UFC 178: Payout Perspective

September 29, 2014

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.   In this edition, we review UFC 178 which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena where Demetrious Johnson took on Chris Cariaso in the main event.

Johnson outclasses Cariaso

Despite the lack of fan support (i.e., PPV buys), Demetrious Johnson can legitimately stake a claim to being the best pound for pound fighter in the UFC.  It was clear in the first minute that Johnson was the better fighter and ended Cariaso in the second round with a submission.

Johnson is getting prime placement on UFC shows and it’s the second PPV he’s headlined this year.  One should also stress the fact that Johnson has not been hurt during his title reign and is not an outside-the-Octagon problem.  So, why don’t people buy his PPVs?


Cowboy welcomes Eddie to UFC

The skeet shooting and wakeboarding training regimen pre-fight aside, Donald Cerrone is an extremely good fighter.  In what was one of the more entertaining fights on the card, Cerrone defeated Eddie Alvarez.  It was the long-awaited debut for the former Bellator champ and the first round he showed why the UFC wanted to acquire his services.  Yet, Cerrone moves on looking for another fight before 2014 closes.

McGregor makes quick work of Poirier

You would have thought that this was the main event based on the crowd reactions.  The hype, trash talk and vitriol between the two (especially during any face off promoting the fight) was classic in what to do to have people interested in purchasing your fights. The Conor McGregor experience continues and likely his most impressive fight on the biggest platform so far.  McGregor easily handled Dustin Poirier in the first round.  It’s clear that McGregor is ready for a title shot after Saturday night.

Attendance and Gate

The attendance and gate announced at the post-fight press conference was 10,544 for a gate of $2.2 million.  Out of 9 PPVs this year, it ranked 7th in attendance.


The bonuses of $50K each were awarded to Yoel Romero-Tim Kennedy for Fight of the Night and Dominick Cruz and Conor McGregor for Performances of the Night.

Promotion of the Fight

The Embedded episodes continue to be popular as the UFC has found a formula to promote the fights digitally.  For the most part, viewers got to see Cowboy Cerrone wakeboarding and skeet shooting prior to his fight with Eddie Alvarez, Conor McGregor get a haircut, Demetrious Johnson getting a shave and Dustin Poirier at the Whole Foods at Vegas.  The one thing really missing from the embedded episode was a profile on Chris Cariaso.  The Countdown show did have a profile on Cariaso but it seemed incomplete.  Even if it was a foregone conclusion that he would likely lose (which happened), it would have been nice for them to have elevated his profile for this fight.  It seems to get better reviews than the UFC Prime Time episodes because they are short and can be viewed whenever people want to see them.

Conor McGregor did a good amount of pre-fight press.

Mighty Mouse appeared on the local Fox affiliate in Seattle last week hyping UFC 178.


Salaries have been disclosed via MMA Junkie:

Demetrious Johnson: $183,000 (includes $54,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Cariaso: $24,000

Donald Cerrone: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)
def. Eddie Alvarez: $100,000

Conor McGregor: $150,000 (includes $75,000 win bonus)
def. Dustin Poirier: $34,000

Yoel Romero: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Kennedy: $70,000

Cat Zingano: $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
def. Amanda Nunes: $15,000

Dominick Cruz: $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus)
def. Takeya Mizugaki: $32,000

Jorge Masvidal: $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus)
def. James Krause: $15,000

Stephen Thompson: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Patrick Cote: $33,000

Brian Ebersole: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. John Howard: $21,000

Kevin Lee: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Jon Tuck: $10,000

Manny Gamburyan: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Cody Gibson: $10,000

Some notes:

Some interesting figures including Demetrious Johnson being paid like a champ (base of $129K).  The last official report of his purse was at UFC on Fox 9 where he made a base of $125K (notice a bigger bonus for that Fox event).  You might assume that June’s UFC 174 he made a base of $127K although those salaries were never officially reported.  Eddie Alvarez was paid $100K (show) for his first UFC fight.  You might recall when he was originally offered a UFC contract which precipitated the Bellator lawsuit, he was offered $70K for his first match in the UFC.  Conor McGregor is already up to $75K base.  Cat Zingano only made $9K/$9K which is only a $2K bump from her last fight in April 2013 against Miesha Tate.


The octagon sponsors included MusclePharm, MetroPCS, Alienware, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Fram, UltimatePoker.net, Assassin’s Creed’s latest game, Matefit.me and Bud Light in the center.

Missing from the octagon was long-time sponsor, Xyience, which was purchased by another company that quickly pulled the sponsorship with the UFC.

Yoel Romero was sponsored by likeaboss.com.  I’m not sure what they do.

Cain Velasquez appeared in a promo for Harley Davidson Motorcycle’s “Hometown Throwdown.”

