Faber tops UFC Sacramento payouts

July 15, 2019

MMA Payout has obtained the salaries from this Saturday’s UFC event in Sacramento. The salaries for the event totaled $804,000.

 

Via California State Athletic Commission:

Benito Lopez $12,000/$12,000 = $24,000

Vince Morales $14,000

 

Livia Souza $12,000

Briana Van Buren $12,000/$12,000

 

Liu Pingyuan $14,000

Jonathan Martinez $14,000/$14,000 = $28,000

 

Darren Elkins $62,000

Ryan Hall $35,000/$35,000 = $70,000

 

Julianna Pena $40,000/$40,000

Nicco Montana $30,000

 

Andre Fili $40,000/$40,000

Sheymon da Silva Moraes $21,000

 

Michael Rodriguez $20,000

John Allen $12,000/$12,000 = $24,000

 

Marvin Vettori $20,000/$20,000 = $40,000

Cezar Ferreira $45,000

 

Karl Roberson $25,000/$25,000 = $50,000

Wellington Turman $12,000

 

Josh Emmert  $49,000/$49,000 = $98,000

Mirsad Bektic $38,000

 

Urijah Faber  $170,000/$170,000 = $340,000

Ricky Simon  $23,000

 

Germain de Randamie  $45,000/$45,0000 = $90,000

Aspen Ladd $35,000

Payout Perspective: 

A big payday for the returning “California Kid” with $340,000 plus his $50K fight bonus for his KO of Ricky Simon in the first round.  It does appear that the UFC has raised its minimum pay scale to $12,000 and $12,000 up from $10,000 and $10,000.

PFL 4 Prelims on ESPN2 draw 227,000 viewers

July 15, 2019

The Professional Fighters League Prelims airing on ESPN2 on Thursday drew 227,000 viewers per Nielsen according to ShowBuzz Daily.

The event drew 0.08 in the A18-49 demo for its 2 hours on the network.  The main card, originating from Atlantic City, aired on ESPN+.

The prelims featured Glaico Franco as he defeated Sadibou Sy via TKO.  Unfortunately for Sy, the network did a big feature on Sy’s friendship with LA Rams running back Todd Gurley.

PFL 1: 137,000

PFL2:  120,000

PFL 3:  113,000

PFL 4:  227,000

Payout Perspective:

The event on the digital platform featured Kayla Harrison as she defeated Morgan Frier.  The eventual showdown with Sarah Kaufman seems inevitable.  Also, Magomed Magomedkerimov advanced in the weltereweight tournament via unanimous decision.  The viewership has gone up tremendously from the prior 3 PFL shows as you can see which seems like a good sign.

UFC on ESPN + 13 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 13, 2019

UFC on ESPN + 13 took place Saturday night in Sacramento, California.  The event drew 10,306 fans for a gate of $938,734.17 according to the company post-event.

The event took place at Golden1Center in Sacramento and featured local favorite Aspen Ladd taking on Germaine de Randamie in a battle of bantamweights.  Also, it featured the returning of Urijah Faber as he had his own bantamweight matchup against Ricky Simon.

Faber’s KO of Ricky Simon earned him a Performance Bonus.  Faber’s first round stoppage of Simon was the quickest KO of his career.  Also receiving bonuses were Josh Emmet with a first round stoppage over Mirsad Bektick, Jonathan Martinez with a 3rd round KO of Pingyuan Liu.  Andre Fili grabbed the final Performance Bonus with a stoppage of Sheymon Moraes.

Payout Perspective:

Interesting to note that all of the bonuses were stoppages and no Fight of the Night was awarded.  The event did well as the return of Faber and Ladd in the feature sold tickets as they were local favorites.

Zuffa responds to Plaintiffs’ Objections to its summary of exhibits in Antitrust lawsuit

July 12, 2019

Zuffa has responded to Plaintiffs’ Objections to its Exhibit List in the ongoing Antitrust Lawsuit. They argue in support of utilizing summary exhibits and call plaintiffs’ objections ‘baseless.’

Per order of the Court, the sides exchanged exhibit lists which will be used at the Expert hearings in late August and mid-September.

Defendant’s Oppo to Pla… by on Scribd


“Plaintiffs’ objection, regardless of scope, is wrong,” writes Zuffa with respect to the objections plaintiffs lodged. “Dr. Singer’s data is sprawling and the disputed summary exhibits simplify and highlight key parts of the data that will be relevant and helpful to the Court in conducting the “rigorous analysis” required in deciding whether to certify a class.”

Plaintiffs objected to 22 documents in Zuffa’s exhibit list.  This included, according to plaintiffs, 8 entirely new “Summary Exhibits”  and 14 exhibits Zuffa previously submitted in support of its briefs.  “Nearly all identify [Plaintiffs’ economic expert] Dr. [Hal] Singer’s “backup materials” as their sole purported source.”  According to Plaintiffs, this is outside the scope of the record created by Zuffa’s economists during expert discovery.  Plaintiffs claims that the information submitted by Zuffa is new and therefore past the cutoff to submit expert information.  Moreover, this does not give Plaintiffs time to examine, analyze and rebut this information in a proper time.

