UFC 172: Payout Perspective

April 28, 2014

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 172 taking place at the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland where Jon Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight title against Glover Texeira.

Jones wears out Glover

Jon Jones fought Glover Texeira’s type of fight but still overwhelmed the challenger.  Jones used his reach and generally out struck Texeira causing his mouthpiece to be dislodged on a couple occasions. It definitely looked like Jones was going 100%.

With the impressive win, Jones moves on to a likely rematch with Alexander Gustaffson with Sweden discussed as a possible place for the fight.  After that, it’s possible he takes on the winner of Daniel Cormier (assuming he beats Hendo) versus Anthony Johnson.

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Johnson upsets Davis

Phil Davis used most of the pre-fight publicity to antagonize Jon Jones. It could be that he did not focus on his opponent or it could be that Anthony “Rumble” Johnson was hungry for a win.  Johnson may have been hungrier due to the decree that if Johnson did not make weight he would receive a lifetime ban.  But Johnson looked comfortable at 205.  He had crisp striking and constantly stuffed Davis’ takedown attempts.

The win propelled Johnson back to the top of the light heavyweight title picture while Davis is knocked down a few rungs on the ladder to become top contender.

Attendance and Gate

It was a near sellout at the Baltimore Arena as attendance and gate for UFC 172 was 13,485 for a live gate of $2.3 million.  Capacity at the Baltimore Arena is 14,000.  There was no info on the comps for the event.

The gate of $2.3 million was second best to UFC 171 this year.

Bonuses

The bonuses went to Takanori Gomi, Issac Valle-Flaag, Joseph Benavidez and Chris Beal.  All received $50,000 bonuses.

Max Holloway, Jim Miller, Danny Castillo and Luke Rockhold all could have argued for the bonus.

On Monday, Joseph Benavidez won a Harley Davidson as a result of a fan vote of the four bonus winners.

Promotion of the Fight

Unlike past events, Jones was mostly cheered by the Baltimore crowd.  This was due in part to Arthur and Chandler Jones being by his side. Arthur played for the Ravens when they won the Super Bowl. USA Today wrote an article on Arthur Jones and his relationship with his brother.  Ray Lewis also was in the crowd at UFC 172 and the LHW paid homage during his walkout.

Ronda Rousey threw out the first pitch at a Baltimore Orioles game.

Chuck Liddell interjected himself into the pre-fight hype as he took the side of Glover Texeira.  This grabbed some headlines as the Iceman boasted that he could beat Jones in his day.

Dana White did his usual rounds in the media including the ESPN “car wash” where he was on several of the network’s shows.

The New York Times wrote a piece about Jon Jones being the “face” of the UFC.

Sponsorships

The usual suspects were in the Octagon: Xyience, Harley Davidson, MusclePharm, Alienware, MetroPCS and Bud Light in the center.  AxsTV, Fram Auto Filters and the Air Force Reserve also had a presence in the Octagon.  Toyo Tires also sponsored certain portions of the broadcast. Xyience had the fighter prep point.

USA Wrestling sponsored the “Tale of the Tape” for UFC 172.

Glover Texeira was sponsored by MMA brand, Red Nose.

Several fighters were sponsored by “The Memory Tag.”  The company, according to its web site, allows customers “to put your videos on greeting cards, stickers, and postcards.”

Curious sponsor of the night was Tim Boetsch and his PS I Love You Books walkout shirt.  The company offers wedding picture books.  It’s not the first time that Boetsch has been sponsored by this company.

Nike non-sponsorship

The Jones brothers walked out with their brother at the UFC weigh-ins.  Noticeably, the Jones brothers wore Nike shirts with the swoosh taped over as it was apparent the UFC is not allowing Nike logos without it paying the sponsor fee.  But, Jones wore Nike products without the iconic swoosh.  Here is an example of the Jones shirt with and without the swoosh logo.  Jones was sponsored by the new EA UFC game on fight night.  Still, it was clear that the apparel (fight shorts and shirts) were Nike made despite the lack of a swoosh.

So, the question is, does it hurt Nike not to pay the UFC sponsor fee?  One might argue it does not since we all know Jones wears Nike.  He was in another Nike commercial and has been in recent Nike ads.  Even though there was no swoosh, fans associate Jones with the Nike brand.  While the lack of a swoosh may have casted doubt on whether Jones was still sponsored by the swoosh, the t-shirts would have told the smart fight fan that those were Nike made.  In the end, even though Nike did not pay the sponsor fee to the UFC, it did not hurt the company presence.

Even though Nike was not an official approved sponsor, it did not go unnoticed.

