UFC 209: Payout Perspective

March 7, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition, we take a look at UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Woodley wins rematch with Wonderboy

The last seconds of the last round were really the most exciting part of this tactical fight.  There was not a lot of action for the first four rounds and Woodley’s flurry at the end of round 5 may have been the most

Teymur defeats Vannata in FOTN co-main

Replacing Khabib Nurmogomenov and Tony Ferguson was a daunting task and Teymur and Vannata put on a respectable fight.  Obviously, most MMA fans would have liked Khabib-Ferguson.

Attendance and Gate

The get-in price as of Friday, was $62 on the secondary market although there were a lot of tickets available on Ticketmaster.  The lowest price on Ticketmaster as of Friday was $95.  Vivid Seats noted that most tickets on the secondary market were from California.

The event drew 13,150 for a gate of $2,385,230 at the T-Mobile Arena.  It was by far the lowest out of the 4 events at the new arena.  However, the other 3 (200, 202, and 207) had big names attached to those events.


The bonuses went to Darren Elkins, Iuri Alcantara, David Teymur and Lando Vannata.  Elkins earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his come-from-behind win against Mirsad Bektic.  Alcantara won via kneebar against Luke Sanders.  Teymur and Vannata earned Fight of the Night.


Woodley earned $500,000 as he earned $400,000 to show and another $100,000 to win.

Stephen Thompson earned $380,000 for his narrow loss to Woodley.

Khabib lost out on $500,000 to show.  Tony Ferguson was awarded his show purse of $250,000 but lost out on his chance to his win bonus of $250,000.

The other salaries are as follows as disclosed by the NAC (via MMA Junkie)

David Teymur: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Lando Vannata: $25,000

Daniel Kelly: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Rashad Evans: $150,000

Cynthia Calvillo: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Amanda Cooper: $17,000

Alistair Overeem: $750,000 (no win bonus)
def. Mark Hunt: $750,000

Marcin Tybura: $72,000 (includes $36,000 win bonus)
def. Luis Henrique: $16,000

Darren Elkins: $92,000 (includes $46,000 win bonus)
def. Mirsad Bektic: $21,000

Iuri Alcantara: $68,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Luke Sanders: $12,000

Mark Godbeer: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Daniel Spitz: $12,000

Tyson Pedro: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Paul Craig: $12,000

Albert Morales: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Andre Soukhamthath: $10,000

Promotion of the Fight

The Embedded series seemed to focus on getting to know Khabib Nurmogomenov.  They showed him a lot during the series including going to see Mike Tyson.  Unfortunately, it did not turn out well for Khabib.  It also gave us a glimpse of the return of GSP.  Once again, there was no sponsor for the series.

The UFC Countdown show airing Sunday night on FS1 drew 80,000 viewers.  I wouldn’t look too much into this as many fans watch it online instead of just the show.

Woodley and Wonderboy did media rounds together to promote the fight.  Woodley brought up the issue of race during the media rounds.  Dana White dismissed this issue and while praising Woodley also called him a “drama queen.”  Whether or not you believe Woodley, his courage to talk about a controversial subject when many UFC fighters tip-toe around being controversial for fear of being punished by the company.

The St. Louis Cardinals supported the Missouri-born fighter.


Woodley is a Monster Energy sponsored athlete as evidenced by the “M” on his fight kit and holding the Monster can in the Octagon post-fight.

7-11 used UFC 209 for sponsorship activation as it offered a free Slurpee or Big Gulp by simply texting a number.

In addition to 7-11, MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Budweiser and Monster Energy were in the Octagon.

The UFC continues its relationship with Netflix as this PPV it featured the series Ironfist.

The Sidekick Experience is a second screen experience where fans can go on the UFC Fan Page to watch Facebook Live of people talking about the fights.

Odds and ends

Maybe the best sponsor of Saturday night was actually Kung Fu Teas which was on the mat during the Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia Fight.  It received great network exposure for a product I did not know existed.  Also of note, Monster Headphones, a UFC sponsor, was in the ring for Thurman-Garcia.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would have placed the strap around Wonderboy had he defeated Woodley.

Bob Bennett showing up at the post-fight press conference to denounce a judge’s score in the main event sets bad precedent.  It undermines his judges and brings into question close decisions.  Press and fans will be looking to Bennett each time there is a questionable score.

There were over 500,000 google searches on Friday night for UFC 209 another 500,000 Saturday night and 100,000 for UFC may bode well for the final PPV buy rate.

The UFC and Dana White filed a Motion to Dismiss Mark Hunt’s lawsuit during fight week.  Despite Hunt stating he was not thinking about it, one has to think it had to be on his mind a little bit.  He is still being paid at a high level, $750,000.  The pay puts him in the top 1-2% of UFC contracted fighters right now.  This is something that the UFC will bring up during the lawsuit as it proceeds.

Perhaps unrelated to UFC 209, but Geico amplified its relationship with the UFC by having Cody Garbrandt star in its latest commercial.

The return of GSP and the announcement that he will take on Michael Bisping did alleviate some sting from the Khabib news.  As for the press conference, what was the deal with Bisping being late and seemingly drunk?  Very unprofessional for the champ.


