Showtime Boxing peaks at just 343K for main event

April 30, 2019

Showtime Boxing on Saturday night drew 312,000 viewers for its main event featuring Robert Easter, Jr and Rances Barthelemy.  The fighters fought to a split decision draw as part of the PBC event.

The event drew 92,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The triple fight on Showtime did not produce strong viewership as it was sandwiched between UFC, Bellator and DAZN boxing.  The main event peaked at 343,000 viewers.

The co-feature of the night, Viktor Postol’s victory over Mohamed Mimoune drew 217,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

Not a very good viewership night for PBC on Showtime as the aforementioned other combat sports likely overshadowed this event.  With the DAZN event Friday being the biggest event in boxing this weekend, Saturday’s Showtime event may have been an afterthought.

UFC Fort Lauderdale Prelims draw 720,000 viewers on ESPN, early prelims 288,000

April 30, 2019

The UFC Fort Lauderdale Prelims drew 720,000 viewers on ESPN Saturday afternoon.  The early prelims, which aired on ESPN2, drew 288,000 viewers.

The UFC on ESPN +8 show from Florida aired its prelims and early prelims on the network with the main card on the digital platform.

The early prelims featured Jim Miller as he submitted Jason Gonzalez via submission.  The prelims featured Takashi Sato as he defeated Ben Saunders.

The prelims on ESPN drew 352,000 viewers in the A18-49 demo.

The main card featured Jack Hermansson defeating Ronaldo Souza via decision.

Payout Perspective:

A decent number for the prelims as the event may have been lost in the shuffle of boxing and Bellator this past weekend.  Despite the network home, there still may be some confusion over when and where the prelims will air.  This was the first time that the early prelims aired on the ESPN home of networks.

Arlovski ($300K) tops UFC Fort Lauderdale salaries

April 30, 2019

The Florida State Boxing Commission has disclosed the salary information from this past Saturday’s UFC Fort Lauderdale event.  Notably, Greg Hardy’s second UFC fight garnered him $150,000 while Andre Arlovski’s  29th fight with the promotion made him $300,000.

The payouts per MMA Fighting:

Jack Hermansson ($41,000 + $41,000 = $82,000) def. Ronaldo Souza ($210,000)
Greg Hardy ($75,000 + $75,000 = $150,000) def. Dmitrii Smoliakov ($10,000)
Mike Perry ($55,000 + $55,000 = $110,000) def. Alex Oliveira ($64,000)
Glover Teixeira ($105,000 + $105,000 = $210,000) def. Ion Cutelaba ($22,000)
Cory Sandhagen ($33,000 + $33,000 = $66,000) def. John Lineker ($49,000)
Roosevelt Roberts ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Thomas Gifford ($10,000)
Takashi Sato ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Ben Saunders ($35,000)
Augusto Sakai ($12,000 + $12,000 = $24,000) def. Andrei Arlovski ($300,000)
Carla Esparza ($45,000 + $45,000 = $90,000) def. Virna Jandiroba ($12,000)
Gilbert Burns ($44,000 + $44,000 = $88,000) def. Mike Davis ($12,000)
Jim Miller ($90,000 + $90,000 = $180,000) def. Jason Gonzalez ($12,000)
Angela Hill ($24,000 + $24,000 = $48,000) def. Jodie Esquibel ($10,000)
Dhiego Lima ($17,000 + $17,000 = $34,000) def. Court McGee ($48,000)

Payout Perspective:

A couple interesting notes including Hardy’s pay is at $75K/$75K which is much higher than most “up and coming” fighters.  One would think that the name and his place on the card dictates the high pay.  Also, Andrei Arlovski is made $300,000 for his loss to Augosto Sakai who made just $24,000.  You may chalk this one up to longevity within the promotion.  Also, Glover Teixeira is now over $100,00o for his base with a change of doubling it.

ONE Championship issues agent certification requirements

April 29, 2019

ONE Championship announced that it has strengthened its agent certification with minimum requirements and eligibility requirements.

