UFC 156: Payout Perspective
February 4, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 156 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center from Las Vegas, Nevada.
Aldo sends Edgar to third straight loss
Thud. The leg kicks of Jose Aldo last night were reminiscent of those he delivered to Urijah Faber at WEC 48 which (IMO) was his coming out party. To Frankie Edgar’s credit, he was able to deal with most of those with an effective counter. Aldo’s cardio issues were evident in rounds 4 and 5. But, he had done enough to stop Edgar.
For Aldo, the first couple rounds showed his dominance that he had in the WEC. He was quicker, had the counter and snuck in the devastating kicks to Edgar’s legs. Will Dana White take the request of Anthony Pettis and give Showtime a shot to fight Jose Aldo. What about Ricardo Lamas? The guy who beat the guy (Erik Koch) that was supposed to fight Aldo for the title shot. What about the Featherweight rankings?
For Edgar, its his third loss in a row. The dip to Featherweight now looks like a waste unless he’s willing to take a couple fights before getting another shot at Aldo. For Edgar’s benefit, a couple fights to get back some confidence would help. Losing three straight decisions has to be hard on him.
Bigfoot Silva KOs Overeem
And that’s why haters are going to hate. Alistair Overeem wore a shirt to the weigh-ins saying, “Haters Going to Hate.” The end result was a reason why people hate. A classic case of underestimating your opponent. Overeem had the first two rounds with ease although a couple shots at the end of the second round gave Bigfoot some momentum. And then, Bigfoot laid hands on Overeem and that was all she wrote with Silva talking smack over a prone Overeem.
Overeem’s loss messes up the UFC’s hope for a Cain-Overeem fight. For Silva, a Velasquez fight will not happen although JDS might be a good matchup to see which heavyweight gets back into the title picture.
Attendance and gate
MMA Junkie reports that the attendance for UFC as released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission was 10,275 for a gate of $2.437 million.
The Bonuses drew some eyebrows as it was only $50K per bonus as opposed to $60-65K which had been the standard in 2012.
The bonuses were as follows:
Fight of the Night: Aldo-Edgar
KO of the Night: Bigfoot Silva
Submission of the Night: Bobby Green
Interested that they did not give sub of the night to Dustin Kimura with a Rear Naked Choke for the sheer fun of announcing Kimura won with a Rear Naked Choke.
Promotion of the Fight
The UFC decided to promote Frankie Edgar’s move down to Featherweight as the main sell point for the PPV and touting Edgar-Aldo as a “Superfight.” Certainly, the battle of a past and present champion has some juice but the UFC also had a Heavyweight battle between the returning Alistair Overeem and Bigfoot Silva. It also had Rashad Evans, a proven PPV draw go up against a veteran in Little Nog. We also know that Frankie Edgar is not a PPV draw. And, at this point, neither is Aldo.
Notwithstanding what we know now, (that Overeem may be overrated and that while Evans brings a big event feel walking to the Octagon,he showed little in it on Saturday), it gave the lighter weight class the top bill. Strategically, the UFC could be giving its lighter weight classes the opportunity to show what it could do. With Aldo out, the Featherweight title has not been defended since last January. Marketing the PPV around Edgar-Aldo will be a test to see where the fan base is with respect the lighter weight classes.
The octagon featured UltimatePoker.com, Xyience, MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, the movie Dead Man Down, MusclePharm, Tapout and Bud Light in the center. Dodge also sponsored stats during the PPV as well.
Dead Man Down had the corners of the Octagon. One had to wonder if there was hope that a fighter would be knocked out in one of those corners. In fact, Overeem went down up against the Dead Man Down signage. How appropriate.
Based on his wearing his headphones after the fight, Jose Aldo is sponsored by a headphone maker although I could not make out the brand.
Rashad Evans had top level sponsors as always. Notable sponsors included Jaco, Corn Nuts and Bony Acai. The last two are official UFC sponsors.
Little Nog signed a deal with Venum prior to UFC 156. He also was sponsored by Bony Acai.
It appears that the UFC was sponsoring Frankie Edgar last night. He had the UFC brand on his shorts and in a prominent spot on his fight banner. He was also sponsored by FeartheFighter, Alienware, MicroTech, Wild Wing, Virtustream and Gaspari Nutrition.
Buy My Autographs.com was the most intriguing fight sponsor of the night. The website, established in 2012, offers signed MMA memorabilia.
F3 Nutrition was a sponsor with big name fighters (Overeem and Rashad) wearing its logo that did not do so well with their outcomes.
Post-UFC 156 Headlines
Aldo versus ? – We will see if Aldo will take on Anthony Pettis for the Featherweight crown. Pettis just introduced himself to the nation on Fox last month and will have to wait for a lightweight shot after Bendo-Gil fight on Apri 20th. What better way to stay busy than a title fight? It would be an interesting scenario for the UFC to consider.
Cain’s next challenger – The UFC had hoped that Overeem would have beat Silva to get it to Cain versus Overeem in a big matchup that it could set for this summer. Now, we will see what is in store for the Heavyweight Champion.
Odds and ends
It was a good night for Brazilian fighters. A lot of Brazilian sponsors on many fighters tonight as well.
Fitch/Maia was a fight that went unnoticed by the media hype for this card but was intriguing from a tactical standpoint. It was not a fight for people liking standup but for those grappling folks, it was outstanding control by Maia over Fitch. Maia could be close to a welterweight title shot soon.
Evans and Little Nog had the best walk in music of the night but the worst fight of the night. In the words of Joe Rogan, “That was not an entertaining fight.” To complement that fight, at the end they showed Wilmer Valderrama and JWow. It was as if the UFC wanted to make sure you knew that fight sucked.
Silva was very thoughtful in his post-fight interview when he said knocking out Overeem was the biggest in his career since it was the UFC. Obviously, he was thinking his Fedor knockout as bigger but since it was in Strikeforce and he is now in the UFC, why insult your employer.
Would you check a kick from Jose Aldo?
As I alluded to earlier, this PPV will test to see whether the lighter weight classes can carry a PPV. It will also test again whether Frankie Edgar can be a PPV attraction. Last week’s Dodson-Johnson main event on Fox scored 5.2 million viewers. Did the commercials featuring a closeup of Edgar’s face do enough to draw people to buy the PPV? Aldo has been out for a while and is still relatively unknown. But there may have been enough buzz for it to get to 500,000 PPV buys.