Mighty Mouse had his traditional sponsor of Xbox 360.  The only sponsor for Johnson, his fight banner told folks to pre-order an Xbox One.  I thought those were already available?  If you were wondering, on his recent Wrestling Observer podcast, Dave Meltzer did not know how much Johnson is receiving from Microsoft.

Cariaso was sponsored by Mountek.  Really.

Dominick Cruz was sponsored by the Phoenix International Raceway which stuck with him despite Cruz being on the shelf for a long time.  It paid off as PIR had a prominent logo on Cruz as he was demolishing Takeya Mizugaki.  He also wore the shirt in his post-fight interview.

Odds and ends

-Didn’t mention this earlier, but Cat Zingano-Amanda Nunes fight was the way to start a PPV.  Zingano has been through a lot and it appears that she will be the next for Ronda Rousey.

-MMA Fighting has backstage footage of Tim Kennedy confronting Yoel Romero about the extra time he took to get up from his stool in between rounds.

-Interesting that the UFC are rolling out different types of Bruce Lee t-shirts.  Hopefully some of the money that I suppose the estate is receiving from licensing his likeness is going toward this.

-Dominick Cruz won me over in just the 61 seconds of work.  First, his Jay Z/Cypress Hill remix entrance, Then, the plain black CRUZ sweatshirt.  Easily the best thing anyone has worn to the octagon in the history of this sport.  Finally, his “Alpha-Fails” drop is probably one of the best post-fight lines in a while.

-UFC on Fox YouTube channel has the whole 61 second Cruz return fight.

-Some argument as to whether Cruz fight should have been on PPV.  You can see it as perhaps a concession to boost FS1 ratings.  In hindsight, all of the fights on the PPV were great and hard to see replacing one.

-The good news is that the clay pigeons that Cerrone shot during that Embedded episode were not real as they were made at the same place that Floyd Mayweather got his fake weed from All Access.

-Not surprising, but according to Google Trends, Dublin and Ireland were the most interested city and country for search term “UFC 178”.


This was to be Jones-Gus II.  But after that was scrapped, it was Jones-Cormier.  After the Jones-Cormier media day brawl in August, one could have made the argument that UFC 178 would be the second-biggest PPV event of the year after UFC 175.  But with Jones getting injured, the need to adjust the lineup probably hurt the buy rate.  Overall, this card was very solid with every PPV fight being an entertaining one.  However, selling the Johnson-Cariaso was tough and you might infer that most of the pre-fight hype was for McGregor-Poirier. Although McGregor could be a breakout PPV star, he is not one yet.

While Google Trends saw an uptick in searches for UFC 178 from Ireland, it’s worth to note that the US was the 4th interested country for the event.  In the end, a buy rate of 300,000-325,000 seems reasonable.

17 Responses to “UFC 178: Payout Perspective”

  1. Saldathief on September 29th, 2014 10:45 AM

    Great fights both prelims and main, this site is about numbers and money not how good fights are. Record lowest attendance for any UFC show at MGM. Second lowest gate for money,but if you add inflation it was the lowest take at the gate at MGM ever for ufc. We still don’t have perlim tv numbers or ppv. Unless they drastically lowered their show budget for this show it was a loss. Ticket prices averaged $200 and change and were between about $150 to $850, you’ve got to be kidding! Way too much for a ufc fight I don’t care who’s fighting!! Rumor of a stadium show In Ireland! I say if you can sell it out go for it! There are smaller 20-30k cap stadiums that would be ideal! Once again if you put all the fight hype aside a low low number for an event. 2014 is in the shitter!!!

  2. d on September 29th, 2014 10:59 AM

    Saldaqueef with more of his lies and bullshit. Dirty Bob has him working his hardcore gay hours overtime.

    No one believes his delusional spin.

    This fight definitely profited. Probably grossed around 15m. Not a big profit, but definitely a net.

    Sal sucks dick.

  3. Saldathief on September 29th, 2014 11:14 AM

    D once again cant take fact over fantasy! My number are 100% correct D’s numbers are delusional. He has to pull his fag card out because he knows he has nothing else to stand on. What a pathetic loser who cant have normal dialog like an adult. Bahahah Boxing will double UFC in 14 suck on that bahahahah

  4. Saldathief on September 29th, 2014 11:38 AM

    Bahahha 15 million in your dreams !!! Talk about pulling a number out of your ass bahahahahah only a fool would believe that more like 15 million spent on production and marketing bahahahaha