A glaring requirement to be an agent for ONE Championship is being a resident in Asian for one year.  In addition, the agent must not have a criminal record, no history or current ongoing matters of legal or lawsuit activity with any activity.  There is also a requirement that the agent must have 10 years of related experience in the martial arts industry and must have a college or university degree.

The announcement comes at a time when the company announced a TV and Film Production Arm One Studios to complement its current assets.

Unlike other professional sports like MLB, NBA or NFL which requires certifications for agents to represent players, the standards are cleared by player associations.  Here, it does not appear that that is the case.  Moreover, the requirements can seemingly eliminate many agents for any instance that have had a contract dispute with a fighter even if the agent was in the right.

The move may be seen as a way to protect fighters and safeguard the money they make and ensure that only the most experienced in the business are involved.  On the other hand, one may argue that this is a way to control the fighter pool to ensure that the promotion has a cadre of agents that will cede to ONE Championship in contract negotiations knowing that they could be de-certified.  It also forecloses many U.S.-based agencies without an office in Asia.

We shall see if this new certification requirements equates to a foreclose of access to ONE fighters especially those like Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez and Sage Northcutt who had representation in the U.S.

UFC announces partnership to bring events to Abu Dhabi for the next 5 years

April 29, 2019

The UFC announced that it has forged a five-year partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi which will bring events to the emirate.  The first event of the partnership will take place on Saturday, September 7th.

Via UFC press release:

UFC will be a part of Abu Dhabi’s continually growing mega events calendar, with new festivals, sporting events and other initiatives being drawn to the emirate in part by the attractive benefits offered by the Advantage Abu Dhabi programme. Advantage Abu Dhabi provides a unique opportunity for event organisers, increasing the overall value proposition of the destination by providing an array of support services throughout the event planning cycle. The partnership with UFC is the latest to demonstrate the power of the programme in creating new business opportunities in Abu Dhabi.

UFC’s highly anticipated return to Abu Dhabi, the promotion’s first since 2014, will air live on global broadcasters around the world and on Pay-Per-View in select markets.  Though the bouts are still being confirmed, the card will be headlined by at least one championship fight.  Likewise, over the course of the partnership, subsequent UFC events held in Abu Dhabi will be headlined by at least one championship bout.

In addition, the UFC announced an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Media for the exclusive multimedia rights to show all UFC content in the MENA region.  The partnership started with UFC 236.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC has been to Abu Dhabi twice – in 2010 for UFC 112 and UFC Fight Night 39 in 2014.  However, there’s been no location for the event this September as the first two UFC events were held in makeshift outdoor venues.  The new partnership looks like it will bring one of the biggest events of 2019 with the anticipated main event having Dustin Poirier fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov.  The business partnership should open up new audiences for the UFC and continued expansion of the brand.

Bellator 220 salaries: MacDonald tops roster

April 28, 2019

The California Athletic Commission has disclosed the salaries for Bellator 220 which took place in San Jose, Saturday night.

Rory MacDonald was the top reported salary making $200,000 for his 5 round draw with Jon Fitch.  Despite the draw, MacDonald moves on in the welterweight Grand Prix and retains his belt.  Fitch earned $140,000.  Neither fighter had a win bonus.

Via MMA Junkie:

Rory MacDonald: $200,000 (no win bonus)
vs. Jon Fitch: $140,000 (no win bonus)

Ilima-Lei Macfarlane: $75,000 (no win bonus)
def. Veta Arteaga: $40,000

Benson Henderson: $100,000 (no win bonus)
def. Adam Piccolotti: $22,000

Phil Davis: $160,000 (includes $80,000 win bonus)
def. Liam McGeary: $75,000

Gaston Bolanos: $15,000 (no win bonus)
def. Nathan Stolen: $10,000

Aviv Gozali: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Travis Crain: $1,200

Brandon Faumui: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Chris Avila: $5,000

Matt Perez: $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
def. Justin Tenedora: $3,000

