UFC 146: Payout Perspective

May 27, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective!  This time we look at UFC 146 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center (if you are Frank Mir), if you are everyone else it was at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.

JDS KOs Frank Mir

Just one takedown attempt stuffed by JDS, did the trick and Mir was forced into a standup fight wtih the Heavyweight champion.  Bad idea as JDS dominated the fight and almost took out Mir a couple times prior to the actual finish.

JDS solidified his place as the dominant heavyweight in the division.  We should see JDS-Cain II sometime this fall.

Cain dominates Bigfoot

If you wanted a definition of a mauling, you need only look to what Cain Velasquez did to Bigfoot Silva.  It had looked like Silva bladed based on the amount of blood Silva lost from a Cain elbow.  While Silva had the size advantage, Cain was focused, dominant and vicious.

As we stated above, Cain should get the next shot to reclaim the heavyweight title.

Pee Wee no match for Big Country

Roy Nelson needed less than a minute to finish David Herman.  An overhand 2 that made Herman almost turnaround and sit on the canvas spelled the end of the night for second fill-in for Nelson.  Despite what we think about Nelson’s physique, he still packs a huge punch.

Attendance and Gate

MMA Junkie reports that UFC 146’s attendance was an attendance of 14,592 for a gate of $3.4 million.  Notably, it had a higher attendance and gate than UFC 141 featuring Overeem-Lesnar.


Each fighter earned $70,000 each (via MMA Junkie).  There was no FOTN but KO and Sub had 2 each.

KO of the Night:  Dan Hardy and Roy Nelson
Submission of the Night: Stefan Struve and Paul Sass

Countdown/Primetime Shows

The Primetime shows on FX did a respectable 542K and 544K viewer average for the first two episodes.  We will update this post when we receive the ratings for the third episode.

No word on the Countdown show rating but we will update once we receive it.  The one cool takeaway from the show was Dave Herman training with “Trampoline Cageball.”  Not sure if it’s related to Slamball, but Spike TV should have it as a lead in to TNA and Bellator Thursday nights.


Salaries for the main event fighters were revealed prior to UFC 146.  JDS and Mir both earned a flat $200K.  Although not officially reported, JDS received a portion of the PPV which made his post-fight thank you “to those purchasing the PPV” seem like a personal thanks for making him money.  We will update the rest of the card salaries once it is released by the NSAC.


– It was a good night for RYU.  Not only was it its first time on the mat during a PPV, its 2 sponsored fighters:  Jamie Varner and Darren Elkins had good wins.  RYU also was this month’s Sponsorship Spotlight feature.

–  Cain Velasquez was featured in the latest MetroPCS commercial.  Good timing for the company as Velasquez looks like he will be back in a title match soon.  Velasquez was also sponsored by UFC sponsor Bony Acai.

–  JDS had multiple sponsors from Brazil and Latin America including Locaweb, a cloud computing and web hosting company.  It was good placement for Locaweb as it was the only other logo on the front of JDS’ Pretorian shirt during the walkout.

–  Frank Mir and his team came out to UFC sponsored “UFC 93” shirts and hats.  Mir did wear other sponsors on his fight shorts.

–  In addition to RYU, Varner had convenience store operator Mr. Gas as a sponsor.  Its logo was placed on his backside which may or may not be good placement.

–  Another interesting story out of the night was that of 9 year old friend of JDS, Breno Ferreira.  His story was told during the Primetime shows and he flew to Las Vegas to be at ringside with JDS.  There were rumors that the idea of flying Ferreira to Vegas was utilized for extra press for JDS and UFC 146.  JDS immediately wanted Ferreira to come to the octagon to be with him after the win but was stopped by security.  He finally made it to the octagon wearing a UFC hat and dos Santos shirt with JDS sponsor,CERS, clearly visible.  Whether or not this was an organic story or a PR stunt, nobody was really harmed and the kid got a trip he would probably never have in his life.

Post-UFC 146 Headlines

– Cain-JDS II: Both had impressive victories and they should be on a collision course to a second title matchup.  This time you could expect this to be on PPV.

–  Varner and Hardy comebacks:  Both Jamie Varner and Dan Hardy had good wins in trying to staying in the mix in their respective divisions in the UFC.

–  Glover Texeira is finally in the UFC and was very impressive against fanny pack wearer Kyle Kingsbury.  Texeira should be one to watch in the 205 division.

