFC 142 was a success from the perspective of its further ties with its Brazilian fan base. There were many PR events during the week including UFC fighters taking surf lessons and open workouts. No doubt the UFC has reengaged with the fans and it bodes well for local viewership of the first international Ultimate Fighter held in the country this year. But, the U.S. buy rate will not reflect the same as it ran opposite the NFL Playoffs. In addition to the playoffs, the fact that this card catered to Brazilian fans meant less known names to the U.S. fan base which will affect the final buy rate results. We also have the factor that a lighter weight division was at the top of the card which has meant (in recent history) a lower buy rate.

12 Responses to “UFC 142: Payout Perspective”

  1. Diego on January 19th, 2012 12:06 PM

    I have Aldo as #2 PFP. With so much talent there, it’s a shame that the lighter weights aren’t attracting more attention. However, if Aldo keeps fighting like this, he’ll start getting his due PPV-wise. He could help himself by learning English.

    I wonder what a fighter like Aldo is making in sponsorship money? His PPV #s are low, but 23 million Brazilians watched him on Saturday night. Surely he can monetize that. Does anyone know what the Globo deal is worth to the UFC?

  2. assassin on January 19th, 2012 4:14 PM

    I had a nice night. Watched the prelims on FX (taped as I was at a football party) and then the post fight coverage on Fuel made me feel like I saw everything I needed to see from the main card via highlights.

  3. BrainSmasher on January 19th, 2012 6:08 PM

    This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Why does everyone mention a super fight after someone defends their title? Why is a champ expected to leave and fight in another division? There has never really been a “Super Fight” in the UFC under these circiumstances. Yes BJ Penn fought Hughes but he was already leaving 155 and vacated his bet. So it wasnt really a super fight. Penn was moving permenatly, that was his intentions. I cant remember anything else happening that makes people bring it up like its common place. It used to only be talked about when someone cleaned out an entire division over half a decade and there was nothing but rematches left. At one time it made sense to talk about Silva vs GSP. Now GSP has new credibile contenders. So that fight will never happen unless they cant get fights for Silva. But Aldo hasnt been in rematches, he hasnt been champ that long, he and his division are new to the UFC spotlight. There is no reason to expect him to fight out of his division. Also as Dana has said many time if it does ever happen someone will have to drop the belt.

    Bouncing around a weight class is what has hurt BJ penns legacy. He could have stayed at 155 and had a Fedor like career. Instead he kepted leavign and losing only to go back and never really dominate for a very long time. He could have went down as the most dominant champ like Silva, Hughes, GSP. But he wont. Aldo needs to stay at 145 and dominate as long as possible. Like Franklin said when people wanted him to go to 205 and fight Chuck Liddell when he was champ. He said it wont be long and he will have the compeition he cant handle. Just enjoy being the best because it wont last long. You dont have to go looking to get beat. It will find you and you will spend the rest of your career trying to get back to the top. Also Only has fought 2 guys in the current top 10. So he hasnt cleaned out anything. Sit back and enjoy the ride Aldo!

  4. Jason Cruz on January 20th, 2012 7:56 AM

    BS,

    My theory with BJ Penn is that he had problems making 155 and 170 was a truer weight for him. Also, issues with work ethic.

    Similarly, but not for lack of work ethic, Aldo is not a true 145. A video last year showed his issues with cutting weight. I’ve read that he had an easier time with the weigh cut, thus looked better.

    A “superfight” with Edgar makes sense for Aldo because….well can you name a Featherweight he has not beaten or is a threat to beat him. Mark Hominick had a good round in his home country at 129. Otherwise, as Lennox Lewis once said: “look at the state of his face.”

    Now, if we look at it for Edgar, there are many more challengers to his lightweight title. So, from that perspective there is a reason that matchup may not work.

  5. BrainSmasher on January 21st, 2012 1:57 AM

    “A “superfight” with Edgar makes sense for Aldo because….well can you name a Featherweight he has not beaten or is a threat to beat him. Mark Hominick had a good round in his home country at 129. Otherwise, as Lennox Lewis once said: “look at the state of his face.””

    – Cruz

    You mean like Machida? And pretty much alll other champs? When they lose it is always unexpect. I think people need to follow the divisions and quit worrying about Fantasy Fights. Edgar hasnt proven anything. He has fought 2 guys as champ and still not a draw and unknown. Aldo is in a new division to the UFC and they are trying to build them up. What better way to kill of both divisions and champs credibility than force them to fight for a crappy 300K buys? People are trying to run jones into “Super fights” at the peak of his popularity. Hardcore fans are looking at how the divisions play out. Casual fans just look at fantasy match ups. I think this Super Fight talk is best left for forums and not to be taken serious this early into their careers. Hughes, GSP, Chuck, Silva, had to win for many years until people were getting bored with them before the thought even was talked about. Now it starts as soon as they get the belt. People assume just because you dont know how good someone else means their no good. There are good fighters people havent noticed yet. Aldo needs to keep fighting his way through the division until it gets old.

  6. Jason Cruz on January 21st, 2012 9:50 AM

    BS,

    I think you make good points. You are correct that the Featherweight division needs to be built up. He’s only defended his belt twice. A loss for either guy could prove detrimental to both divisions. The HC fans look to how the division will play while casual folks look at “dream scenarios.”

    My contention is that any defense Aldo has against anyone right now will not be an attraction. Moreover, it will be UFC on FX material. It will be great to see an up and comer takeout someone. But, was anyone thrilled (except for me) about the potential for a Munoz (before he got hurt) vs. Silva fight for the MW title.

    Why not build up the FW division a little more through 2012, talk him (anyone that looks impressive) up as a contender and then he can have a shot. Meanwhile, Aldo can take on a lightweight champion. (At this point, I wouldn’t count out a fight with Melendez although that’s a long, longshot). But, that’s my theory anyway.

  7. BrainSmasher on January 21st, 2012 5:00 PM

    “My contention is that any defense Aldo has against anyone right now will not be an attraction. ”

    None of his fights have attracted (Buys) anyone. He isnt a draw. Neither is Edgar. A fight between the two wouldnt sell much either. The UFC needs to build each champ into larger than life figures. You cant do that if one of them is laying in a heap on the canvas because he got smashed by another champ. No reason to take cred away from either division. As history has shown us you dont have to really fight the best fighters to be great. Fans will hype anyone you throw out there as long as they win. Fans will precieve the contenders as being talented even if they are not. Look at Pride and SF. Look at the hype Diaz got from being most bums. Henderson is 40 yrs old, slower, weaker, less durable. But he takes out some guys on the verge of retirement and now he is hyped like he is the champ. No one even cares he lost to Shields. The UFC just needs to lets the fights play out in the division and the fans will hype them over time. If Aldo loses it needs to be to someone in his division so he pass’ the torch. If he loses to Edgar it does little for Edger to beat a lower weight fighter. Then when Aldo comes back he has no momentum or credibility. So if he did lose his next fight no one would be watching to even see the new champ.

  8. Frank on January 22nd, 2012 5:32 AM

    I think Faber should rematch Tyson Griffin from their epic Gladiator Challenge fight. I gotta find that disc… then the winner can fight Aldo. Its the only excuse I can think of for that rematch.

  9. ted on January 23rd, 2012 2:14 PM

    Any news on how many Buys they got? I am going to say 150 000 buys making it one of the worst PPV in a long time

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    […] & Event Bonuses – FightCove.com UFC142(Huge card) had 10,600 fans and a gate of 2.8 million. UFC 142: Payout Perspective : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA Nothing really comes close to the 55,000fans and 12million gate UFC129 did. With that said, a […]

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