UFC 154: Payout Perspective

November 18, 2012

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This week we cover the return of GSP as he faced Carlos Condit for the UFC Welterweight title at the Belle Centre in Montreal.

GSP defeats Natural Born Killer

Long layoff ring rust?
GSP shows none at all
Condit can’t stop Georges

Condit’s headkick and constant work from the bottom kept the pressure on GSP.  But GSP’s superior wrestling and strikes outpointed Condit for the title.

Hendricks KOs Hitman

Big Rigg punches hard
Kampmann can’t get out of first
Hendricks wants title

3 out of the last 5 Johny Hendricks fights have ended in the first round due to punches.  He could be the next in line for a middleweight title shot pending the status of GSP-Silva.

Attendance, Gate and Bonuses

As we reported last night, the attendance and gate were lower than its last visit to Montreal in December of 2010 when GSP defended his title against Josh Koscheck.  UFC 154 had 17,249 in attendance with a gate of $3.1 million.  In 2010, the Belle Centre had 23,152 in attendance for a gate of $4.6 million.

There were indications from several Canadian news outlets that ticket sales were slower than usual but those reports were rebuffed.  It does appear that Saturday night’s event was not a sellout and will come up short in comparison to 2010 in terms of gate.

The bonuses were handed out at the postfight press conference where each received $70,000.

Fight of the Night:  GSP v. Condit
Submission of the Night:  Ivan Menjivar
KO of the Night:  Johny Hendricks

No arguments for any of the awards.

Promotion for UFC 154

The UFC produced its 3 part “Primetime” series to promote the GSP-Condit showdown.  TUF was its lead in and it was a good way to hype the return of GSP and remind everyone that Carlos Condit was the interim champion.

Despite stating that ESPN hated MMA, Dana White did the ESPN “car wash,” the flurry of shows hyping UFC 154 in Bristol.  The UFC also bought space on ESPN’s web site as it sponsored the fantasy football page, a definite place with many hits.

The UFC showed the event in local theatres and supported this endeavor by having UFC fighters attend the event.  It will be interesting to see the attendance at the theatres and whether the UFC will continue to sponsor these type of events.


The Octagon sponsors included, Xyience, Dodge, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Htman Absolution, Utlimate Poker, TapouT and Bud Light.  Axs.Tv Live also made an appearance on the Octagon mat.

In addition, UFC sponsors RYU, MusclePharm, Corn Nuts, the U.S. Marines Corps and Metro PCS also were mentioned throughout the telecast.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention video game Hitman Absolution was also promoted during the PPV as well.

The U.S. Marines returned to the prep point, which I am thinking is one of the prime spots for signage on a PPV telecast.

Georges St. Pierre had a new logo.  In addition, we looked at the business of GSP.  He has a multi-year deal with Hayabusa, a deal with Under Armour, Coca Cola (NOS) and Google.  NOS Energy Drink includes GSP on its front page along with videos of his training for the fight.

Johny Hendricks inked a sponsorship deal with Bass Pro Shops and donned the outdoor retailer logo on his shorts and banner.

Photos courtesy of KO Reps

Other sponsorship notables…

Sam Stout wore a signed Montreal Canadiens hockey jersey to the weigh ins.  Stout also was sponsored by the movie Red Dawn.

Shockmaster Tom Lawlor was sponsored by BeeBald.com.

Instaloan was a prevalent sponsor as the logo was on several fighters tonight.

One of Francis Carmont’s sponsors was MoGo – the flavored mouthgard.

FighterxFashion has a nice rundown on the shorts worn by UFC Fighters.

Post-UFC 154 Storylines

GSP vs. Dana Black – A superfight between Anderson Silva and GSP could be the second stadium show for the UFC and first 1M plus PPV for 2013. The hype for the fight would be nonstop and relentless.  Silva has softened his stance on the GSP fight and even a possible Jon Jones encounter.  Silva has embraced the promotional aspect of the fight (hence the Dana Black reference) as it likely means the biggest payday of his career.

Johny Hendricks a true contender – He’s a one-hit wonder because of his heavy hands and with another first round TKO he solidified his position as a legitimate contender for the welterweight crown.  Is he the next welterweight in line for a title shot?  Will he have to wait in line for GSP-Silva? We will know this spring.

Odds and Ends

Aside from the main event, Tom Lawlor’s “homage” to the Shockmaster’s entrance at the weigh-ins was the best of UFC 154.  It was an obscure reference, but those that grew up in that timeframe knew it automatically.

Joe Rogan was pretty loose on the broadcast especially during the Lawlor-Carmont fight when he asked,  “How fat can you be and still be a ref?”  Apparently Rogan didn’t like the ref and criticized him breaking Lawlor-Carmont for inaction.

Anderson Silva with the black framed glass look and Lyoto Machida and his November mustache looked like they were members of N.E.R.D. and not world class fighters.


Will the PPV buy numbers correlate with the attendance/gate figures?  For point of reference, GSP-Koscheck did 800K PPV buys back in 2010.  There was considerable promotion for this fight since it was GSP’s return but Condit might not have been as big a name.  In 2010, Koscheck was the heel and wanted to be booed whereas GSP was the definite good guy.  This was highlighted by the TUF series when they coached opposing teams.

As for UFC 154, it was a solid card and with GSP at the top of it, we should see somewhere around 600K buys.  If the attendance/gate figures are an indication, the buy numbers are off from the 2010 show.

7 Responses to “UFC 154: Payout Perspective”

  1. Tim on November 19th, 2012 12:37 AM

    Gotta say I did not feel the hype for this one like other GSP fights. Got all of them on PPV but not this one. That said I’m a bit fed up with MMA in general these days. Know there’s plenty others like me out there, my friends for starters. I expect to see a fall from the usual PPV sales with this one.

  2. doug on November 19th, 2012 8:59 AM

    hey tim i agree with you as a long time fan, im dissapointed with the ufc, the cards they put on now just dont get my blood pumping, they have to many watered down cards now and fans are losing interest

  3. Dfdfdfd on November 20th, 2012 10:03 PM

    Overeem and golden glory have settled their lawsuits

  4. Jason Cruz on November 20th, 2012 11:19 PM

    Just finished the post of the settlement.

  5. assassin on November 26th, 2012 10:43 AM

    Same hear Tim. I was out of the country, but didn’t even look to see who won until I returned a week later. I have hosted a few MMA parties, but no one calls to see when the next one is, it is more like an activity/party then something you need to do these days. I will still buy between 50% of PPV, but have given up on the faccebook fights and tape and fast forward trough the prelims. I have also given up on the minor league promotions and the plethora of “magazine” style shoes and specials. MMA in general and the UFC specifically are just not as special as they once were.
    Just my opinion.

  6. Sampson Simpson on November 27th, 2012 10:27 PM

    I highly doubt this PPV did well compared to past GSP fights.

    If it did somebody would be posting a figure. Dana White is sad and scared.

  7. doug on November 28th, 2012 6:13 AM

    i really think the ufc has hurt itself, by running so many watered down ppvs the past three years.

    fans arent stupid, and know these are not the best cards that could be put on.

    i think the ufcs business will keep dropping unless, they start putting on higher

    quality cards. johnn hendricks vs kampman as a co main event just doesnt cut it.

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