Odds and ends

–  The fact that each of the 5 fights on the main card ended early (4 of them via KO) must be a record.

–  Anyone else notice the new camera angles the UFC used during matches.  A nice, subtle addition.

–  I do not know whose weigh-in attire was worse?  Mayhem Miller or Kyle Kingsbury.

–  Great return by Jamie Varner especially when Barbosa was on a winning streak.

–  Glover Texeira has a great debut the same day that New York Yankees first baseman Mark Texeira hits 2 home runs….coincidence?

–  Rogan couldn’t help himself during the del Rosario-Miocic when one of the corners asked for the “Pacquiao” Rogan quipped, “What, is he going to say something about gay marriage?”

– And now…Brock Lesnar was at ringside and that gave way to the rumors that he might return.  If there is anyone that is a jack of all trades (UFC, WWE and NFL training camp), he seems to be a master of none. It would be nice to see the UFC and WWE do some sort of arrangement where Lesnar could switch back and forth (maybe a Mo Lawal-type deal).  But, I think a UFC-WWE agreement would be some sort of unholy alliance.  It’s not going to happen.


An all Heavyweight main card did not disappoint. It was a good idea and I hope its done again in the future. While I don’t expect blockbuster numbers for this event, it solidifies Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez as top Heavyweights.  This should help with their drawing power for JDS-Cain II.

23 Responses to “UFC 146: Payout Perspective”

  1. Weezy on May 28th, 2012 8:19 AM

    It was nice to see HONDA buying some ad space on the two hour FX prelim telecast. Maybe they’ve bought space before and I just didn’t notice but this is the first time I remember seeing that. It will be interesting to see where that two hour prelim event finished in its timeslot in the 18-49 year old demographic.

  2. Marty michaels on May 28th, 2012 9:12 AM

    How does Victory get clock sponsorship and spots?? Isn’t Harley the “exclusive motorcycle”of the ufc? Even if they’re not exclusive they must be pissed.

  3. BrainSmasher on May 28th, 2012 2:47 PM

    Interesting! From Wiki…

    “Victory Motorcycles is a motorcycle manufacturer based in Spirit Lake, Iowa, United States, which began production of its vehicles in 1998. Its parent company, Polaris Industries, created the firm following the modern success of Harley-Davidson. Victory’s motorcycles are designed to compete directly with Harley Davidson and similar American-style motorcycle brands, with V-twin engines and touring, sport-touring, and cruiser configurations.”

    Not sure how the sponsorships work in the UFC. Maybe HD just bought so many events per year and leaves an opening every so often. Either way it is strange the UFC would accpet a revil with such a big sponsor. Then again it does seem like a ploy and an attitude the UFC often uses and it works out more times than not. Som see it is risking the relationship of a big sponsor buit the UFC could be doing it to force HD to make a larger commitment to the UFC(more events etc.) But hard to say until we know some of the details of how these deals work. For example why are companies signing what appears to be per event deals rather than exclusive UFC deals for X amount of years? We have seen this in the past with Amp/Xience, Beer, and Liquer brands.Where the UFC has a deal with one and out of no where a rival jumps in for an event here and there. I would never get on bard with a set number of events that allows loopholes like this. Why they dont sign to be on every event for that year i dont know.

  4. BrainSmasher on May 29th, 2012 2:44 PM

    Ratings for TUF Live and UFC PrimeTime:

    TUF Live got 875,000 with a .5 rating in the 18-49 demo.

    UFC PRIMETIME did a very impressive 773,000 and a .4 in the 18-49 demo.

    This makes it the highest rating Prime Time series thus far on FX beating Jones/Evans and Diaz/Condit. This series increased viewers with each episode. This final episode was higher rated than any of the recent series individual efforts. Beating the Episode 1 of Diaz/Condit by about 116,000 viewers.

  5. Weezy on May 29th, 2012 3:14 PM

    A live gate and attendance higher than Lesnar – Overeem is very encouraging.

  6. Sampson Simpson on May 29th, 2012 7:11 PM

    Those gate numbers don’t seem right to me. They seem suspect to be honest.

    All Zuffa has to do is pay the tax on the tickets and comp them out to get that grand “total” number.

  7. BrainSmasher on May 29th, 2012 10:26 PM

    Homer Simpson

    They are still tracked and counted as comped tickets. They have no effect on the gate at all. Only the attendance.