Cass Bell: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
def. Peter Ishiguro: $1,200

Chuck Campbell: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Bruno Casillas: $1,500

Hyder Amil: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Paradise Vaovasa: $1,750

Josh San Diego: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Laroco: $1,500

Jordan Williams: $3,500 (includes $1,750 win bonus)
def. Diego Herzog: $2,500

Abraham Vaesau: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Justin Roswell: $2,000

Chris Inocencio: $2,400 (includes $1,200 win bonus)
def. Boris Novachkov: $1,200

Tom Ponce de Leon: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
def. Jamario Mulder: $1,200

Ignacio Ortiz: $1,500
vs. Roger Severson: $1,500

Jon Adams: $1,200
vs. Erick Gunha: $1,200

Payout Perspective:

The salaries for the top of the card are starting to resemble UFC payouts but the bottom of the Bellator card shows a vast disparity.  Making less than $2,000 as a pro MMA fighter for Bellator is really low and is similar to some payouts on the regional circuit.  Unless they are being compensated through sponsors, it would not be hard to think that they are losing money fighting.

UFC on ESPN +8 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 28, 2019

UFC on ESPN +8 took place at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on Saturday night.  Mike Perry and Alex Oliveira entertained winning the Fight of the Night.

The two welterweights entertained inside and outside of the Octagon as the two danced their way down the aisle prior to the fight.  Perry won the decision in a highly entertaining fight.  Also receiving $50,000 bonuses were Glover Teixeira and Jim Miller for their Performances on Saturday night.

The event in Fort Lauderdale drew 12,754 fans for a gate of $1,209,654.09.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC last visited Fort Lauderdale in 2012 for UFC on FX 3 with Demetrious Johnson taking on Ian McCall.  The number in attendance this time around doubled from their initial event 7 years ago.  The main event saw Jack Hermansson defeating Jacare Souza in a middleweight contender matchup.

Vargas tops payouts for Matchroom Boxing-DAZN event Friday night

April 27, 2019

The California Athletic Commission disclosed purses for Friday night’s Matchroom Boxing/DAZN event at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

The new champion, Juan Francisco Estrada reportedly received $200,000 while Srisaket Sor Rungvisai received $500,000.  Estrada dominated the rematch between the two flyweights.

Other purses, per ESPN’s Dan Rafael:

Daniel Roman:  $200,000

TJ Doheny:  $230,000

Jessie Vargas:  $1.2M

Humberto Soto:  $150,000

Anthony Sims, Jr.:  $50,000

Vaughn Alexander:  $20,000

Ronnie Rios:  $15,000

Daniel Olea:  $5,000

Alberto Melian:  $15,500

Isaac Zarate:  $14,000

Murodjon Akmadeliev:  $27,000

Carlos Carlson: $8,000

Shakhram Giyasov;  $48,000

Emmanual Taylor:  $250,000

Austin Williams:  $6,000

Joel Guevara:  $2,500

Diego Pacheco:  $4,000

Guillermo Maldonado:  $2,000

Payout Perspective:

The payouts for the headliners are much better than when they first met when SSR made $200K and Estrada $150K.  Of course, the most notable payout is the $1.2 million for Jessie Vargas who stopped Humberto Soto.

Jon Fitch reflects upon his start in MMA in book featuring personal journals

April 24, 2019

MMA Payout had the opportunity to speak with Jon Fitch about his upcoming fight this Saturday with Rory MacDonald in addition to a book he released late last year about his time starting out in MMA.

The book, Falling Upwards/Death by Ego, Fitch draws upon journals he has kept throughout the years which included his start in MMA.

After learning about the sport of MMA while an amateur wrestler at Purdue, Fitch drove across country to AKA in San Jose to train to be a mixed martial artist.  The book reveals personal journals about his training, life and scraping together a living while working towards a goal of being in MMA.  “Self-therapy,” is what Fitch attributes to publishing the book.  “I wanted to tap back in and get back into that mindset of that hungry, young athlete.  It brought me back into a different place.”

