UFC 205: Payout Perspective
November 14, 2016
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. In this edition we take a look at UFC 205 taking place at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
McGregor wins lightweight title from Alvarez
Conor McGregor once again backed up his talk as he stopped Eddie Alvarez in the second round to win the UFC lightweight title. He now holds the featherweight and lightweight titles.
It was rather easy work for McGregor who displayed his power and showed no fear against Alvarez including dropping his hands and putting them behind his back.
McGregor cut a promo which included calling the UFC “cheap” for not providing him two belts immediately and apologizing to no one.
In all likelihood, McGregor’s next fight will be at 155 and he’ll likely have his choice of Tony Ferguson or Khabib Nurmogomenov.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 13, 2016
The champ champ pic.twitter.com/iprUKL0Ldx
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 13, 2016
Woodley, Wonderboy goes to a draw
Sometimes you have to wonder about coaching. Tyrone Woodley dominated Stephen Thompson in the first round on the ground and you could argue that his dominance deserved a 10-8 1st round. Yet, he neglected to attempt another takedown throughout the rest of the fight. Instead, Thompson was able to utilize his length and standup to stifle Woodley standing with the exception of a couple shots in the 4th round that almost stopped the fight.
An immediate rematch seems like the most logical thing although it seems unfair to a patient Demian Maia.
Jedrzejczyk dominates Kowalkiewicz
Joanna successfully defended her strawweight title with a 49-46 unanimous decision over Karolina Kowalkiewicz. It was a one-sided, 5 round fight with Kowalkiewicz winning a couple skirmishes but Jedrzejcyk earning 4 rounds.
Joanna Violence does not know who’s next but she plans to fight sometime mid-2017.
Attendance and Gate
UFC 205 eclipsed the previous record gate from UFC 129 in Toronto of $12 million. The Madison Square Garden debut drew $17.7 million with 20,427 in attendance according to a UFC official post-fight.
Conor McGregor, Yoel Romero, Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson earned the bonuses. McGregor and Romero won performances of the night and Woodley and Thompson won for Fight of the Night.
Promotion to the Fight
The UFC went all out for its debut including an ESPN Car Wash and various articles in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. There was local as well as national coverage promoting the event.
The Embedded episodes gave us a glimpse of the fighters getting ready for the fights focusing on the 3 championship fights. You have to wonder with all of the episodes at hotels the UFC does not have a partnership with a hotel chain.
Budweiser sponsored the 6-episode Embedded series. It also had the fighter prep point. Notably, Twinzz.com and IconicFace.com were in the Octagon as well. Both made appearances at UFC 204 in England. Twinzz.com is a hat manufacturer while IconicFaceoff.com appears to be a fantasy sports web site.
Qalo, a wedding ring manufacturer that touts silicone rings for the active person was a sponsor in the Octagon last night. It worked with Chris Weidman in leadup to UFC 205.
In addition, Monster Energy Drink had the center as well sharing a corner with 7-Eleven. MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Geico and Budweiser.
The upcoming movie, “Bleed for This,” the story of boxer Vinny Pazienza was featured during the PPV. The movie was introduced by Michael Bisping.
Tyron Woodley and Conor McGregor sported the Monster logo on their Reebok kits.
Reebok introduced New York-specific UFC 205 merchandise for this event. It also sold Conor McGregor-specific shirts including a “I Whoop People for Truckoads of Cash” shirt.
Odds and Ends
Probably the best UFC Prelims ever as the fights could be its own PPV. Look for it to eclipse the record-setting ratings of UFC 200.
Are MMA purists ok with the WWE-style promotion that McGregor has provided for this event? The fur coat and faking like he was going after Alvarez with a folding chair seems very much spectacle than reality.
Miesha Tate’s retirement seemed out of nowhere. She was still a top-ranked fighter but maybe she sees other opportunities on the horizon.
There should be a rule that all interpreters should not have man-buns as Yoel Romero’s did.
Kevin Gastelum did not make weight once again which eliminated his fight with Donald Cerrone from the card.
Despite the talk about blue chip sponsors partnering with the UFC, there were no big surprises. Budweiser the only real change although Bud Light has been a part of the UFC sponsorship.
One of the storylines from the newfound regulations in New York is the requirement that combat sports promoters needing to provide $1M coverage for brain injury for each fighter on the card. The UFC paid $1,675 per athlete which came out to $40,200 for UFC 205. Boxing promoters have been outspoken in speaking out against this measure which was a part of the law that would legalize MMA in the sport.
Apparently, Bruce Buffer knew he was reading the wrong decision in the Woodley -Thompson fight. However, he can only read what is on the judge’s scorecard. This is why he left the cage to confer with the judges.
No Trump at UFC 205, but there were other luminaries in the crowd including Demi Lovato and Odell Beckham, Jr. (the NY Giants WR also made a cameo in meeting Tyron Woodley on an episode of Embedded.)
Does McGregor really demand an ownership stake in the UFC, or is this just pure hype and bluster?
UFC 205 pulled over 2 million google searches on Saturday night which usually means a healthy PPV buy rate. Also over 1 million searches on Saturday were Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey. Rousey searches likely due to the unveiling of the very good promo for her return on Friday, December 30th.
This event should flirt with the PPV record of 1.6 million PPV buys. Certainly, college football and the fact that many fans purchase the event at UFC.com could detract from the overall number. However, with 3 title fights on the main card including the company’s biggest PPV star, Conor McGregor, we should see a PPV buy rate around 1.5-1.7 million PPV buys