UFC 152: Payout Perspective
September 23, 2012
Welcome back to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 152 coming from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada.
Jones survives scare, subs Phenom
A first round armbar out of nowhere and Jon Jones almost saw his unblemished (let’s not count Hamill DQ) record go away and one of the biggest upsets this side of Matt Serra. But, Jones survived and does what he does: dominate opponents. This time, it was a Keylock that made Belfort submit.
Belfort gave a lot more than expected but it was a definite mismatch after the armbar attempt. This match showed the beauty of jiu jitsu in the UFC. First, Belfort’s armbar was perfectly executed and he would have subbed, or broken the arm, of almost every other fighter in the UFC. Secondly, Jon Jones’ elbows sliced Belfort’s forehead and as Jones positioned himself for what everyone believed to be a mounted crucifix to reign more elbows on Belfort, Jones saw Belfort’s arm was bent and immediately went for the keylock. Excellent strategy by Jones.
Mighty Mouse wins Flyweight title
Demetrious Johnson won a split decision over Joseph Benavidez to win the inaugural Flyweight title. It was a great technical match up. I had thought Johnson won the fight outright but the judges had it at a split decision.
It’s a great win for a guy with a good backstory as we learned from the Countdown show.
The fans were booing during the end of the match which made no sense to me. Sure, the fight had slowed but its due to the pace in the early rounds. The crowd reaction drew some criticism from Joe Rogan on the broadcast.
The Count includes Stann as win
Michael Bisping used his superior cardio skills and outclassed Brian Stann to stake a claim for the next title shot against Anderson Silva. For as outspoken as Bisping is, he backs it up and did a good job of muting Stann’s offense.
Attendance and gate
MMA Junkie reports that the attendance at the Air Canda Centre in Toronto drew 16,800 for a gate of $1.9 million. In comparison, the UFC 140 which featured Jon Jones taking on Lyoto Machida last December drew 18,303 fans for a gate of $3.9 million.
It’s interesting with the card shuffling that even with the addition of Jon Jones it did not move the ticket sales as compared to last December.
MMA Junkie reports the bonuses which were announced at the post-UFC 152 press conference. Each fighter received a $65K bonus.
KO of the Night: Cub Swanson
Submission of the Night: Jon Jones
Fight of the Night: Evan Dunham vs. T.J. Grant
The octagon sponsors included Edge, Marines.com, Dodge, the upcoming film, “Here Comes the Boom”, video game Assassin’s Creed , UltimatePoker.com, TapouT and Bud Light with the center. MetroPCS, RYU and Corn Nuts also sponsored portions of the PPV.
New UFC sponsor Allfuse had the prep point. This is the second straight PPV where a new sponsor has had the spot where fighters get greased before heading into the octagon. I’m not sure if its being used as a one off for sponsors looking to dip its toe in the sponsorship game.
The biggest new sponsor was Nike as Jon Jones sported the swoosh in the Octagon for the first time. The Bones Knows t-shirts were worn by Jones on each media obligation he had prior to the fight.
In addition, Jones was sponsored by Muscletech. In order to get some notoriety with the sponsorship, it aired a short swim workout Jones did in conjunction with the sponsor. It was tweeted out to Jones’ followers.
Xyience is also a sponsor of Jones. After the fight, one of Jones’ corner men reminded Jones he needed to hold the can when he had his hand raised. But Jones shrugged him off and handed the can back to him. Xyience was probably not happy about that considering a part of the deal is that he have the can. After further review, Jones’ right arm was the one that was armbarred so maybe he couldn’t or didn’t want to hold it.
SKY was a prominent sponsor for Vitor Belfort. Also, Gillette, BMG, Jaco and RVCA were on Vitor’s person. Despite losing the fight, Vitor did well for himself.
Mighty Mouse was sponsored by Xbox once again. Probably, one of the best brands and the strongest outside of the Swoosh to endorse.
UltimatePoker.com had a sponsor tie in with a “Belt the champ” contest in which the winner was able to put the belt on Jon Jones.
SE Solutions sponsored Brian Stann. SE Solutions is an IT company servicing federal agencies focused on protecting America’s security. The sponsorship fits with what Stann has done and who he is and that’s a good thing.
The cutmen were back to TapouT vests as opposed to RYU ones which they had last PPVs.
Here Comes the Boom, the upcoming movie about a mild-mannered teacher becoming a UFC fighter to raise money for his school. The UFC gave James, a huge UFC fan before it became mainstream, license and access for the movie. But, was Kevin James supposed to look that big in the promo for the movie, “Here Comes the Boom.” James is living the dream. Not only was he in the King of Queens opposite Leah Remini (at her best), now he’s opposite Selma Hayek in a role where he allegedly becomes a MMA fighter. I know, we are supposed to suspend reality…
Roger Hallet was sponsored by MMA Bodyguards. The company offers security assistance leveraging their MMA training. Former UFC fighter Josh Neer is on the web site.
Sponsor Assassin’s Creed had a UFC tie-in with Royce Gracie winning a contest voted on by the fans. Sure, we’ll buy it. The contest and the video game. Edge had a similar activation with Joseph Benavidez winning the Edge new “fresh face”
Although the two companies can be considered competitors , RYU sent a welcome to Nike.
Welcome to the #octagon swoosh.
— RYU (@RYUapparel) September 23, 2012
Post-UFC 152 Headlines
What’s next for Jones?
Is a Chael Sonnen showdown really what the UFC needs? Sure, it will sell a PPV but what about the long-range direction of the division. We can argue that the division has been cleaned out and now the UFC should just find the biggest fight. Sonnen can hype a fight. But does he stand a chance on winning.
How much will we see the Flyweight division?
With the crowning of a champion, it will be interesting to see how much we will see this division featured on PPV. I think that the division should start out on Fuel and FX Prelims and eventually gravitate to PPV. But, from the crowd reaction, it may take some time for fans to adjust.
Does Bisping deserve a title shot?
We may hate him as much as Jon Jones but Michael Bisping is a top contender in the middleweight division. He controlled Brian Stann and should be thought of as the next in line for a title shot against the Spider.
Odds and ends
-The initial headliners: Johnson-Benavedez and Stann-Bisping did some promos where they hung off of the CN Tower. All that and they didn’t even receive top billing
-We outlined the PR issues Jon Jones has and the main point from that is Jones needs to mature and be himself with the understanding that he couldn’t please everyone. But his entrance song last night: Bob Marley’s “Could you be Loved” as if it were a plea to his fans to like him.
-I believe it is now mandatory that Ronda Rousey appear at anything UFC related. She was seen in the crowd at the event. Also, Strikeforce fighters Luke Rockhold (wearing black) and Daniel Cormier (wearing white) to which Cormier mouthed to the camera “Ebony and Ivory”. It’s the details that make me laugh.
-Any twitter jokes that the Marines Keys to Victory figures of Benavidez v. Johnson were their actual sizes?
-Can someone tell me the other man that Matt Hume told he should quit his full time job to train as a fighter? Mighty Mouse was one, who was the other?
-We will address Dana White’s post-UFC152 fury at a Toronto columnist in a separate post.
It will be an interesting buy rate for UFC 152. Arguably, the cancellation of 151 could have helped with buys since fans would be Jonesing for UFC fights. Still, the card shuffling and main event of Jones-Belfort didn’t seem like it was a real attraction. A buy rate of 450K-500K would be a success. But think what the buy rate would be if Jones was not on this card.