UFC 153: Payout Perspective

October 15, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective from the HSBC Arena in Rio di Janeiro Brazil.  In the main event, Anderson Silva met Stephan Bonnar in a 3 round fight at 205 pounds.

We describe the top three matches in Haiku (5-7-5).

Silva defeats Bonnar

Silva clowns in cage.

Big knee to gut of Bonnar

Greatest of all-time?

Big Nog submits Pee Wee

Dave hates BJJ

Arm bar may change Herman’s mind

Sub makes Spider cry

Fitch takes out Erick Silva

Jon Fitch needs money

Silva tries to choke Fitch out

Fitch beats on Silva

Attendance and Gate

MMA Junkie reported the attendance and gate announced at the post-fight press conference.  There were 16,844 fans for a gate of between $2.5 and $2.6 million.

In comparison, UFC 134, the first show in Brazil for Zuffa and the last time Anderson Silva appeared at home scored a $4 million gate with over 14,000 in attendance at the HSBC Arena.

Bonuses (UPDATED)

Bonuses (via MMA Junkie) were $70,000 and are as follows:

Fight of the Night:  Jon Fitch and Erick Silva

Submission of the Night:  Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

KO of the Night:  Rony Jason


It was a night of Brazilian sponsors taking the spotlight.  IntegralMedical, Manguhinos, Allfuz, Bony Acai and Gillette all were in the Octagon.  Also, RYU, Xyience and Bud Light all were in the Octagon.

“We Step Up” was the themed TapouT walkout shirt for Stephan Bonnar.  It also served as the overall theme for UFC 153 considering the amount of key fighters that stepped up to take matches.  FighterxFashion has more on who was wearing what.

MetroPCS (despite merger talks), Corn Nuts, the Marines and Assassin’s Creed were also sponsors during the broadcast.

Silva debuted the “Spider Knows” t-shirt at workouts as it was announced last month that he had secured a global sponsorship with Nike.   In addition, Nextel, Nike and  Burger King were Silva’s major sponsors.  Philips was missing from Silva’s sponsor stable this time around.

RYU sent out a press release indicating the apparel its fighter Jon Fitch was wearing.  This included a workout video from Fitch.  A very smart move to not only spotlight its fighter but it workout wear which consumers could purchase if they wanted.

Prestone, a sponsor seen mostly on TUF this season, was present during broadcast.

These eventsl will help the UFC attract more sponsors from the country.  With Anderson Silva garnering mainstream sponsors in Brazil, Zuffa can appeal to major companies in South America looking for sponsorship opportunities.

Promotion of UFC 153

This card looked in doubt with the injuries to Jose Aldo and Rampage Jackson.  Fortunately, this time around, Zuffa saved the card with Anderson Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera providing name recognition to the card.

The choice of Stephan Bonnar seemed like a concession for the Spider’s participation but a necessity.  Bonnar did his best but went down like many before him.

What’s interesting is the Forrest Griffin-Stephan Bonnar promos where the two are sitting at a table discussing how to beat Anderson Silva with Griffin going over his disastrous performance at UFC 101.  It was funny, no doubt, with the two calling up Chael Sonnen at the end.  This was the Fox influence on promoting the fight but did it diminish the fighters and the matchup?  If you recall, Griffin ran from the ring after one of the more embarrassing KOs ever.

Post-Fight Headlines

What’s next for Anderson Silva?

Even at 37, Anderson Silva is on top of his game.  Why not a Jon Jones superfight?  Silva seems more interested in a GSP superfight at a catchweight.  But what about his middleweight title?  Chris Weidman and Michael Bisping are chomping at the bit hoping for a shot at the Spider in 2013.  But, it may come down to what will get a better PPV buy and not what’s best for the division.

Is Jon Fitch back?

Fitch had received a bad rap for being a grinder (i.e., not exciting).  But he wanted to win Fight of the Night on Saturday and he went out and did it.  Fitch looked much different as he seemed more aggressive, active and mauled Silva.  Silva almost had Fitch with a RNC but could not complete it.   But Fitch pounded Silva from the mount for what seemed like half of the 3rd round for a Unanimous Decision.  This new fire is good for Fitch and whatever you think of his comments, his performance showed that he should still be on the list of fighters that can perform near the top of the card.

Odds and Ends

Three dramatic moments during Saturday’s PPV

1) Demian Maia choking (or neck cranking) the Horror Story so much that blood starting spewing from his face (or at least it looked that way).

2) Anderson Silva seen in the back crying, according to the broadcast, after he saw Big Nog sub Dave Herman.

3) And then, Nog coming back from the ring meeting Silva in the walkway to give him a hug.  Produced?  Maybe, but makes compelling tv.

-Suffering a broken arm in his last matchup, it was fitting that Big Nog ended Dave Herman’s night with an armbar. The crowd went nuts for Noguiera as it did when he beat Brendan Schaub the last time he was in front of the Brazil fans.

