UFC on Fox 27 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 27, 2018

UFC on Fox 27 took place Saturday night from Charlotte, North Carolina.  Ronaldo Souza headlined the card and took home a $50,000 fight bonus for his stoppage of Derek Brunson.

In addition, Mirsad Bektic, Drew Dober and Frank Camacho took home $50,000 bonuses.  Bektic earned a Performance Bonus with a TKO of Godofredo Pepey.  Drew Dober and Frank Camacho earned Fight of the Night on the main card on Fox with Dober earning a unanimous decision.

The event drew 10,249 for a gate of $944,000.  The event took place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Notably, last year’s UFC on Fox event in January 2017 drew 13,233 and a gate of $1,020,434.  The main event featured Valentina Shevchenko submitting Julianna Pena.  It also had Jorge Masvidal stopping Donald Cerrone.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate is similar to that of a Fight Night card.  With the fighters on this card, it felt like a Fight Night card.  This may not bode well with the network ratings.  We shall see if enough people stayed home to watch the event.  Souza looked impressive in stopping Brunson as he registered another stoppage over the North Carolina native.

Cormier-Miocic set for UFC 226, will coach TUF 27

January 26, 2018

ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that Daniel Cormier will take on Stipe Miocic for the UFC Heavyweight title. The two will coach TUF 27 and will headline UFC 226 in Las Vegas in July.

Murmurs of what will undoubtedly be billed as a superfight occurred immediately after UFC 220.  Cormier had indicated that he wanted Cain Velasquez to get a shot at the title but it would seem that this will not happen especially if DC wins.

TUF 27 will feature undefeated lightweight and featherweight fighters.  It will air this spring with the coaches fighting in July.  In all likelihood, the TUF Finale will take place the night before UFC 226 in Vegas.

Payout Perspective:

This is a great start to July’s annual International Fight Week.  DC and Miocic will be an interesting fight as both likely are naturally in the 225-pound range.  The battle between the Light Heavyweight Champion and Heavyweight Champion has a “superfight” feel that Endeavor wants to boost PPV buy rates.  It would seem that there would have to be more for UFC 226 for it to garner bigger ratings.

Bellator 192 DVR ratings bump event average to 1M total viewers

January 26, 2018

Bellator 192 averaged 1 million viewers peaking with 1.5 million during the Chael Sonnen-Rampage Jackson fight according to Nielsen in DVR + 3 ratings.  The numbers reflect the combination of Paramount and CMT.

The average viewership for the Sonnen-Jackson fight drew 1.4 million viewers while the Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima fight drew 1.2 million viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The numbers do not divide out the Parmount and CMT ratings although I would suspect that Paramount’s peak viewership would include most of the former Spike TV audience.  In Live + Same Day Viewership Bellator 192 drew 770,000 viewers on Paramount and 161,000 on CMT.  The Sonnen-Rampage first round averaged 1.2m viewers while MacDonald-Lima averaged 1.1 million viewers.  The numbers do show that this event was recorded in light of the UFC and/or boxing events on at the same time.

Light heavyweight flagged by USADA

January 25, 2018

Coming off of a victory last month in his debut with the organization at UFC 219, Michal Oleksiejczuk was put on provisional suspension after an in-competition test was flagged for a potential banned substance.

Oleksiejczuk defeated Khalil Rhountree via unanimous decision.

Via UFC.com:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Michal Oleksiejczuk of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an in-competition sample collected in conjunction with his recent bout against Khalil Roundtree at UFC 219 in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 30, 2017.

Payout Perspective:

Bad news for the 22-year old who was 12-2 prior to entering the UFC.  The report does not indicate the banned substance so we will wait and see if he will mount a defense.

Johnson wants Dillashaw on big card to maximize PPV bonus

January 25, 2018

Demetrious Johnson told ESPN that he wants a big PPV with T.J. Dillashaw on a “stacked card.”  In the interview, he inadvertently revealed his PPV points bonus with the UFC.

Via ESPN:

“I’ve seen guys jump on [stacked] PPV cards and make $1.5 million, fighting an inferior opponent than who I’m about to fight. Me and TJ could fight on a smaller card and pull 275,000 buys, get an extra check for $75,000. My management told me, ‘You know what, we’ll hold out for a big event.’

Based on the quote, it would appear that Johnson would be making $1.00 for every buy above 200,000.  This is a common scenario as revealed when Eddie Alvarez’s initial UFC contract was held up in litigation with Bellator.

Eddie Alvarez Contract re PPV upside by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd


Payout Perspective:

It’s clear that Johnson understands his drawing power (which is marginal) and being on a card with other top fighters would maximize his potential for a good buy rate so that he could earn extra PPV money.  He was the co-main event with Jon Jones for UFC 197 and on a card with Conor McGregor at UFC 178.  197 drew 322,000 buys while UFC 178 drew just 205,000 buys as the event was before all of the McGregor started.   The balancing act for the UFC is to build cards to compensate 12 PPVs as well as the Fox events.  Johnson-Dillashaw sounds like it would be built as the main event and not one of several.  With the lack of premier fighters that can move the needle, this fight would seemingly be a stand-alone and not on a stacked card.

McMahon revives XFL

January 25, 2018

The XFL reboot is going to happen.  Vince McMahon is scheduled to make the announcement on Thursday.

Speculation about bringing back the XFL surfaced last month when SEC filings from the WWE indicated that McMahon sold 3.34 million shares of the company to fund a separate entity, Alpha Entertainment, LLC.  The company was established “to explore investment opportunityes across the sports and entertainment landscapes, including professional football.”  In addition, USPTO applications for XFL and Alpha Entertainment provided further clues that the football league was coming back.