Odds and Ends

-On the Steve Austin Podcast, Paul Heyman revealed that WWE talent receives a free pass to the WWE Network. Based on Jon Jones’ tweet, UFC fighters do not get a Fight Pass account for free.

-Did they institute a dress coat for Joe Rogan?

-Jon Jones did the “Ray Lewis dance” pre-walkout.

Ticket demand was up from UFC 171 as the average ticket on the secondary market was $290.

-According to Google Trends, the most searches per country for “Jon Jones” on Saturday were 1) Brazil, 2) Philippines and 3) US.  Sweden ranked seventh.

-An ominous sign for the PPV buys for UFC 172 was that the number of Google searches for Jones was down from his fight with Gus at UFC 165. You may recall that Jones-Gus did 310,000 PPV buys.  While we recognize Google Trends may not be conclusive evidence, the less interest in Jones in lead-up to 172 may be cause for concern for PPV buys.

Conclusion

The local buzz appeared good for the UFC 172 and the UFC did its rounds with the national media to get the word out for the event.  But, did all the hype help sell the PPV?  While looking at what’s trending on Google or Twitter may not equate to how many people buy a PPV, it has been a helpful indicator.  Based on this information, its likely we see a buy rate of less than Jones’ last PPV which would be something less than 310,000 buys.

8 Responses to “UFC 172: Payout Perspective”

  1. LeonThePro on April 29th, 2014 5:39 AM

    If Bones Jones sells under 300k this will be a big cloud from the storm on the horizon. Nothing about 2014 ppv looks good.

    Next indicator will be UFC 175. If that doesn’t break 500k…

    Too many shows, people have lost interest.

  2. redden on April 29th, 2014 9:41 AM

    little buzzz for jons, no one seems to relate to the guy, every town needs an enema, and every fighter needs one to

  3. Sampson Simpson on April 30th, 2014 1:50 AM

    Jones appeals to the black community who can’t afford to fork out $55 on a PPV. Any smart promoter can see yet the glass eyed captain of the ship Dana White continues to try and sell to this poor population.

  4. Diego on April 30th, 2014 1:06 PM

    Sampson,

    Your comments are wrong on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to begin.

    The assumption that the entire black community cannot afford $55 on a PPV is absurd. There are plenty of middle class blacks in the US who can afford it.

    The assumption that Jones appeals only (or even predominately) to the black community is absurd. Jones appeals to MMA fans in general, some of whom are black. Look at a Mayweather – it’s not just blacks who are buying his PPVs. Same with Manny – it’s not just Filipinos buying his PPVs.

    The assumption that Dana is trying to sell to a “poor population” is absurd. Dana sold the card to MMA fans in general, and what he sold them is a title fight in which the champion just happened to be black.

    Any smart promoter puts together the best fights he can. That just happened to be Jones v. Teixera. I don’t think race played a part in the match making, nor should it.

    If Simple Simpson was a promoter, it would be a league of white guys fighting white guys, since according to Simple Simpson white guys have the most money and that’s what they will pay to see. Thanks for taking us back to the Jim Crow era. You’re probably still pissed that Jack Johnson got a title shot aren’t you?

  5. Logical on April 30th, 2014 1:59 PM

    “Jones appeals to the black community who can’t afford to fork out $55 on a PPV.”

    *Scratches head* Didn’t you know that the big PPV money in boxing comes mainly from Black & Hispanic households? There is a reason why the Mayweather vs De La Hoya vs Canelo bouts have been the biggest in PPV history. The problem with MMA is that the big PPV money that was flowing during the Lesnar era was coming from Pro-Wrestling fans. The UFC is badly declining since it relies heavily on it’s hardcore base for PPV buys, for whatever reason they are not appealing to the pro-wrestling fans, blacks or hispanics which are the people that spend big money on PPV’s.

  6. Random Dude on April 30th, 2014 4:20 PM

    I think the comment was made by the fake Sampson that is running around here.

  7. assassin on April 30th, 2014 6:00 PM

    There did not seem to be much buzz for this card. I skipped it myself. There was nothing that shouted (other than DW) “you’ve got to buy this card or you’ll be licking yourself in the morning.” And I wsn’t.
    Champ wins a relatively easy decision.
    Co-Main upset, but not an exciting fight
    Largest favorite on card wins squash match in rd 1 (and they showed most of fight including the finish o the post fight show)
    Did they really let Jim MIller face this guy on a PPV?
    And Mr irrelevant in the 145 division wins.

    If yo uexclude the main event, is this a Fox or FS1 Card?

  8. De laa on May 1st, 2014 9:09 AM

    Random Dude is clearly Sampson who realised he made a stupid racist comment and claim it was “fake Sampson”… Pathetic!

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