UFC 155: Payout Perspective
December 30, 2012
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Vegas where Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez II took place.
Cain dominates JDS for UFC Heavyweight title
Total domination. Cain Velasquez controlled Junior dos Santos for almost 5 rounds and regained the UFC Heavyweight title. While it looked like Cain was going to stop JDS in the first round, the champ showed some heart and a second wind in at least mounting some offense. But it was too little to overcome the mauling Cain put on JDS.
Lauzon-Miller put on Fight of the Year
Lauzon wore the crimson mask most of the fight but made every effort to submit Jim Miller including a flying leg lock in the 3rd round. Miller rushed Lauzon in the first with strong strikes which caused the cut on Lauzon. It was a great match and with only 2 days left in 2012, could be the fight of the year.
Attendance and Gate
MMA Junkie reports that UFC 155’s attendance was 12,423 for a $3.286 million gate. The figures outdid last year’s UFC 141 (which was held on a Friday) which did a gate of $3.1 million although attendance was higher at 13,793.
MMA Junkie reports the bonuses which were announced at the post-fight press conference. Notably, two of the three bonuses occurred during the Facebook fights. Each fighter earned $65,000.
FOTN: Jim Miller v. Joe Lauzon
Submission of the night: John Moraga
KO of the night: Todd Duffee
The big news is that the newest sponsor for the UFC is Right Guard. It appeared on the Octagon mat and was prevalent throughout the PPV. Notably absent was the U.S. Marines which did not renew its sponsorship deal at the end of November.
The spoof movie, “Movie 43,” Harley Davidson, RYU, MetroPCS, TapouT, Right Guard and Bud Light were all in the octagon.
Harley Davidson offered the winner of the JDS-Cain match a Harley Davidson in honor of its 110th anniversary. The move created a little controversy considering that Jose Aldo’s motorcycle accident altered UFC fighter contracts to include a clause prohibiting its fighters from participating in dangerous activities outside of the Octagon. So that nixes bull-riding and presumably motorcycle riding but for the fact that Harley Davidson is a major sponsor. As a concession to his sponsor, Dana White stated that he was fine with the bike so long as it was not their primary source of transportation.
Junior dos Santos became the third UFC fighter to be sponsored by Nike. He had an aesthetically pleasing fight banner with just the swoosh as his main sponsor. Also, it was the lone sponsor on the back of his shorts. We will see how the loss affects his sponsorship.
Post-UFC 155 Headline
Who’s next for Cain?
Not Daniel Cormier if you ask either one of them as each nixed that idea during the UFC post-fight show on Fuel. More likely, it will be the Alistair Overeem-Bigfoot Silva winner with JDS likely out for a while due to the pounding he took from Cain.
Cormier sounded like he would be willing to cut weight to fight at 205 and challenge Jon Jones. We’ll see how that plays out considering Alexsander Gustafsson occupies the top slot to challenge Jones.
Odds and Ends
Deadspin.com published an interesting piece on the marketing of Cain Velasquez. The main point of the article was questioning the UFC on marketing the Mexican America Cain as the champion of brown people in marketing to the demo. The theory appears to be that although Cain is proud of his background, is marketing him as a champion to Mexicans plausible. Its an interesting question. You may have noticed last night that during his post-fight interview in the cage, he did not attempt to speak Spanish as he did when he won the title from Brock Lesnar. With his championship reign, we shall see how much the UFC attempts to market Cain to the Mexican and Mexican American Community. One need only look at Cain’s “Brown Pride” tattoo to know that he is proud of his heritage (something Dana White defended this past week). But, the Deadspin article questions whether this is valid marketing.
Erik Perez was cleared to wear a Lucha Libre mask to weigh-ins and he also donned the mask in his post-fight interview (along with his corner). The mask had to be cleared by Dana White. The UFC quickly took advantage of the idea by selling lucha libre masks at the event.
Nice to see Todd Duffee back in the UFC. Hopefully he can add to the depth of the heavyweight division.
If you watched the Countdown show to UFC 155, it featured Joe Lauzon and how he has invested his bonus money into his MMA gym. Lauzon said he spent 20K on mats for his gym. This is one of the many examples of fighters investing their money in their craft.
Not sure if this has been happening more, but I noticed an inordinate amount of talk of gambling odds for fights. Notably, Joe Rogan asking Jon Anik who was the favorite in the Miller-Lauzon fight during the fight.
The last two PPV heavyweight main events have hit over 500K PPV buys: Lesnar/Overeem (535K) and dos Santos/Mir (560K). The buzz for this event seemed a little compressed due to the Christmas holiday last week. The rest of the card would not appeal to the casual viewer. The PPV did go up against HBO’s Best of Boxing 2012 including reruns of Rios/Alvardo and Pacquiao/Marquez IV. Its unlikely that the boxing reruns dented too much of the buy rate. The allure of a heavyweight bout likely gets it to 500K PPV buys.