  5. BrainSmasher on September 29th, 2014 7:32 PM

    Mouse is the champ of a new division. While other champs are fighting the cream that has risen almost 2 decades. Look at the bottom of the rankings in thise divisions. People are losing and still top 15 because not even the media knows more than 15 guys in the division. People only know the handful of guys the UFC plunked down to start the divison. How do we know they are the best in the world? We don’t and they can’t be. You can’t find the best when there is no money or fame in a division. The UFC brings that and now have to weed through all the prospects to weed out the posers. There is a reason all the new light divisions are being dominated by someone. It’s because the divisions are shallow and it takes years for things to shKe out. Any 125 fighter who beats 4 Tae Kwon do guys in a local gym can get a call from the UFC. There is no names in those divisions outside the UFC that you can beat and stand out. So the UFC has to just grab just anyone and throw them in there. They either win or make the other opponent look like a world beater. But you just can’t compare those fighters to those in other divisions who rose up the fans of legit tried and tested divisions.

  6. d on September 29th, 2014 9:50 PM

    “My number are 100% correct”

    This is the most delusional statement of the day.

    “Bahahha 15 million in your dreams !!! Talk about pulling a number out of your ass bahahahahah ”

    2.2 m for the gate. 10m for the ppv(est 200k buys). Sponsorship/TV Rights/Merchandise,etc. another 2.8m(McGregor is a big star in Ireland regardless of what fat Bob is telling you).

    You aren’t good at math or reality. You are just Arum’s cum dumpster.

  7. Saldathief on September 29th, 2014 11:43 PM

    How much spent on marketing, desperate advertising, total production, salaries, travel, hotels, meals? how much out of that money goes to the 40 million dollar a year interest nut, non principle on the loan. bahahah nice try. you can say anything you want but you are still a complete moron and know less then shit about whats going on. Once again pulling the fag card, whats the matter did you dad ass rape you as a child, or did the bigger kids make you wear a dress and blow them??? bahahaha \\
    D has rooted homosexual abuse issues sad sad sad get some professional help
    Looks like boxing is doubling ufc this year leave your gay rhetoric out of it you are pathetic. Hey genius whats the tax of 15 million on a business sate and federal????? bahahahah oh I hear ppv is under 150k bahaha

  8. Saldathief on September 29th, 2014 11:47 PM

    Merch was 50k at the most you idiot bahaha. Tv rights were already paid and is a wash from the shitty numbers. Advertising goes to fox on TV and goes on points for ppv anything under 300k is a wash too you moron.. bahahaha D has no clue google what a moron is you ufc paid loser bahahaha

  9. Anti trolls on September 30th, 2014 7:53 AM


    Man you must be so smart to know all those secret numbers for UFC. Everyone knew this years was going to be a down year. You must be paid by Bellator to slam UFC. Your a butt nugget.

  10. d on September 30th, 2014 9:38 AM

    Amusing. You like to tie in outside costs like their overall debt to an individual event while ignoring things like their massive tv deal with FOX, the huge merchandising deals, and a ton of other revenue streams. Not to mention you still don’t understand taxes you fucking moron. They aren’t paying federal taxes for that event for anything other than income which is taxed as a whole. You like cherry picking stats as much as you like sucking Arum’s old balls. Also, if you go back and read what I stated, I pointed out clearly that they didn’t make a big profit, my exact quote was: “Not a big profit, but definitely a net”. As opposed to your delusions where you think their overhead exceeds 15m for an event like that.

    I can’t give even an estimated figure on merchandise, because unlike you, I don’t fabricate numbers out of thin air. Of course you ignore sponsorship money, because you are a whore for old dirty boxing promoters. TV money doesn’t go to FOX in Ireland you stupid fuck. Sponsorship for a ppv at the mgm can be around a million. PPV anything under 300k is a wash? Maybe for a gay, geriatric boxing troll who shits in his diapers on a daily basis. You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about, you 50 year old gay weird boxing welfare to work troll.

  11. anti trolls on September 30th, 2014 2:21 PM

    Lol Sal just shit bagged

  12. turd on October 1st, 2014 2:06 AM

    guys dont forget that ppv keeps half of the profits so

    say the show did 200 k in ppv buys at 55.00 a pop thats

    11 mill in ppv revenue cut that in half you get 5.5 million

  13. d on October 1st, 2014 6:22 AM

    Turd, the cable company actually gets 60% of the cut. I was discussing gross.

