UFC 149: Payout Perspective
July 22, 2012
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at the much maligned card of UFC 149 from Calgary (dramatic Lance Storm pause) Alberta, Canada. In the main event Renan Barao defeated Urijah Faber to win the interim Bantamweight title.
Barao dominates Faber
Same game plan, same result. Renan Barao dominated Urijah Faber to capture the interim Bantamweight belt and set up a matchup with Dominick Cruz when he returns from injury. If you recall watching Faber’s fight against Jose Aldo in the WEC, Aldo used a stream of leg kicks to neutralize Faber and The California Kid’s lead leg swelled up.
This time, Faber attempted to switch lead legs to avoid damage but was not successful. Barao used a mix of kicks and punches to stifle Faber and control most of the fight. Barao was in genuine glee after winning the fight. I’m interested in seeing the clash of styles with Dominick Cruz when they meet.
Boestch bests Lombard
In the words of Jim Cornette: “Barbells don’t fight back.” While Hector Lombard would have won a physique contest, he looked like he was standing in place against Tim Boetsch. Probably the biggest disappointment of the night as most that have not seen Lombard were interested to see if this guy could unseat Anderson Silva. Based on his UFC debut, Lombard may not get that opportunity for a while. Another surprising performance by Boetsch. While this win may not get him a title shot, it should put him a couple fights away.
MMA Junkie reports the bonuses were $65,000 each and as follows:
Submission of the Night: Matthew Riddle
KO of the Night: Ryan Jimmo
Fight of the Night: Bryan Caraway and Mitch Gagnon
Caraway, Riddle and Jimmo (and of course Barao) were the most impressive on a night that was lackluster.
Attendance and gate:
MMA Junkie reports the attendance was 16,089 for a gate of $4.1 million. Pre-UFC 149 estimates had the gate at over $3 million. The reported gate of $4.1 million is the second highest of the year (next to UFC 148).
UltimatePoker.com was the primary sponsor for UFC 149. The usual sponsors were on the mat and ring posts for the event. This included Bud Light (center Octagon), Ultimate Poker.com, Xyience, TapouT, Harley Davidson and Edge. It also had signage for the movie, Total Recall. TapouT had a Canadian-themed logo on the mat.
Boetsch wore a Marilyn’sMemoir.com t-shirt. The web site indicates that its a scrapbook company. The sponsor conducted a giveaway on its website. It’s a bold move (considering the need to pay the UFC sponsor fee) by a company that does not appear to be in the target demo of the UFC.
Dodge unveiled its “Fight for your Dart” contest featuring 125ers Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson. The contest will be through the UFC’s Facebook page. The Dodge Dart promotions is a good step to hype the Flyweight division.
The UFC sponsored Hector Lombard for his debut match. We might assume that he may be looking for another walkout shirt sponsor.
Urijah Faber lost Form Athletics and now reps MMA clothier Torque. He still is sponsored by Amp Energy.
Uninspired Main Card
Dana White admitted pre-UFC 149 that the card had its challenges due to the injuries, and then admitted post-UFC 149 that he was “embarrassed” despite breaking attendance and gate records. In an effort to make good, White has stated it plans to return to Calgary.
Post-UFC 149 Headlines
- Barao new Bantamweight champ (for now): It appears that Renan Barao may have one defense of the interim title while Dominick Cruz heals from his knee injury. Barao showed his amazing skills against Urijah Faber and will provide some spark to the division.
- Lombard loss muddles middleweight division: Despite it being his debut, most people believed that Hector Lombard would be one or two fights away from Anderson Silva. But, his uninspired loss has set him back from that goal. For Tim Boetsch, a foot injury during the fight may put him out of the title picture as well. This could clear the way for a Michael Bisping or Chris Weidman to be the next challenger to The Spider.
- What’s next for Faber?: Urijah Faber is a great ambassador for the sport of MMA and the UFC but his loss may mean he may never see another shot at a title unless he moves divisions. Faber has been shut out in his last three title shots and it would seem unfair to give Faber another shot unless he starts at the bottom again.
Odds and ends:
The UFC once again released some fight videos of its main eventers. I like this new strategy. It also tips its cap to the fact that it is relying on streaming rather than the usual Countdown show route.
No Hitman- Although there was some buzz that Nick Ring would be accompanied by Bret “The Hitman” Hart, he was not seen on the UFC Prelims telecast. Instead, FX cut straight to the beginning of the match. Ring also made some news last month by stopping an assault in Calgary.
New warnings pre-PPV – Zuffa implemented some new warnings regarding the piracy of its PPV event at the start of the PPV. This might not be related or if anyone else has found this, but if you have DirecTV, one cannot record the PPV (after purchasing) automatically from the DTV web site.
A Canadian poll had the UFC creeping up as the 4th most popular sport in Canada behind the NHL, NFL and CFL. The hope is that it could compete in popularity with Football. Its a good thing the poll was conducted before Saturday’s event otherwise it might have fared much worse.
What was better? Ryan Jimmo’s KO or his robot into splits celebration?
Anyone else surprised that T.J. Dillashaw was the main coach for Faber?
How many UFC shirts did Hector Lombard have on when going to the Octagon? For a guy that was proud of being in the UFC, he didn’t fight like it. It could have been the jitters.
The usually hyped Canadian crowd turned on the event during the main card. One really can’t blame them based on the Ebersole-Head, Kongo-Jordan and Lombard-Boetsch matches. The Kongo-Jordan fight was especially disappointing as it was one that you could fast forward through, yet still see the fighters almost in the same place.
With all of the changes pre-UFC 149, the buy rate may have taken a hit even before the fights on Saturday. Will it do better than UFC 147? Faber and the hype of Hector Lombard may have grabbed some fans but it’s likely that this PPV will be around 200,000 buys.