  8. Assassin on May 30th, 2012 9:31 AM

    Good card, exciting fights.
    I do not like the idea of Cain getting a rematch after only 1 fight. I think he should fight 1 more time, maybe against Hunt or Nelson before getting the rematch.

    I would favor Werdum getting the title shot in the fall, assuming he beats Russow on 6/23. Just my opinion.

  9. Sampson Simpson on May 30th, 2012 3:06 PM

    Actually you have no clue what you’re talking about. There are officially comped tickets not counted in the live gate and there are “tax paid” tickets that are considered full purchases but comped out. The latter ads on to the inflated gate level.

  10. BrainSmasher on May 30th, 2012 7:46 PM

    How about you provide a source so everyone doesnt have to take your word for anything sicne you want to be portrayed as a bias hater! K-1 tried to do what you are claiming the UFC did and everyone found out about it. Not only would this be tracked even though you claim it isnt. The UFC would have no reason to do it and has shown no history of doing anything like this. There have been events that didnt sell out. Some didnt have a high gate, some had huge amount of comped tickets. But you for some reason think the UFC out of no where would waste tons of money to inflate these numbers a few hundreds thousand bucks when most of the fan base will never even see the numbers. You are not that bright.

    Attendance/Live Gate Controversy On June 7, 2007, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) announced that 42,757 tickets were distributed for the event – something promoters say validated the claim of having the largest attendance for a Mixed Martial Arts event in North America (a record previously held by UFC 68).[9] The paid gate for the event was $2,545,590.[3] However, the promoters of the event paid $2,342,500 of that to buy 39,083 tickets to its own event. The final verified paid attendance number for K-1 Dynamite stands at 3,674 which generated $203,090 in revenue.

  11. Aintitthetruth on May 31st, 2012 1:17 AM

    brainsmasher you are a troll. go away.

  12. Diego on May 31st, 2012 5:32 AM


    It does seem high but JDS and Mir are both known commodities and people love the heavyweights. I don’t know why the UFC would bother to try to pump up their attendance figures. They’ve never been known to do it in the past, it would be unlike them to start now.

    We’ll see what the PPV numbers look like, but I take the attendance numbers at face value until I see a reason to suspect otherwise.

  13. Sampson Simpson on May 31st, 2012 9:41 AM

    If you don’t know about inflated live gates, just look at Mayweather fights at the MGM Grand.

    UFC on FOX 1 featuring Velazquez vs. Dos Santos – 11,607 attendance with a $1.07 million live gate. Total attendance announced as 14,019.

    UFC on FOX 2 featuring Evans vs. Davis – 15,872 attendance with a $1.27 million live gate. Total attendance announced as 17,425.

    Now, somehow UFC 145 featuring Dos Santos vs. Mir does an attendance of 14,592 with a $3.4 million live gate? Jones-Evans was infinitely bigger of an event drew more people at 15,545 with a $2.2 million live gate.

    Yeah, I’d say the UFC vegas fights are inflated for sure. It doesn’t take a brainsmashe… err brainsurgeon to figure it out.

  14. Weezy02 on May 31st, 2012 1:01 PM

    Sampson, I agree that is a much higher gate that I forecast but that goes both ways, though. One could point out that Penn vs. Fitch (a non title fight) did a $3.5 million gate or that Diaz vs. Penn did a $3.9 million gate. A world heavyweight fight between a Dos Santos that has had the benefit of an extra year of hype isn’t unbelievable to me. For that matter, Junior drew a $2.8 million gate before he was even champion against Carwin. It’s not beyond belief that he could draw an extra $700K in ticket sales into his championship reign. Not trying to convince you. Just playing devil’s advocate.

  15. Sampson Simpson on May 31st, 2012 3:25 PM

    It just seems overly strange that all the Vegas gates are so inflated compared to most of the events that take place in other parts of the country.

    I follow boxing as well and they are guilty of the same thing.

  16. BrainSmasher on May 31st, 2012 5:55 PM

    The UFC has ALWAYS charged more for tickets in Vegas for obvious reasons. People there are on vacation and have more disposable income than going to somewhere in Ohio.