This event was not going to do huge numbers but looked good from a hardcore MMA perspective as Khabib-Ferguson was a much-anticipated fight that was cancelled twice before this latest cancellation.  It probably hurt some, but overall this PPV was not going to do big numbers.  But, without Khabib-Ferguson, one would think this PPV does between 300-325K viewers.

20 Responses to “UFC 209: Payout Perspective”

  1. d on March 7th, 2017 8:40 AM

    Elkins made a lot of money for a prelim fight.

  2. Wil on March 7th, 2017 11:50 AM

    Good for Woodley for talking about what he sees in the UFC regarding race. Very courageous of him to speak out against White and who the UFC chooses to push. The best thing he can do is keep on winning and being a thorn in the side of the alt-right

  3. Jason Cruz on March 7th, 2017 11:53 AM

    @Wil – I agree

  4. Chuck Connolley on March 7th, 2017 4:41 PM

    You guys are so dumb. If the UFC was racist, why would they have pushed Jon Jones and Anderson Silva as the faces of the organization for all those years before Ronda and Conor blew up. They only care about PPV buys, and I’m guessing UFC 209 will be lucky to get 200K buys.

  5. d on March 7th, 2017 8:25 PM

    The UFC has always pushed any athlete regardless of race who they feel can make them the most amount of money. That’s how business is run. Jon Jones, Anderson Silva, Tito Ortiz, Cain Velasquez, Vitor Belfort, etc have all at some point in time been the poster boys for the UFC and they aren’t exactly WASPs.

    Woodley is just a whiner.

  6. d on March 7th, 2017 8:30 PM

    Does anyone honestly believe there was some huge marketing campaign for Hendricks or Lawler? They weren’t promoted any more than Woodley who has yet to definitively defend his title.

  7. TOPS E on March 8th, 2017 3:53 AM

    Jacare,romero…..fought to protect wiedman….nonstop blasting by dw on woodley very obvious so they can hype wonderboy….when rampage ko’d lidell the ufc was pissed at him..

  8. Diego on March 8th, 2017 8:56 AM

    Sorry guys, but I don’t see the race issue. John Fitch couldn’t get a title shot to save his life back in the day. Damian Maia is still waiting for his. Meanwhile, Rampage wanted a tune up fight but the UFC rushed him into a fight with Liddell (and no the UFC was not pissed at him – he was a big draw). It’s not about race. Some fighters are just more popular either because of their style or personality.

    But I guess I’m probably just displaying “unconscious racism”.

  9. Diego on March 8th, 2017 8:59 AM

    I also don’t think it requires a lot of courage these days to “call out” racism. About 50% of the country is doing it. It’s hardly a radical stance.

  10. TOPS E on March 8th, 2017 11:16 AM
  11. Wil on March 8th, 2017 1:38 PM

    Diego, it is when you are doing it to the person paying your check.

  12. TOPS E on March 8th, 2017 2:27 PM
  13. TOPS E on March 8th, 2017 2:42 PM

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wsEmHHUeog4…good thing happening more people are pointing out by speaking out on dw ufc gimmicks….yup why only woodley…hahaha

  14. d on March 8th, 2017 7:18 PM

    Wil is confusing courage with stupidity.

  15. Wil on March 9th, 2017 12:13 AM

    TOPS, agreed, very good to see folks calling it like it is no matter who they “offend.” They are taking the pain and punishment, no one here is. As I said earlier, the best thing Woodley can do is keep on winning, and it doesnt have to be pretty, it doesnt have to be blood and guts and human cockfighting…..GSP proved that you can win tactically and still make those bones baby. Now if and when he loses, I expect him to be “blackballed” by White and the powers that be in the UFC as a form of punishment. The UFC has already shown it isnt always interested in contenders getting shots at titles as it is fights that sell….and Woodley is hated by many of the target audience of UFC for what he is saying.

  16. Wil on March 9th, 2017 12:14 AM

    and I might add the fact that he has twice defended against a targeted future Dana White hype job…Dana hates for his hype jobs to lose,…..

  17. d on March 9th, 2017 6:34 AM

    “he has twice defended against a targeted future Dana White hype job…Dana hates for his hype jobs to lose,…..”

    Delusions of grandeur.

    Anyone who thinks Thompson is a “hype job” or that Woodley clearly won either of those fights, needs to take a mma 101 course.

  18. Wil on March 9th, 2017 9:05 AM

    Stop kid, just stop, you are trying too hard to be indifferent. Woodley is the champ after two fights and the UFC was hyping this kid and after two fights he failed to get the w….moving on from th arguing just to argue like a bitter old woman

  19. d on March 9th, 2017 8:33 PM

    You are delusional. No one who is an objective person would claim that Thompson was a hype job. The majority of people who scored the fight had it for Thompson and even if they were wrong, even Woodley admitted he didn’t want to fight Thompson because he was a very dangerous opponent. You are a propagandist and a turd that won’t flush.

  20. Wil on March 11th, 2017 12:53 PM

    Well if you cant talk tough in person, do it on the net..lol

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