UFC 161: Payout Perspective
June 17, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 161 from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where Rashad Evans took on Dan Henderson in the main event.
Evans edges Henderson
In what was an entertaining fight, Rashad Evans regained some career momentum with a split decision victory over Hendo. The result could have gone either way with each fighter having their moments. Hendo was visibly upset after the result and took a jab in the post-fight Octagon interview at Lyoto Machida stating that “at least Rashad fought him.” For Hendo, its his second straight split decision loss. This is definitely not what he wanted after he had to back out of his title shot against Jon Jones in September.
For Evans, the speculation is that Glover Texeira would be next. Gatekeeper or another shot at making a run for the title? We will see.
Stipe stops Nelson
Stipe Miocic upset Roy Nelson in the co-main event of the evening. Despite fighting just six weeks prior, Nelson looked sluggish and lacking cardio. Miocic looked crisp compared to Nelson who desperately needed a first round KO to win the fight.
Miocic gets a quality win under his resume and can continue to build it. In fact, he’s cracked the UFC Heavyweight rankings. For Nelson, the fight represented his last under his current Zuffa contract. It was a risky proposition for Nelson to take the fight on short notice even if his fight with Cheick Kongo ended in the first round. Now, with a disappointing loss and at 36 years old, Nelson has little bargaining power in negotiating a new contract with the UFC or any other organization. Nelson turned down an extension earlier this year and another offer prior to 161. This and we didn’t even touch upon his “Uncle Tom” comments this week during the pre-fight press conference.
Attendance and Gate
As we reported, attendance was 14,754 for a gate of $3.15 million (not sure if Canadian or US dollars – regardless a good gate). According to Dana White, it was the best gate for the venue and outdid The Rolling Stones at the same venue.
The UFC debut of James Krause was memorable as he not only pulled out a submission in the last seconds of his fight with Sam Stout, he received an additional $100,000 in bonuses for his work. Each received $50,000 each.
Fight of the Night: Krause-Stout
Submission of the Night: Krause.
KO of the Night: Shawn Jordan
UFC official sponsor Alienware was the presenting sponsor for UFC 161. It had signage on the mat and had the fighter “prep point” at the event. The octagon had its usual sponsors including Prestone, Harley Davidson, TapouT, Xyience, Musclepharm, Dodge, SafeAuto Insurance, UFCFit.com and Bud Light with the center Octagon. Also, Disney’s The Lone Ranger was a sponsor on the mat and ring posts. Disney sponsoring the UFC? Not too surprised considering that it fits within the demo for the movie.
Roy Nelson just signed a deal with Affliction. Probably not the best signing for the clothing company.
Evans wore a Jaco track suit to the Octagon. He also wore a “Refuse to Be Ordinary” Jaco shirt.
Notable sponsor of the night: Alexis Davis was sponsored by Purchase Green – an artificial grass manufacturer. Davis had other sponsors but the Purchase Green logo stood out due to the motto on the back of the shirt – Kickin’ Grass.
Other notable sponsors: Roland Delorme represented Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts. Delorme’s opponent Edwin Figueroa was sponsored by River City Ink and Steel. Sean Pierson was sponsored by Cookin’ Greens – a company focused on helping people eat healthier with fresh, frozen greens.
- Status of Bantamweight Division. With its original champion, Dominick Cruz out indefinitely and its interim champion, Renan Barao, injured – what to do with the division? There have been some good fights in the division but there needs to be a title defense soon so that fans don’t forget about it.
- What happens with Roy? It was a gamble and Roy lost. Now, with a loss and heading into free agency, what will Nelson do?
- What will Hendo do? 2 losses by split decision is not the kind of resume to ask for a title shot unless your Chael Sonnen. Hendo is not at the cliff of his career but there can’t be too much time left.
Odds and ends
- “City on Steroids” was the headline in the print edition of the Winnipeg Free Press. Obvious poor choice for this sport. Yet, Winnipeg Press gave good reviews of the fight night.
- The UFC 162 preview with Jay Z’s music was the second best commercial featuring Jay Z this weekend. The first of course was the Samsung commercial during The Finals Sunday night (IMO I think Rick Rubin was the key).
- I wondered why Tyron Woodley v. Jake Shields was not on the main card. I watched the fight and realized why.
- Shawn Jordan’s backflip may have been more impressive than his KO of Pat Barry.
- It’s good to see that Rashad went back to BDP for his entrance music. Evans’ walkout music wins best of the night although Alexis Davis’ “Its Tricky” by Run DMC runs a close second.
- Anyone else notice the octagon side camera view near the cage in the Sexton-Davis match during the end of the second round? I don’t believe I’ve seen it before but it definitely is an added view to what is going on with fighters grappling on the ground.
- MetroPCS ran a new Cain Velasquez commercial during the Prelims. It seemed like a little more focus on his Mexican roots in this commercial..
- Worst weekend? Jon Fitch or Roy Nelson. Have to go with Fitch here. Not only was he portrayed as a malcontent by his former employer, he lost in under a minute and was paid half the amount of his former salary ($30K).
Although it was received well by the local fans, the overall PPV buys will not be good. Even if the Renan Barao and Eddie Wineland interim championship match and the Shogun Rua-Lyota Machida fight took place, it would not have moved the dial too much. If there’s anything that can be seen as a positive from this weekend’s event is that it appears that based on the attendance figures and local press, the UFC has grabbed another Canadian city it could rely on if it returned to the area. Notwithstanding this, a PPV buy rate of 250,000 would be good.