    If you would use you brain rather than make directionless claims you would see why your theories dont cut the mustard. Keep in mind Overeem was supposed to be on this card. This was supposed to be the biggest event of the year Santos vs Reem. The tickets were already priced and many were already sold before Mir was put on the card. This si why the Gate is a little higher than expect. You trying to compare cards Free on Fox to the gate of a PPV event shows how big a moron you are. Then you 1 up yourself when you try to compare a card in Georgia with a Vegas event with the HW title that was promoted on FOX.

    These numbers are in line with UFC 141 in Vegas with Lesnar and Reem. except this card had the two fighters promoted on FOX 1 in Santos and Cain rather than 2 contenders and a weaker undercard. This also had Mir who has been on almost all of the biggest PPVs in UFC History. UFC 146 was stacked from top to bottom with SF fighters like DEl Rasario and Big Foot Slva, long awaited prospect in Texeria and as mentioned before the two guys who benefited the most of the FOX deals so far. The ratings for the Prime Time were very good too which shows the interest was high for this event so i would guess the PPV buys will be very good too. Anything over 500K would be a big success.

  17. BrainSmasher on May 31st, 2012 6:26 PM

    Here is an example. UFC always charges MUCH more in Vegas. Unless it is a large event in like LA max ticket Price in other states is ussually $400. I have been to 7 UFC events and this has always been the case for the ones in Ohio, Ga, NJ, and i dont remember the prices for Boston. Las Vegas events go up to 800 and sometimes more. The cheapest ticket is also atleast twice what the cheap seats are in other states.

    Here is UFC 148 Silva/Sonnen in Vegas
    US $125.00 – US $1,200.00

    UFC on Fuel in San Jose, CA
    US $50.00 – US $175.00

    Here are the UFC 145 tickets in Atlanta
    Tickets for UFC®145, presented by MetroPCS, go on sale Friday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. ET. Tickets are priced at $400, $300, $200, $125, $80 and $50

    Here is UFC 146 in Vegas
    Tickets for UFC® 146: DOS SANTOS vs. OVEREEM, presented by BUD LIGHT®, go on sale Friday, March 30 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $800, $600, $400, $250, $125 and $75.

    So you can fold up that tin foil hat now!

  18. Sampson Simpson on June 1st, 2012 8:53 AM

    That’s pretty fundamental stuff braintumor. It’s also really fundamental that the UFC can simply pay the tax on those ticket prices and claim the tickets were sold for their face value inflating the “reported gate”.

    Just like Mayweather does.

  19. BrainSmasher on June 1st, 2012 4:18 PM

    You are an idiot and shouldnt be allowed to spread your bullshit on this site and confuse people with your lies. You cant see that those numbers were typical for a big Vegas event? You cant see why Vegas gates are more and why they charge more? So i guess since you didnt prove proof that means you have none and are just making it up.

    So what do you think the real number was? This is yet another place where your theory doesnt hold water. Was it really 3 million? So they UFC inflated their numbers a minute 400K! What would that do? Was the gate really 2.5 million? If thats the case One of the biggest events of the year in Vegas could only match average cards on smaller markets around the country. You think the UFC cant charge more or make more in Vegas yet cant comprehend why every major fight chooses Vegas as its location. Why do you think that is?

  20. Sampson Simpson on June 2nd, 2012 7:18 AM

    You sound bitter

  21. BrainSmasher on June 2nd, 2012 3:01 PM

    You sound like someone who has no facts to back up their twisted logic.

  22. UFC Guy on June 3rd, 2012 5:43 PM

    UFC blocked off an entire section for UFC employees, which is roughly over 500 tickets.

    UFC also charges more in Vegas because the events are ALWAYS on a holiday weekend and more visitors come to town during those times than any other time. This also includes the Super Bowl holiday.

  23. BrainSmasher on June 7th, 2012 3:42 PM

    All events have seats set aside for VIP’s. Most fighters get tickets to the fights. Couture had it in his contract they he gets 10 cage side seats for each even he fights at. I went to a local show recently and it was the same thing. Cage side was full of local pro fighters and “celebs”. That doesnt mean those tickets are counted in the gate like Simpson claims.

    Here is a question for Simpson. If the UFC is inflating the gate then why did they comp 3,000 seats for 146? Wouldnt they buy those themselves and pretend they sold them? Also there was like 150 seats that didnt sell out all. Why would the UFC who you claim is buying their own tickets to inflate the gat not buy those and make it a sell out? Again like i said when you make things up the facts are there to bite you in the aZZ every time.

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