UFC 162: Payout Perspective
July 7, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at the unusual end to the title reign of Anderson Silva at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Silva kisses title reign goodbye
– “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” – Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II
It was relief, not disappointment that seemed to be the emotion from Anderson Silva after his loss to Chris Weidman. It was an unfortunate end to a great reign for The Spider. He elevated the UFC by his complete dominance over a division. Unlike GSP post-Serra, Silva put on some memorable highlight reel finishes. But with his impressive wins came an heir of invincibility and arrogance. This was highlighted by an irritating grandstanding performance at UFC 112 where he denigrated the talents of Demian Maia. Despite threats of cutting Silva after his antics in Abu Dhabi, Dana White did nothing. The Spider was just that good. He added an occasional showboat move here and there since 112 to add a degree of difficulty to his fights. Last July he gave away the first round in his highly anticipated rematch with Chael Sonnen but proceeded to end him in the second.
But Saturday was something Silva’s legacy did not need. A foolish end to what should be a respected title reign. One has to wonder if Silva, who always appears to be in control in the Octagon, chose his own demise. His immediate response to questions of a rematch was that he didn’t want one. While we have to believe he will change his mind, maybe the pressures of being considered the GOAT have weighed him down. Then again, would the GOAT ever do such a stupid thing in the Octagon and actually be a “goat”.
It’s perplexing to understand Silva. He’s a martial artist but shouldn’t a martial artist not disrespect his opponent let alone underestimate him? Moreover, his antics disrespected the event and platform he was given. Yes, the idea was to intimidate Weidman on Saturday. And to a certain extent, I understand the “no sell” of punches and smiling at Weidman. It was part of Silva’s game plan – have Weidman melt under the pressure. But, unlike others, Weidman stayed the course and did not fall into too much of a trap (although he did attempt to no sell punches too).
Weidman’s game plan was not tricky when it came to what to do if Silva clowned him: Punch him in the face. Or in his chest as his corner told him. Not too hard to understand.
The UFC immediate plans go out the window here. Superfights against Jones or GSP are out of the question. An immediate rematch appears to be the only choice for Silva. The Super Bowl card in New Jersey in 2014 appears to be the most practicable time for a rematch. It will be coupled with Fox’s plan for a weekend of events to accompany its rights to the big game.
Looking at it with the glass half full, the UFC gets an American champion from New York with a great backstory. Weidman’s story of having no home after Hurricane Sandy will be eaten up by mainstream media outlets. He can also be the poster boy for another run at legalizing MMA in New York. The UFC will have to build up the Weidman brand in order for him to get at or near the Anderson Silva level. Yet, it can build from the ground up with Weidman although this will take multiple PPVs to get him a following.
Edgar gets needed win against Oliveira
In one of the Fight of the Nights, Frankie Edgar had one of the best performances of the night against a game Charles Oliveira. Both fighters constantly moved through the match and despite losing, Oliveira showed that he’s a threat in the Featherweight division.
Frankie looked sharp and I would suggest a meeting with Cub Swanson to see who gets to face the Featherweight champion.
Munoz transformation complete
“I ate because I was sad, sad because I ate.” Mark Munoz paraphrased from the character Fat Bastard of the Austin Powers movie series in an interview earlier in the week to underscore his battle with depression which caused him to balloon up in weight. Munoz lost over 60 pounds and looked phenomenal at the weigh-ins. Moreover, he dominated a tough Tim Boetsch.
Maybe added motivation for Munoz was the fact that Chris Weidman, the guy who destroyed him about a year earlier, was in the main event.
Attendance and gate
MMA Junkie reports that the attendance for the event was 12,399 for a gate of $4.862 million. These numbers were announced at the post-UFC162 press conference. The numbers are unofficial but White had indicated similar numbers earlier in the week. UFC 160 had attendance of 12,380 for a gate of $2.9 million
Bonuses awarded were given $50,000 each. With no submission of the night, the UFC decided to award two Fight of the Nights. Thus, it paid out an extra $50,000.
FOTN: Edgar v. Oliveira, Swanson v. Dennis Siver
KO of the Night: Chris Weidman
Weidman was the obvious choice, but I would have liked to see Gabriel Gonzaga here too.
Promotion of the Fight
It was interesting that the UFC decided to utilize other fighters to establish the credibility of Chris Weidman by using other fighters to speak about how good he is. The fact that so many fighters picked Weidman (and the UFC sent out a press release stating this) told you that he may be something special. But, the UFC marketing was probably needed considering Weidman had been out for a year and although the Munoz KO was impressive, Munoz was heavy and battling injuries.
