UFC 187: Payout Perspective

May 26, 2015

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 187 taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with two title fights on the card.

Cormier wins Light Heavyweight title

Despite getting knocked down in the first round, Daniel Cormier dominated Anthony Johnson eventually getting a submission over the exhausted Rumble in the third round.  Johnson was visibly gassed by the second round and Cormier took advantage of Johnson when the fight went to the ground.  It’s a great story, as the 36 year-old Cormier finally earned the Light Heavyweight Championship after the UFC stripped Jon Jones of the title.

Cormier gets Ryan Bader next and while Bader’s post-fight press conference antics may have drawn some sparks, not many think Bader has a chance against Cormier.  The real question will be whether Jon Jones will be back by the end of the year for another fight with Cormier.  Perhaps in New York?

UFC_187_DC_Rumble

Weidman destroys Belfort

Chris Weidman established his dominance in the middleweight division by dispensing of Vitor Belfort.  Weidman had been critical of the drug testing leading up to the fight and made a comment about Belfort’s testosterone levels at the weigh-ins and perhaps that spurred him to KO Belfort.

Weidman should face either Luke Rockhold or Jacare Souza next.  The native New Yorker hopes that his next fight take place in the state if it is made legal in Albany next month.

Attendance and Gate

UFC 187 was the best event in Vegas (considering attendance/gate) this year outdoing UFC 182 and 183.  It was announced at the post-fight press conference that the event drew 12,615 for a gate of over $5.1 million.

The numbers are very good despite tickets still being available through Ticketmaster on Friday night and the secondary market “get-in” price softened during fight week (i.e., the demand went down).

Bonuses

Fight night bonuses were awarded to Travis Browne, Andre Arlovski, Chris Weidman and Daniel Cormier.  Browne and Arlovski earned Fight of the Night while Weidman and Cormier drew the Performance of the Night.  All received the standard $50,000 bonus.

Sponsorships

The Octagon sponsors included Bud Light, the movie “Entourage,” MusclePharm, Harley Davidson, Air Force Reserve. Fram, MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Draft Kings, Bud Light and Monster Energy Drink had the center of the Octagon.

Draft Kings had the fighter prep point.  Harley Davidson sponsored the fighter arrivals.  Rumble Johnson sported a pink bowtie upon arriving to the arena while Daniel Cormier wore sponsor DipYourCar.com.

Donald Cerrone indicated in an interview that he would be losing $60K in sponsor money due to the Reebok deal.  At least for one more fight, Cerrone was able to rep his array of sponsors including Monster Head Phones, DipYourCar.com, E-Z Go, Qore24, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Monster Energy Drink, Budweiser, Greenlee, Ollie’s Bargain Outlet and Red Digital Cinema.  It appears that having Kevin Harvick’s agency representing Cerrone has helped him with sponsors as the Cowboy has a lot of them.  Cerrone will likely be able to keep official UFC sponsors, but he will be losing out on the others unless he can coordinate agreements outside of the Octagon and UFC fight weeks.

Fear the Fighter owner, John Makdessi, did not wear his clothing brand but was sponsored by Topps.

Joseph Benavidez was sponsored by Sling Shot.  In the link, you can see what the product does.  Very interesting sponsor for Benavidez.

Odds and ends

The UFC Prelims were threatened to be shuttled to FS2 due to an extra innings MLB game but it abruptly ended right before the first Prelim fight started.  Despite a 5 or 6 minute delay in broadcasting, no fights were lost on the FS1 broadcast.

With the NBA and NHL Playoffs starting during the last hour of the UFC Prelims, it will be interesting to discover the ratings for the event.

Best shot of this set of Embedded episodes:  Anthony Johnson sitting next to an old woman in the waiting room of a colonics center.

What became of the agent/manager meeting this week?

It was interesting that the UFC promoted the Periscope App as the promotion wanted fans to follow Dana White and his videos.  Of course, many people are using Periscope to shoot video of the event itself.  It will be the next big First Amendment issue in sports.

Joseph Benavidez announced he let go of his management team and fought the fight without a manager.  His move could be a new trend in the future as the Reebok deal goes into effect.

UFC 187 drew 200K plus google searches last weekend.  It was second in the U.S. on Saturday to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.  In comparison, UFC 182 drew 400K searches and UFC 183 drew 500K searches.

Conclusion

While google searches are not definitive as to PPV buys, it is a good indicator.  If that is the case, UFC 187 likely did not fare well.  Even with two title fights, the buzz for this weekend was just ok.  How much would have Jon Jones added to the card?  If Weidman can remain healthy and fight on a consistent basis, he could be a PPV attraction.  At this point, he’s a wait and see fighter. While the google searches indicate a low PPV buy rate, I am predicting it does somewhat better: 450-500K PPV buys.

2 Responses to “UFC 187: Payout Perspective”

  1. JF on May 26th, 2015 5:29 PM

    I’ll stick to my 550k prediction. The card was great, I watched every single one from prelim to main event. I wish the UFC had promoted it more than 189.

  2. BrainSmasher on May 26th, 2015 10:40 PM

    I would t expect Google numbers to be good for this event because all the top fighters in the card are well known and been in the UFC for many years now. There isn’t a reason for anyone to google unless it is unknowns they are trying to learn about. Everyone knew what they were getting on this PPV. I think 550 is more likely than 450.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.