-Anderson Silva playing to the crowd seemed annoying to me but I understand that he was playing to his hometown crowd.  It’s still the showboating that got him in trouble with Dana White at UFC 112.  But, the finish absolved him of any scolding from White.

-If you watched the Fuel weigh-ins, how do you like the insets during weigh-ins on Fuel? It reminded me of VH-1’s pop-up video but it served its purpose of filling the silence while the fighters make their way to the scale while providing more info on the specific fight.

-Chris Camozzi created some good karma for himself as it was announced at the Fuel Weigh-Ins (via the aforementioned insets) that he was donating a portion of his purse to a Brazilian recreation center.  Camozzi defeated Luiz Cane.

-Does Nike start out all of its sponsored athletes with a “(Your Name Here) Knows” shirt and see how it sells before doing anything further?


This may not be a card where the buy rate reflects the success it had, especially with the locals.  A Bonnar-Silva card feeds into those wanting to see Anderson Silva as most purchased the PPV to see Silva and not the matchup.  Perhaps last month’s almost armbar of Jon Jones persuaded some thinking they might see Silva underestimate a game Bonnar?  But, the attendance and gate reflect the fact that fans in Brazil are Anderson Silva and Big Nog fans.

9 Responses to “UFC 153: Payout Perspective”

  1. JJ Szokody on October 16th, 2012 4:33 AM

    I work on the UFC production team and have for many years.

    In your article, you refer to Anderson’s emotion with Nog’s win to be potentially ‘produced’. I can assure you, it was not. It was one of the most real moments ever displayed on a UFC show.

    What you, as the home viewer, see is only a small portion of the compelling drama that takes place behind the scenes of a typical broadcast.

    Showing Anderson’s emotion was, I believe, one of the most organic displays of heart and passion from any fighter, let alone the greatest fighter in the world.

    Thank you, and thanks for watching.

  2. Jose Mendoza on October 16th, 2012 10:17 AM

    Great stuff as always Jason!

  3. Jason Cruz on October 16th, 2012 12:29 PM


    Thanks for your comments JJ and thank you for reading. Its nice to get insight on what goes on behind the scenes. It helps break down the skepticism that some of us have at times with what we consume as fans.

  4. Diego on October 16th, 2012 2:15 PM

    I had told myself that I wasn’t going to buy this PPV, but then I figured it’s Anderson Silva, and who knows how much longer he’ll be fighting. It turned out to be a great card though I felt the Fitch v. Silva and Teixera v. Human Punching Bag fights could have been stopped sooner.

    The A. Silva performance alone was worth the cost of the HD PPV. Unbelievable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a combat athlete (boxing, MMA or kickboxing) at that level. He may be the best combat athlete of all time.

    Best Combat Athletes in the History of Mankind:

    1. Anderson Silva
    2. Miyamoto Musashi
    3. Theagenes (or your personal pick of ancient Olympians)

    Special mention goes to Hercules, who may or may not have existed.

  5. Sampson Simpson on October 16th, 2012 3:52 PM

    Must I remind people that Silva was a 10-1 favorite over Bonnar? Mayweather demolished the legendary Arturo Gatti and went in a 5-1 favorite and the boxing public understood that the outcome was already in lock. No need for post fight hyperbole.

  6. Brain Smasher on October 16th, 2012 10:07 PM

    Anyone who believes that fight was a 10-1 fight is a tool! I wouldnt put odds even close to that on any MMA fight at that level. Boxing is different. The rules and the gloves make it so everything is predictable. It favors curtain skills and abilities. MMA has to many weapons. Matt Serra was by far a bigger underdog that Bonnar. Going into that fight Serra had never shown any striking, any power, any wrestling, and a BJJ game that didnt cross over to MMA because his body type going against a fighter ever bit as dominant as Silva in GSP. Serra did just fine. So just because you are a MMA noob Sampson doesnt mean you have to insult our intelligence. We know what we were watching. It was a great show and we got a bonus Anderson Silva fight. After his Chael fight he said he wasnt fighting again until 2013. So we got an extra figh out of him and it didnt alter his planned return at all.

  7. Weezy02 on October 18th, 2012 4:49 PM

    Put me down for what, I guess, is the highest form of compliment I can give: I was entertained. For me at least, events like that are what make being a fan of MMA fun.

  8. Diego on October 19th, 2012 5:37 PM

    Mayweather has never looked half as good as Silva did against Bonner. It’s that simple Sampson. I don’t care what the odds were, Bonner is a tough guy with two fists and a significant weight advantage. Silva handled him as if Bonner were a child.

  9. Tony on November 28th, 2012 6:42 AM

    It seems as if the UFC an other MMA events are. Are going down hill in popularity as boxing continues to grow , not to say MMA is not a sport , it take years of trial an error , boxing is a art form that shall last ,, is there a reason mma bouts can be moved to 12 rounds ,,, btw I would also like to see boxing back to 15 rounds -thanks tony

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