UFC 164: Payout Perspective
September 2, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we go to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take a look at UFC 164 where the lightweight title changed hands.
Stain remains for Bendo as Showtime subs Henderson
In a sudden, decisive and anti-climactic way, Benson Henderson’s title reign ended Saturday as Anthony Pettis made Bendo submit to an armbar in the first round. Henderson, a newly minted jiu jitsu black belt appeared to use a technique known as the “can opener” while in Pettis’ guard (a move used by GSP as well) to improve position and open guard. The problem is that the technique is susceptible to an armbar.
Pettis wins the lightweight title and might have a shot at Jose Aldo in his next fight dependent on the status of his knee. A bad spot for Henderson here. With the decisive loss, Henderson will have to wait for Pettis to lose the title and/or win a couple fights in a row in decisive fashion. For a guy that defended the belt three times and having to had defend it a fourth time in Pettis’ hometown, and then told he wouldn’t get a rematch, it has to be deflating.
War Master KOs Mir
Both guys have reasons to hate them. In this battle, Barnett was able to land a knee which took Mir down. While the stoppage may have been premature, Mir did not look like someone that could have made a comeback. It will be interesting to see where the UFC puts Barnett next. He could be a contender, but he did just fight a past his prime Mir. As some have suggested, a Mir-Overeem matchup seems just right for so many reasons.
Mendes takes care of The Carpenter
Chad Mendes solidified his position as next in line for the Featherweight title as he knocked out Clay Guida. Prior to the stoppage, Guida had never been stopped in his career.
Its his fourth straight stoppage since being stopped himself by Jose Aldo in January 2012. Depending on whether Aldo fights Pettis, Mendes should get the next shot at Aldo. If not, Ricardo Lamas or Cub Swanson seem ready for him.
Rothwell stops The Truth
Ben Rothwell decided to do a “Clay Guida” like impression in the final round of his fight with Brandon Vera and overwhelmed Vera causing him to cover himself waiting for the ref to stop the fight. Rothwell used his post-Octagon interview time to thank the fans and then call out Travis Browne. For the second straight fight, Vera was in a position where he waited for the ref stoppage (Shogun Rua stopped Vera last August in similar fashion).
Attendance, Gate and Bonuses
As we reported earlier, attendance was 9,178 for a gate of $907,116. It was decisively better for a previous visit to the Bradley Center for a UFC on Versus 5 card.
Bonuses of $50K each were given to Anthony Pettis (Sub), Chad Mendes (KO) and Hyung Gim Lin and Pascal Krauss (FOTN). Arguably, Lin could have been a double recipient for KO. Magnus Cedenblad could have had the Sub of the Night as well for his quick work on the prelim card.
The Countdown show featured The Showtime Kick…of course. Aside from hearing about the history of the fight that shut down the WEC, the feature on Josh Barnett and Frank Mir was excellent. It reminded people that both these guys held the UFC title at one point.
The Octagon sponsors included TapouT, UltimatePoker.net, Dodge, MetroPCS, MusclePharm, the latest video game from Assassin’s Creed, Harley Davidson and Bud Light in the center. The Discovery Channel’s Ahmish Mafia also sponsored the PPV which I do not quite understand.
UFC 164 was sponsored/presented by Harley Davidson which presented its Hometown Throwdown promotion for the 110th Anniversary of the company. It had a special “110” logo on the Octagon mat to commemorate the occasion. Also, Harley Davidsons graced the stage during the weigh-ins and Arianny and Brittany wore the branded colors of Harley Davidson. There were also Harley Davidson events which included UFC fighters doing autograph signings as part of the brand activation.
Pettis’ sponsors included Hayabusa, Headrush, Corn Nuts and Toyo Tires. Henderson was sponsored by Dethrone which also came out with Dethrone “toothpicks”. Phoenix International Speedway, Musclepharm and Training Mask were the ex-champs other sponsors. FighterxFashion has Henderson’s fight shorts here which depicts the fact he now has a jiu jitsu black belt.
Hayabusa had a cadre of fighters wearing its shorts including Pettis.
Frank Mir was sponsored by the UFC and also wore out the UFC sponsored Monster Headphones to the ring. He also had big logos for Midway, which appears to be some sort of exercise equipment.
Post-UFC 164 Headlines
Who is next for Pettis? It was made clear that Benson Henderson would not get a rematch. It appears that Pettis may want to go after Jose Aldo which begs the questions of whether the UFC wants a “superfight” between two of its division champions which it could market and sell for the possibility of a high PPV number. Or, does the UFC make Pettis defend against TJ Grant. While he’s earned the shot, Grant is not really known and would not elevate Pettis in terms of PPV star. While Pettis is not a PPV draw yet, he has the entertaining style, good looks and great backstory to be a guy people would want to follow (one might recall his “World of Jenks” episode) He is a marketable fighter and one would think the UFC needs to capitalize on this.
Truth departure likely delayed. The UFC has been kind to Brandon Vera. He was cut but that was rescinded when it was discovered that Thiago Silva tested positive for a banned substance. The announcement that the UFC wants to head to the Philippines in 2014 means that Vera is likely to stay in the UFC to help promote the visit as well as fight. Aside from this, there is no reason why Vera should stay.
Odds and Ends
-Since its debut on FS1, it appears that the UFC is putting up Vegas Odds in the introductory fighter graphic. An interesting move. Does this encourage people to gamble?
-Pettis’ chain he wore post-fight was a nice touch.
-Somewhere Brian Stann was likely smiling. Vera had called out Brian Stann for questioning Phil Davis’ win over Lyoto Machida.
-Sure Barnett has had a checkered past, but how can you not like a guy that almost suplexed Joe Rogan in his post-Octagon interview.
-Doesn’t Tim Elliott look like the WWE’s Daniel Bryan?
-Dethrone trotted out Benson Henderson toothpicks (via FighterxFashion) so you too can learn this disgusting habit.
It was an entertaining card which had a very intriguing rematch in the main event. But was that enough? The start of college football season and the three day weekend may contribute to a lower PPV buy rate. In addition, the lack of a true PPV star will limit the amount of buys. One might expect around 300,000 buys for this event.