UFC on Fox 8: Payout Perspective
July 29, 2013
Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC on Fox 8 from the KeyArena in Seattle, Washington where hometown fighter Demetrious Johnson turned back challenger John Moraga.
Johnson armbars Moraga in 5th
Demetrious Johnson earned a 5th round submission of John Moraga in front of the hometown crowd. Johnson was cruising up 4-0 going into the 5th round built on a relentless motor in which he outwrestled, outgrappled and scored more strikes than the challenger. Moraga was game and defended numerous submission attempts until the eventual end. But it was obvious that Johnson far superior than the former Arizona State collegiate wrestler.
Jake and Rory both lose
Rory MacDonald won a unanimous decision in the Octagon in a fight that most in attendance hated in total. Dana White blasted both fighters in the post-fight press conference which may have been a sign that MacDonald wouldn’t get a title shot (and thus calming any tension with the need to answer the question of fighting his friend, GSP) with this win. Ellenberger looked as though he froze and didn’t press MacDonald at all. In a fight which many thought to be the real main event, it was the least entertaining of the night.
Ruthless Robbie back in title hunt?
Robbie Lawler used a headkick to dispose of late addition Bobby Voelker. For Lawler, its a career resurgence. With the stinker of a de-facto #1 contender fight between Ellenberger and MacDonald, Lawler could find himself in the mix for a title shot in 2014 if the cards fall right.
Carmouche outclasses Andrade
Liz Carmouche was one of the most popular fighters on this card. Similar to the Lawler fight, she dominated the whole fight. Carmouche went from mount to back and it was a matter of time before she ended this fight.
Attendance and Gate
We discussed the attendance and gate in an earlier post. The unofficial totals had it at 7,816 in attendance with a gate of $735,000. Attendance was down from the last two shows in Seattle but this was largely due to the card. As noted earlier, a lot of empty seats on a picture perfect day outside.
The bonuses were $50,000 each with the only controversy being that Melvin Guillard received the KO of the Night over Robbie Lawler which received a highlight on Sportscenter.
FOTN: Trevor Smith-Dave Herman
Sub: Demetrious Johnson
The overnight rating for UFC on Fox 8 was a 2.04 for a 0.9 rating in the 18-49 demo. This made it the lowest rated UFC on Fox since it began on the network. Still, it won its demo for the night and it aided in launching Fox’s late night adult cartoon shows.
The octagon sponsors included the usual: MusclePharm, UltimatePoker.com, MetroPCS, TapouT. Dodge Ram, Alienware and Bud Light in the center.
Head and Shoulders and UFC official sponsor Corn Nuts were also on the Octagon mat and bumpers respectively.
As always, Mighty Mouse had XBox 360 as his sponsor. He also sported tights by Australian sports company Body Science. It also touts Ironman Triathlete world champion Craig Alexander (and someone I saw at Lake Stevens, WA at a 70.3 earlier in the week) as an endorser.
Jake Ellenberger sported Virus Athletic Clothing and also longtime sponsor Lunar Pages. He stated in the Seattle Times live chat that he got the Lunar Pages sponsorship after meeting its CEO. It was also announced during the week a sponsorship with Body Glove Surge, an energy shot product.
Promotion of the Fight
The normal UFC Road to the Octagon show the Sunday before the Saturday night fight was excellent in detailing Demetrious Johnson’s training and family life while introducing the audience to John Moraga. In addition, it looked at Ellengerger, MacDonald, Lawler and Voelker. Out of all the fighters it was the Moraga portion that was compelling and made you want to pull for the guy.
Locally, buses in and around Seattle had the UFC on Fox signage with Johnson/Moraga as the headliner for months. During fight week Jake Ellenberger participated in a Q&A session with the Seattle Times. He also had a get together for a sponsor in which fans could attend earlier in the week.
There were multiple ticket giveaways at MetroPCS stores in the area. Most of them were in Puyallup, Parkland and Tacoma…basically Johnson’s neighborhood. Matt Hughes and Ronda Rousey also had signings at MetroPCS stores. For those wondering, the headquarters for T-Mobile (the company that has acquired MetroPCS) is in suburban Seattle, Washington. MetroPCS was the only sponsor with a table promoting itself at the KeyArena.
Dana White also had two ticket giveaways which occurred near KeyArena. One was near the International Fountains for those of you familiar with the Seattle Center area.
Odds and Ends
Maybe these summer events should be in the Eastern time zone. It was sunny and 75 degrees when the first fight started at 1pm. The fights ended and there was still 1.5 hours of sunlight left. Sparse crowd for early fights whereas the last two events had more fans in their seats for the prelims.
Probably not seen on television but Germaine de Randamie and Jessica Andrade were very emotional on their walk outs.
Did you know that there’s a UFC Gym in Seattle? I didn’t until Friday at weigh-ins.
New hero, Manolo Hernandez, the trainer for Liz Carmouche. Very entertaining at open workouts.
At what point does Melvin Guillard have to drop the “Young” from his nickname?
So Seattle fans thought it dodged a boring fight when Brendan Scaub/Matt Mitrione were taken off the card. Then, we get Ellenberger/MacDonald.
Fighters in attendance that did not fight on Saturday night: Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey, Dan Hardy, Joseph Benavidez, Pat Healy, Cub Swanson, Mark Munoz (coached Ellenberger) just to name a few.
Dana White met Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during fight week as the Hawks began training camp this week.
A very entertaining afternoon of fights. Sure, the attendance and ratings were low but you have to think that the UFC knew that this was a possibility. Seattle is a very good market for the UFC and while Demetrious Johnson didn’t draw, its not like there was support on the card for the event.