13 for 13: No. 4 GSP and Silva gone from UFC

December 31, 2013

When this list was first compiled, No. 4 was “GSP gone from UFC. “ With Saturday’s fight, we added Silva as Anderson Silva’s absence from the UFC will take a toll on the company as well.

Georges St. Pierre’s announcement that he would take an indefinite leave from the UFC and relinquish the title left a void in the welterweight division.  Certainly, there was foreshadowing for his departure considering his post-UFC 167 comments and the rumors that he had personal issues he needed to take care of at home.  GSP initially denied the rumors and there was no follow up on whether there was any truth to them.  With GSP’s departure, Johny Hendricks will face Robbie Lawler for the vacated title in March.

Silva’s departure was not his own decision as he broke his leg in the second round of his fight with Chris Weidman.  Although Silva asked doctors about when he could return training and that the recovery could be “three to six months”, there is no timetable for the potential psychological toll it could take on someone.  Also, even as great a shape Silva is in at 38.  He is still 38.  Father Time is undefeated.  Ask Kobe Bryant.

GSP’s main event victory against Nick Diaz at UFC 158 registered the highest PPV buy rate (so far) in 2013 with 950K buys.  He has been described as the Michael Jordan of MMA and Dana White proclaimed that he was more popular in Canada than Wayne Gretzky (not true).  The point is that GSP is a known commodity for UFC PPV.  Notwithstanding the showing at UFC 167 (which drew 630K PPV buys, low for GSP), GSP draws fans.  Whenever the UFC put on a PPV with GSP, it knew the event would do well.

The same could be said for Silva.  Although his antics keep him from being hands down a fan favorite, his fights have everyone watching.  Similar to GSP and Canada, Silva is revered in Brazil and that has helped grab UFC fans in the region.  There is always a strong backing of Brazilian fans when Silva fights in Vegas.  Its not known if another Brazilian fighter could bring as much fandom (and business to the UFC) as Silva.

Silva’s first fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 162 did 550K and we likely will see a higher figure for UFC 168.

So the question is:  Who can the UFC groom to be a PPV draw?

The heavyweights this year (JDS, Cain) did not produce good PPV numbers.  In fact, 2013 was a down year for heavyweight PPV main events as the two shows a year which traditionally feature the heavyweights were off from 2012.

2013 Heavyweight Cards

UFC 160 Cain-Bigfoot = 380K

UFC 166 Cain-JDS III = 330K

2012 Heavyweight Cards

UFC 146 JDS-Mir = 560K

UFC 155 JDS-Cain = 590K

Jon Jones is inconsistent as reflected by 310K PPV buys at UFC 165 and 530K PPV buys at UFC 159 (against Sonnen).

It’s likely that we see the UFC market around Ronda Rousey and Chris Weidman.  Rousey’s quick turnaround may reflect the wish for the UFC to get in three or four Rousey fights in 2014.  We will see if the UFC will do the same for Weidman.

So how will the UFC fill the void?  And, will either GSP or Silva make a return in 2014?

7 Responses to “13 for 13: No. 4 GSP and Silva gone from UFC”

  1. Tops of on December 31st, 2013 3:07 AM

    The face of UFC Ronda rousey haha

  2. Chris27 on December 31st, 2013 9:14 AM

    At least DW gave us the superfight before it was too late… oh wait, no he didn’t.

  3. Chris27 on December 31st, 2013 9:17 AM

    Cain being Mexican isn’t working, DW needs to come up with a new gimmick.
    Clearly he panicked and put JDS-Cain trilogy too quickly, he should’ve built JDS a bit more

  4. Chris27 on December 31st, 2013 9:22 AM

    Rousey getting gimme fights will not produce big PPV numbers.
    The UFC is still driven my male fans who want to watch men fight in competitive fights.
    UFC North America no longer has that big draw, all their stars are now in foreign markets, they should focus in those markets, because it’s not looking good for them in America/Canada.

  5. Saldathief on December 31st, 2013 10:18 AM

    Chris27 good point, but the majority of foreign markets do not have the money to support a first class promotion like the UFC. Basically other than maybe once a year people could afford to spend the kind of money that Americans do on tickets and ppv. Sure their are markets that can do well but nothing like the US. Plus the business taxes in foreign counties will shock most. Every novelty that the UFC has given us has done well. Is that what will drive the UFC now? What will be the new hype for tuf? I guess they are trying to get their 15 minutes with Rousey before it wears off and people lose interest. How many times can you sell a fight with an arm bar? Other than Cyborg there is no one in her class, her judo is excellent! A super fight would be great but seriously who would be in it? There is no one left!
    The Roy Jones thing might be interesting.

  6. Tops of on December 31st, 2013 12:30 PM

    With silva and gsp gone Joe rogan would work overtime in 2014…..hyping the UFC with more over the top wwe adjectives lol……dw would again mention or compare some fighter with mike Tyson hahaha

  7. Sampson Simpson on December 31st, 2013 1:16 PM

    A woman is the face of UFC? Hilarious

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