Bellator 144 draws 555,000 viewers

October 26, 2015

Bellator 144 drew an average audience of 555,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night according to Nielsen sources.  It’s a decrease of 18% from Bellator 143 and the lowest TV rating since Scott Coker took over the helm for the organization.

In the main event, Brandon Halsey went down (literally via leg kick) to Rafael Carvalho making Carvalho the new Bellator middleweight champion.

Bellator TV 2015
Overnight Peak
Bellator 132 767,000 1,200,000
Bellator 133 565,000 967,000
Bellagtor 134 872,000 1,200,000
Bellator 135 607,000 922,000
Bellator 136 655,000 900,000
Bellator 137 594,000 768,000
Bellator 138 1,580,000 2,100,000
Bellator 139 764,000 988,000
Bellator 140 722,000 977,000
Bellator 141 666,000 929,000
Bellator 142 800,000 930,000
Bellator 143 669,000 885,000
Belaltor 144 555,000

Bellator 144

Payout Perspective:

We will have more information on the ratings in the next day or two but the event had stiff competition as Game 6 between the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals were on at the same time.  Bellator aired from 9:00-11:00pm ET and MLB aired from 8:00-12:24am ET due to a rain delay.  The MLB Playoffs on FS1 drew 5.6M viewers (via Sports TV Ratings).

Arum announces Pacquiao’s next fight his last

October 26, 2015

Bob Arum, the promoter for Manny Pacquiao, announced that the Filipino fighter will have one more fight before he retires.  Pacquiao will fight on Saturday, April 9th against an opponent not yet named.

ESPN reported that Arum had dinner with Pacquiao in New York in which he told Arum that he plans to run for senator in the Philippines.  Assuming that Pacquiao is elected, he will devote all of his time to politics.

Pacquiao, 36, is coming off a loss to Floyd Mayweather this past May.  The long-awaited fight was a business success setting PPV and gate records.  However, most of the boxing public criticized the actual fight.

Rumored opponents for Pacquiao’s April fight at this point are Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez, Timothy Bradley, Jr. and Terrence Crawford.

Then there is this news about a possible return from the retired Floyd Mayweather.

Payout Perspective:

Will Pacquiao’s last fight be this April?  We shall see.  You might say that Pacquiao brought back interest into the lighter weight divisions.  He definitely ignited a cultural fan base of Filipino followers that revere him.  Certainly, his story and the way he went about his business in the ring will be missed.  The retirement announcement is probably best for Pacquiao’s other aspirations as well as his health.

UFC Fight Night 76 bonuses

October 24, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the bonuses for UFC Fight Night 76.  Neil Seery, Tom Breese, Darren Till and Nicholas Dalby earned the $50,000 bonuses.

Till and Dalby earned the Fight of the Night honors while Seery and Breese won Performance of the Night.  Seery tapped out Jon Delos Reyes while Tom Breese scored an upset victory of Ireland’s Cathal Pendred.

Payout Perspective:

Seery was the sole Irish native to win a bonus.  No official reports on attendance and gate.  Despite the two main events dropping out, the crowd still was excited about the fights.

Parties stipulate for New York to respond to UFC PI by November 15

October 24, 2015

The state of New York is set to respond to Zuffa’s request for a Preliminary Injunction no later than November 15, 2015.  The parties stipulated to an extension for New York to respond to Zuffa’s request to hold an event at New York’s Madison Square Garden this April.

New York was to have filed a response to the UFC’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction on October 15, 2015.  However, the parties have stipulated to grant New York an extra month to file its opposition.  The stipulation is conditioned on the promise that the state of New York would not seek any additional delays with the preliminary injunction.

A reply to New York’s opposition will be set for November 23, 2015 per court papers (see below).  The stipulation between parties also grants New York time to answer and/or respond to the Complaint to 30 days after the Court rules on the UFC’s Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

Stip and Order to Respond to PI by JASONCRUZ206

Payout Perspective:

The delay should not inhibit a Court ruling on the Preliminary Injunction in time for an April 2016 event at MSG provided the court rules in the UFC’s favor.  Of course, that does not factor in an appeal from New York or from the UFC if the motion does not go their way.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

Jon Jones reinstated by UFC

October 23, 2015 announced that it has formally reinstated Jon Jones.  The former UFC Light Heavyweight champion was suspended indefinitely following a traffic incident in which he was charged with leaving the scene of an accident.  Last month, Jones agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in New Mexico.