Payout Perspective:

Dependent on how this is set up, a spring football league would not be a crazy idea at this point.  Notably, Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, was looking into establishing a league for those players that could not or did not go to college.  It would be similar to a developmental league like the NBA.  If it is structured like this, and not as a direct competitor to the NFL, there could be a viable market.  We shall see.

UFC Heavyweight sets up GoFundMe to pay for his corner to fly to Brazil

January 24, 2018

UFC Heavyweight Timothy Johnson set up a GoFundMe page to assist in bringing two of his cornermen to Brazil for next weekend’s fight against Luis Henrique at UFC Fight Night 125 in Brazil.  Fortunately, for the 32-year-old fighter, his needs have been met but his plight presents the issue of dealing with costs and travel for a regular fighter on the card.

Coming off of a loss, Johnson is 3-3 in the UFC.  He’s fought in Croatia, Northern Island, England and now Brazil.  One of the issues in traveling long distances is that for most fighters, the UFC only pays for one cornerman to come with a fighter.  Without the necessary funds from sponsors, Johnson had to ask help from the MMA community.

Fortunately, he was able to surpass the $4,000 he was requesting.  One individual donated $3,500.  Al Iaquinta provided $50.  No verification if that is the UFC fighter or someone using Iaquinta’s name.

Johnson’s only officially reported payout was from his debut fight in April 2015 where he earned $8,000 to show and $8,000 to win.  Based on his record of 3-3, he is estimated to move up to $16,000 and $16,000 on the pay scale plus his Reebok payout of $5,000.

You may or may not recall former UFC fighter John Cholish indicate that he actually lost money by fighting in Brazil when he paid for two of his coaches to fly to corner him.

Payout Perspective:

The GoFundMe account is the stark reality of not being Conor McGregor in the UFC.  There is a low-to-mid-class fighter that does not have enough funds to pay for travel.  At 3-3, this is a big fight for Johnson if he wants to continue on with the company and he probably wants full access from all of his coaches to win. There is the issue of how the coaches will be compensated by Johnson for his travel which will likely come out of his pay for the fight.

Errol Spence draws 637,000 on Showtime Saturday night

January 23, 2018

Errol Spence’s win over Lamont Peterson on Showtime Boxing Saturday night drew 637,000 viewers on the premium cable channel.

Spence’s victory drew 257,000 in the A18-49 demo per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The peak audience drew 695,000 viewers during the fight.  In addition, the undercard featuring Robert Easter, Jr. and Javier Fortuna drew 462,000 viewers and peaked at 540,000.  It drew 205,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

Spence’s last event last May drew 291,000 viewers.  In that event, Spence defeated Kell Brook.  The event was shown live on Saturday afternoon on Showtime as the fight took place in England.

Payout Perspective:

The event went up against Bellator 192 and the UFC 220 PPV which likely split some combat sports fans.  But, if you are just a boxing fan, you would have tuned in to see Spence.  The ratings are promising for Spence who is ascending as a star in boxing.

Bellator 192 peaks with 1.34M viewers

January 23, 2018

Bellator MMA averaged 931,000 total viewers on the Paramount Network and CMT.  It peaked with 1,340,000 million during the Chael Sonnen-Rampage Jackson fight.

The first round between Sonnen and Rampage averaged 1.2 million viewers.  The Rory MacDonald-Douglas Lima bout drew 1.1 million viewers.

According to the release, Bellator 192 was the most watched event for the franchise since Bellator 170: Sonnen-Ortiz last January.

Via Bellator release:

In its timeslot (9:00pm-12:30am), Bellator 192 on Paramount Network ranked #3 with Men 18-49 and #4 with Men 18-34 in all of cable.  Bellator 192 was also the most watched combat sports event that evening on cable. (DVR +3 numbers will be available later this week)

Payout Perspective:

Bellator drew 770,000 on Paramount and 161,000 on CMT.  For Bellator 180, CMT viewership was 143,000.  180 was the first event where Viacom has decided to broadcast the event on CMT.  It’s an interesting strategy.  While it does not pick up a lot more viewers, I think the idea is to broadcast it to a broader audience/demo.  We’ll see if this helps the overall viewership.

UFC 220 Prelims draw 905,000 on FS1, Bellator 192 770,00 viewers on Paramount

January 23, 2018

The UFC 220 Prelims on FS1 drew 905,000 viewers according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The prelims overlapped with Bellator 192 on Paramount which drew 770,000 viewers.

UPDATED:  Bellator 192 was also on CMT network.  Thanks to a reader who pointed this out.  Based on the combined ratings Bellator 192 drew 931,000 viewers (CMT chipped in with the additional 161,000 viewers)

The UFC Prelims were highlighted by Julio Arce versus Dan Ige.  The event on FS1 drew 0.39 in the A18-49 demo.  In comparison, last year’s first PPV, UFC 208, which occurred in February drew 824,000 viewers. Bellator 192 featured Rampage Jackson and Chael Sonnen as it began the Heavyweight Grand Prix.  It also saw Rory MacDonald win the welterweight belt from Douglas Lima.  The event drew 0.32 in the A18-49 demo.

In addition, on Saturday night, the UFC Prefight Show on FS1 drew 286,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Bellator 192 was the highest-rated Bellator event on Spike TV, now Paramount, since March 2017’s Bellator 175 which featured Rampage against King Mo.  Bellator 180 had a higher viewership in the aggregate but was shown on Spike and CMT.  While the event produced the best ratings in almost 10 months, it still does not come close to the initial tentpole events which drew near 1 million viewers.  Obviously, the head-to-head with the prelims and the UFC PPV hurt Bellator this time around.  For the UFC Prelims, the 905,000 is a nice rating considering the fights did not have any “named” fighter on them which bodes well for the PPV buys.

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