Fitch admits that he was apprehensive about publishing his private journals for the public to see.  The book does not edit out his journal entries although Fitch provides some editorial context to what he was thinking at the time.  “Why should you be embarrassed of your life?” Fitch stated about publishing the journals.  “More importantly, there are people that have gone through similar situations [in their life]. If they can see somebody else there, they might be able to get through the tough spot.”

In retrospect, Fitch notes that his career in MMA including a lot of luck.  As many know, Fitch went to Purdue University where he was a part of the wrestling team. Tom Erickson, Purdue’s head coach, was a former Pride fighter.  Mark Coleman and Gary Goodrich trained with the team at times and would tell stories about their trips, travels and money they were making.  “It was real life bloodsport stuff,” Fitch described, “It was a much more interesting life.”

With a stipend for grad school after graduating from Purdue, Fitch started to train MMA in Indiana with not a lot of support.  He recalls training with the Purdue Judo Club because they were the only club around at the time that resembled MMA. He met up with former UFC veteran Brian Ebersole and became obsessed with martial arts.  He then saw a DVD with Frank Shamrock fighting Tito Ortiz that changed his life.  “I want to train where that guy [Shamrock] is.”

“I gave myself 3 years or run out of money,” Fitch said of his plan to move to San Jose and be an MMA fighter.  The 41-year-old Fitch recalls a time when he drove to an ATM late at night from working at bars to deposit dollars into his bank account to ensure he didn’t incur any late fees.

Out west, he found a home and would not return to the Midwest to become an educator. “I was having so much fun, I wouldn’t have gone back.”  The book focuses on his meager beginnings at AKA, his almost-famous moment of being on TUF and the ups and downs of trying to find fights.

In his book, he detailed his MMA and BJJ workouts.  He also was consistent in using crossfit as a way to supplement his MMA training. At 41, Fitch has made changes to his preparation and keeping in shape.  “I lift more consistently,” he stated. “I have found a better way to lift and treat it more like hygiene.”

Fitch has been one of the leaders in supporting the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association.  He wrote an op-ed for the Washington Examiner at about the same time that the second hearing on the Ali Act expansion was happening before Congress.  Fitch has been an advocate about fighters’ rights for some time now but when asked whether he’d embrace Leslie Smith and Project Spearhead if she were to bring the messaging to Bellator, he demurred.

While both MMAFA and Project Spearhead may want the same thing in the end, it’s clear that the sides disagree immensely on how the means to the end.

“I just don’t think she understands the market,” Fitch said.  “We were not seeing eye to eye.”  He described a “group chat” in which the interested parties were discussing the matter of fighters’ rights and Fitch indicated that they asked her to leave the chat so that they could discuss their position in private.

Fitch takes on Rory MacDonald Saturday in San Jose for Bellator 220 on DAZN.

Munhoz fined for exiting cage after Garbrandt KO at UFC 235

April 24, 2019

UFC bantamweight Pedro Munhoz was fined $2,5000 by the Nevada Athletic Commission after he exited the cage in celebrating his win against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 235 last month.

He will also have to pay $327.06 in prosecution fees prior to obtaining another license to fight.  He’s scheduled to meet Aljamain Sterling at UFC 238 in Chicago this June.

According to the AG’s office at the Commission hearing held on Wednesday, he was told not to exit the cage after his fight was over.  Munhoz jumped the fence after his KO of Cody Garbrandt and stood in front of the announce team and seemed to calmly talk to Dominick Cruz about wanting to fight him next.

Payout Perspective:

The obvious reason for the enforcement of these rules stems from last October’s melee when Khabib Nurmogomedov went after Conor McGregor’s corner.  Obviously, it also prevents anyone from the outside injuring the fighter and vice versa.  It also sounds like the commission warned fighters not to exit the cage after fights.  While I think that the fine was not necessary, it was required due to enforce the rules uniformly.

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