Following a review of the plea agreement reached by Jon Jones and officials in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the judge’s decision, UFC announced today the formal reinstatement of Jones to the UFC roster. Effective immediately, Jones is eligible to return to competition. As such, UFC expects Jones to meet all of the terms of his plea agreement, including mandatory community service, as a condition of his reinstatement.

Payout Perspective:

It was inevitable that Jones would be reinstated.  Obviously, the UFC has tempered his return by stating he must fulfill the terms of the plea agreement.  However, Jones’ return should help bring back the UFC 182 rematch between Jones and Daniel Cormier.  You may recall that the fight was complete domination by Jones.  However, the bad blood between the two should help promote the fight and still spark interest.

TUF 22 Episode 6 draws 585,000 viewers

October 22, 2015

TUF 22 episode 6 airing Wednesday night on FS1 drew 585,000 viewers per Sports TV Ratings.  After a week hiatus, it’s a 15% increase from episode 5.

In the fight of the episode, Baghdad beat Erosa.  We also saw friction between the teams and T.J. Dillashaw made a visit to the show.

UFC TUF 22 through ep 6

Payout Perspective:

The Live + SD average is up to 540,000 viewers.  It’s the second highest viewership of this season.  With a week away due to baseball, TUF 22 did well despite the MLB Playoffs on TBS.  The Mets-Cubs Game 4 drew near 8 million viewers at the same time as TUF.

Reebok removes Ireland UFC t-shirt due to huge mistake

October 21, 2015

Reebok made a major faux pas when it rolled out its t-shirts for UFC Fight Night 76 in Dublin, Ireland.  A UFC shirt which depicted the country did not include Northern Ireland.

MMA Fighting reports Reebok has removed the t-shirt due to fan outrage.  Reebok has sent out its own apologies.


For ease of reference, below is a map of Ireland.  Above is the UFC/Reebok shirt.  Note Northern Ireland (in the top right hand corner of the map) is not on the UFC shirt as if it was erased in some way.



MMA Fighting explains the political undercurrent causing the outrage:

The Republic of Ireland and ‘Ireland’ have different meanings. The former is a term refers to the independent democratic country of Ireland whose capital is Dublin. The latter, or ‘Ireland’, is considered to be both the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland, one of the four countries which comprise the United Kingdom.

John Kavanagh, the coach for Conor McGregor among other Irish UFC fighters, issued a statement on the Reebok t-shirt and the reason behind the cultural sensitivity.  Kavanagh, head coach of SBG Dublin, initially stated that he would sever ties with Reebok (or the UFC or both) if the shirt was not taken down.

Payout Perspective:

One need only a basic understanding of European history to understand the cultural and political problems in Ireland.  Moreover, why didn’t Reebok do its research prior to making the t-shirt?  If it’s looking to expand its global footprint, perhaps the UFC and Reebok should spend some time learning about the globe it would like to expand into.  If not for Conor McGregor, something like this t-shirt gaffe could have really turned off the fan base in Ireland.

GGG PPV draws 150K estimated PPV buys

October 21, 2015

Early estimates of the Gennady Golovkin-David Lemieux PPV this past Saturday drew approximately 150,000 buys.  Sports Illustrated boxing writer Chris Mannix stated that the 150,000 estimated was “in the ballpark” of the estimated buys.

Despite the fact that the fight sold out Madison Square Garden with 20,568 in attendance, the fight did not sell as promoters had hoped.  GGG’s promoter indicated that 200,000 buys would make it a financial success.  It appeared that promoters had modest expectations for GGG’s debut as the top of the card on a PPV.