Speaking of Munoz, it was interesting how much press Munoz received with his “Husky Boy” pictures. He spoke out about his depression and how he overcame it. Certainly a good story and it almost trumped Chris Weidman during fight week.
Weidman appeared on the Jim Rome Show but there seemed to be little, if any, other national media for Weidman or Silva for that matter.
Octagon sponsors included MetroPCS, TapouT, Ultimate Poker, Xyience, Dodge, Alienware, the 20th Century Fox release of The Wolverine and Bud Light in the center and at the prep point. Dodge had a new logo for the Octagon, its Dodge “Ram” and its signature tag line, “Guts, Glory, Ram” on one of the corner posts. Bud Light also did something new with its logo.
Tyron Woodley introduced The Wolverine clip which was shown right before the main event. Interesting the UFC chose Woodley to do this intro.
Anderson Silva was sponsored by Burger King, Wizard, Nike, Axe Body Spray and Vicks. The Vicks sponsorship is interesting but perhaps he could use it on his chin after being knocked out by Weidman. The Axe Body Spray may explain the weigh-in “kiss”. Silva also had new Nike t-shirts as well as ads for Nike Pro Combat.
Chris Weidman was sponsored by Bad Boy Clothing, Muscle Milk, Profile Performance, Air Force Reserve and American Ethanol.
Other notable sponsorships:
Chris Leben was sponsored by Sisu Mouthgards. Tim Kennedy had RangerUp and RevGear.
It appeared that Frankie Edgar was sponsored by the UFC as his corner wore UFC hats and the UFC was the biggest logo on his fight banner. In addition, he had Alienware and Affliction.
Among his sponsors, Cub Swanson was sponsored by PowerBuilt Golf.
Mark Munoz was sponsored by Lunarpages. The same sponsor for Jake Ellenberger, his training partner. He also donned the Oklahoma State colors. A nice added touch. He was also sponsored by Triumph United, Osiris Shoes and Virus Action Sports Performance clothing.
Post UFC 162 Headlines
Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar, Charles Oliveira, Mark Munoz and Cub Swanson all had impressive nights. Despite Oliveira’s loss, the UFC found a gem and he’s only 23. Edgar and Swanson add some spice to a Featherweight division that just got harder for Jose Aldo.
Munoz has a great story and its a likely “wait and see” on how his path to a title shot occurs (or does not occur). He’ll have to string together a couple more wins before he can be in the picture. And at 35, the window of opportunity may be slight.
Weidman was the star of the night. Regardless of how it was accomplished, he proved the fighters that sung his praises. Now, its up to the UFC to make him a star.
On the flip side, the more compelling story may be what happens with Anderson Silva. The fight will be analyzed and overanalyzed by all of us but whether it was overconfidence, stupidity or boredom with fighting, Silva’s performance was inexcusable. With a 10 fight contract still in place, it will be interesting to see what Silva does from here on out. Its likely that there will be a rematch and we’ll see a more focused, serious Anderson Silva, but he’ll be facing a more confident and experienced Chris Weidman.
Odds and Ends
– Silva was paid $600K with a $200K win bonus if he would have defeated Weidman. Weidman earned $24K and $24K for a total of $48K.
– What would happen to your shin if you tried to check an Edson Barboza leg kick?.
– Fitting that Munoz wore a “Keep Olympic Wrestling” Shirt with his logo and he displayed the best wrestling in the Octagon of his career.
– For Dave Herman last night, BJJ does not exist if you get hit in the face first.
– With the craziness of the Weidman-Silva fight, Tim Kennedy must be happy to go through the night unscathed by scrutiny although Dave Meltzer indicated on The Figure Four podcast this morning that Dana White yelled at him in front of everyone at the fighter meeting.
– Steven Segal was sitting next to Mike Tyson last night. It would have been interesting to hear the conversation between the two.
– One of the better things that happened with Silva losing, the talk of him fighting Roy Jones, Jr. in a boxing match should go away.
– The UFC handed out 11,000 towels to fans attending UFC 162 and let them pick between a U.S. flag towel or Brazil. A good promo for the event and a way to highlight the main event.
As we indicated in our PPV History, the event was solely based on Anderson Silva. While Edgar-Oliveira was a great fight, Edgar is not a PPV draw. As Meltzer pointed out, and many logically will conclude, the PPV replay will likely boost PPV sales simply because people who originally passed on the PPV because of the lack of interest will now gladly spend it to see Silva’s knockout and the other exciting fights on the card. With that being said, its likely that the original live PPV buys will be around 600,000.