  14. saldathief on October 1st, 2014 9:29 AM

    yea I’m making shit up lol Why am I the only one who states the truth that this is the lowest performing ufc show at MGM in history?? Did I make that up?? HMMMMM all you fuck tards are in denial. The Show is a stinker anyway you try to look at it. Keep trying to spin it anyway you want and make excuses and state ridiculous numbers. My statments are based on facts all yours are fantasy and ignorance and google bahahha Fucking belabor did better tv numbers on the same night as far as total views. UFc must be losing their minds I mean they already lost 75% of their business so whats a mind or two lol the UFc has lost on most of their ppv this year what a waste of energy.. But Don’t worry mexico is coming on strong and 2015 is going to be monumental I hear the cartoon network is working a deal out with the ufc bahahaha

  15. Saldathief on October 1st, 2014 11:52 AM

    An average merch number for an event is between $5 and 10 bucks a person, do the math. Also the building or mgm gets a percentage off the gross. I dont see merch on this event being a big average. Gross income is called the SUCKER NUMBER!! its a number that means absolutely nothing unless you know the expenses so we are all blind to what is an actual net profit. Taxes lol you are in a fantasy world of stupidity if you think that there are no taxes on a business when they run an event. Sponsorship! bahaha what? do you think the ufc is the NFL? the numbers are shit!! Do the math you fucking retard! At most there were, with tv an ppv and live maybe 500k people watching this event .Fox gets all the tv money you fuck tard, and they might even get a piece if not all of the ppv sponsorship, which is a joke if you look at what a decent advertiser pays per view!
    To the retard that said everyone knew this year was going to be bad I GUESS THEY FAILED TO MENTION THAT TO THE FOX PEOPLE WHO WERE EXPECTING TRIPLE OF WHAT THE UFC IS DOING!! Also Boxing doesnt need to pay anyone to support it, THEY ALREADY HAVE ALL THE MAJOR SPORTS WRITERS FROM EVERY ORGANIZATION WRITING AND REPORTING ON THE SPORT. Bellator cant even pay their fighters and are doing far better then anyone expected. BOB Arum is a fucking scumbag and D has a problem with his success.
    THe only people paying for posters and bloggers is the UFC why? because they suck and have no clue as to what they are doing and the people they hire are armature researchers who play too much x box. Here is a fact that non of you fuck tards can dispute. The ufc is fucked, they are in a serious hole and have no idea how to get out. I hear Dana is learning Spanish for the big push in mexico, world domination bahahahahah

  16. d on October 1st, 2014 3:17 PM

    UFC 178 ……….2.2 m dollar gate – Sal homosexually claims this is the “Lowest performing event financially in UFC history at MGM ouch”

    UFC 34 MGM Nov. 2nd 2001…….$502k gate, buyrate 65k @$40 per ppv

    UFC 36 MGM, March 22nd 2002……$898k gate buyrate 55k@$40 per ppv

    UFC 40 MGM Nov. 22nd 2002……..$1.54m gate ppv buyrate 99k @$40

    UFC 49 MGM Aug 21st, 2004……..$1.293m gate ppv buyrate 80k @$40

    UFC 56 MGM Nov. 19th 2005…….$1.986m gate ppv buyrate 200k @$40

    SalDAQUEEF…..eats a big bowl of humiliation for his idiotic, gay, weird, geriatric, moronically dead wrong comment.

    Also, before this prag, Saldahomo continues to claim these numbers are just gross numbers, anyone who knows anything about the events that were taking place in the early stages when Zuffa bought the company knows that they were taking in massive losses. They weren’t even making their money back from the gate and ppv alone for some of these events.

    I gotta do some work, but I will be back a little later to continue my casual destruction of his straw arguments and delusions.

  17. d on October 1st, 2014 10:39 PM

    “Gross income is called the SUCKER NUMBER!!its a number that means absolutely nothing unless you know the expenses so we are all blind to what is an actual net profit.”

    Well, I know many of their expenses, you don’t know anything because you are gay moron that sucks dirty Arum’s dick. 60% of the ppv buy take goes to the cable company, the other 40 goes to the ufc. Their payroll that was disclosed in the purses and bonuses was 1.433m. They have to pay the venue. They have to promote the event and produce it also. Plus the travel, taxes, licenses, insurance, etc.

    The gross number for the event was most likely somewhere in the range of 10-15m (not including int’l tv)and you are under the impression that the UFC’s overhead for an event of this low profile cost them over 10-15m, when they only had a payroll of 1.433m that was disclosed? You are so goddamn dumb it is unreal.

    “Taxes lol you are in a fantasy world of stupidity if you think that there are no taxes on a business when they run an event.”

    This is why you are a complete retard. Go back and read what I said you fucking idiot who has ZERO business experience. I made it clear as day that they paid state taxes you dumb fuck. You are trying to lump federal income taxes into one event, all the while neglecting their other non event related income. It is a formula called gay, old, weird, geriatric, cherry picking to the highest fag degree. You are such a stupid fuck it is unreal. You embarrass yourself every time you make a post. Another thing you’ve proven to be a retard on is inflation, either that or you were completely clueless about the events that took place at the MGM Grand. You do realize inflation hasn’t grown 400% in the past 13 years, don’t you fuck face?

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