In comparison, Canelo Alvarez’s first time headlining a PPV against Alfredo Angulo in March 2014 drew 350,000 PPV buys.  A PPV featuring Timothy Bradley against Juan Manuel Marquez drew 375,000 PPV buys in October 2013.  Last June, a clash between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez drew 250,000 PPV buys. initially reported the 150,000 PPV buy rate.

Payout Perspective:

Was this a success or disappointment?  GGG is the next logical fighter to step in to the PPV shoes for Manny Pacquiao as his popularity begins to wane.  Roman Gonzalez, who many believe is one of the best (if not the best) pound for pound fighters was the co-main on the card.  Thus, two of the top stars in boxing were featured on a PPV but just 150K purchased it.  We’ll see how the replay viewership does this Saturday as perhaps we’re seeing boxing skeptics concerned about overpaying “once again” for a boxing PPV.  In my opinion, the 150,000 is a little low, but once more fans get exposed to GGG (and Chocolatito), we’ll see more casual boxing fans gravitating toward them and eventually the PPV numbers may increase.

WSOF 24: 167,000

October 20, 2015

The World Series of Fighting drew 167,000 viewers on NBC Sports Network Saturday night per a Nielsen source.  The event is a 10% decrease from WSOF 23.

The event on Saturday saw Jon Fitch defeat Yushin Okami via unanimous decision.  In the co-main event WSOF Heavyweight Champion Blagoy Ivanov defeated Derrick Mehmen.

Saturday night was a bad night for WSOF as game 1 between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets took place on TBS.  The MLB playoff game drew 7.89M viewers in the same time frame as WSOF.  Also, the ESPN college football game between Florida and LSU drew 6.7M viewers between 7:30-10:30pm ET.  (ratings per Sports TV Ratings)  In addition, boxing fans had GGG-David Lemiux on PPV Saturday night.



World Series of Fighting
WSOF 1 198,000
WSOF 2 210,000
WSOF 3 201,000
WSOF 4 264,000
WSOF 5 227,000
WSOF 6 161,000
WSOF 7 94,000
WSOF 8 212,000
WSOF 9 242,000
WSOF 10 365,000
WSOF 11 781,000
WSOF 12 206,000
WSOF 13 246,000
WSOF 14 229,000
WSOF 15 179,000
WSOF 16 181,000
WSOF 17 222,000
WSOF 18 209,000
WSOF 19 216,000
WSOF 20 128,000
WSOF 21 203,000
WSOF 22 254,000
WSOF 23 184,000
WSOF 24 167,000

Payout Perspective:

Once again, WSOF was up against stiff competition for viewers up against the MLB playoffs. Not only is it the playoffs, but it was a game between two of the biggest media markets for viewers, New York and Chicago. The viewer average for WSOF events for 2015 is 197,000.

Weidman signs deal with Reebok, gets own shoe

October 19, 2015

UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chris Weidman has signed an individual sponsorship deal with Reebok and as a part of the deal he will get his own custom shoe.

Weidman was on The MMA Hour on Monday where he made the announcement and was presented with his own signature shoe by Reebok’s senior director of combat training Michael Lunardelli.  Weidman’s ZPump model sport the stars and stripes and will be available to the public.  The price point will be $110.

Reebok Pump - Weidman

You can infer from the Reebok deal that Weidman is no longer with longtime sponsor Bad Boy.  During the MMA Hour interview, Lunardelli explained that another deal for Weidman ended.

Weidman is not the only MMA fighter to have their own shoe.  You might recall Jon Jones had a limited release Nike shoe.  Other fighters such as Urijah Faber (KSwiss), Rampage Jackson (Reebok) and Georges St. Pierre (Under Armour) have had shoe sponsor deals.

Payout Perspective:

Will you buy Weidman’s shoe?  The Reebok deal seemed inevitable and as explained it was a matter of Weidman’s Bad Boy sponsorship ending for him to sign with the official UFC clothier.  Overall, the sponsorship is a good thing for Weidman but the shoes seem like an acquired taste.  Unless you are truly patriotic or a fan of Weidman, it seems very unlikely for someone to pay $110 for these novelty shoes.

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