Zuffa notes that the materials from Dr. Singer’s expert report(s) are voluminous and its summary are accurate and “cannot be conveniently examined in Court.”  They give an example of the Regression Data containing “9,477 observations with 544 variables for which data may be listed for over a total of over 5.1 million fields of information.”  Secondly, they note that the underlying information that is summarized is admissible in evidence and no one has objected to the underlying information.  Finally, Zuffa notes that Plaintiffs will have the opportunity to examine each disputed summary exhibit.

In addition to citing case law which supports its position that the summary of the exhibits are admissible into evidence, they stress that the exhibits are not new expert testimony.  Rather, they are a summary of what has already been provided.

Finally, Plaintiffs had taken issue with a supplemental report by Zuffa’s economic expert, Professor Topel which was submitted after the expert report deadline last year.  Zuffa argues that the supplemental report was “factual updates relevant” to Prof. Topel’s reports regarding events that occurred after his filed reports.

Payout Perspective:

Zuffa indicates that even if the Court believes there is merit to Plaintiffs’ objections, they would like to have the opportunity to “lay the proper foundation” at the time in Court.  This would be a legal method of establishing the merits of the document, its accuracy and reliability prior to using it in Court.  This fight is more legal than substantive and in most cases even if information submitted by experts is “new,” they will allow the evidence in allowing Plaintiffs time to examine in order to rebut information.  At this point, there is a balancing test of allowing all the expert information into evidence within reason so that a proper decision may be made.  Parties take advantage of this by submitting information considered “new” or not previously submitted skirting prior deadlines.  There is merit to some of these arguments as sides like to “surprise” the other.  It’s the Court’s duty to mitigate the strategy of surprise.  Of course, there are no-nonsense courts that can exclude any information that has a sniff of being new and done as gamesmanship.  Here, it appears that Zuffa’s summaries do not include anything substantially new.  Even if so, its hard to fathom the Court preclude it and would allow deference for Plaintiffs time to rebut if necessary.

ONE CEO & Founder talks U.S. expansion and how it will be different from UFC in SBJ interview

July 12, 2019

In an interview with the Sports Business Journal, ONE Championship’s Chatri Sityodtong talked about the company’s inroads into the United States.

The company’s Founder and CEO described ONE as the power in the Eastern hemisphere and the UFC as the power in the Western hemisphere to comprise of a global duopoly in the field of MMA.  However, he distinguishes his product as more than just MMA as it also includes boxing, kickboxing and other forms of martial arts.

ONE Championship believes it can differentiate itself from other MMA promotions by focusing more on the spirit of martial arts rather than the violence and controversy.  Notably, Sityodtong stated that even if Conor McGregor were a free agent, he would not sign him.

With the company opening satellite offices in New York and Los Angeles, the speculation is that a stateside card will occur sooner than later.  Sityodtong stated that they are searching for a U.S. president to head ONE Championship operations.  As far as an event in the U.S. the company is taking “baby steps” per Sityodtong.

Payout Perspective:

We may have to wait a while to see how the ONE expansion has done in the U.S.  Certainly, doing a slow roll-out may be prudent considering the competition in the market and gaging what will work with U.S. audiences.  It’s clear with the money they are investing into the U.S., the plan will be to market something as an alternative to the UFC.  Will it work with the U.S. audiences and will it appeal to a particular demo.  Time will tell.

Bellator announces Ryan Bader’s first HW title defense

July 11, 2019

Bellator announced that Ryan Bader will defend his heavyweight title against Cheick Kongo when the promotion returns to San Jose’s SAP Center on September 7th.  The event will be a DAZN exclusive event streamed through the digital platform.

Bader is also the light heavyweight champion.  His defense against the French-born Kongo will be his first heavyweight title defense.

The promotion also announced that the event will have the start of its 16-man Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix.

Payout Perspective:

 If you already had September 7th on your MMA calendar, that’s because it’s the same day as UFC 242 which will feature the return of Khabib Nurmagomedov against Dustin Poirier in Abu Dhabi.  There has not been a confirmed time for the event considering the difference in time.  But, if it were to go against Bellator in its regular time slot there might be some conflict for fans.  Bader’s return and rise in Bellator should be highlighted as become a dominant force in the promotion.  Facing another ex-UFC fighter, Kongo, presents a tough first defense in the heavyweight division.

UFC 239 prelims on ESPN draw over 1 million viewers

July 10, 2019

The UFC 239 Prelims on ESPN Saturday was the #1 rated cable show for the day earning 1.145 million viewers.  The event was the highest rated in the A18-49 demon with a 0.44 share and 572,00 viewers.

The feature event saw Arnold Adams defeat Gilbert Melendez via unanimous decision.

2019 UFC Prelims on ESPN

UFC 234: 1.139M

UFC 235: 1.480M

UFC 236: 893,000

UFC 237: 813,000

UFC 238: 964,000

UFC 239: 1.145M

UFC 239 took place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The event featured two successful title defenses.  One by Jon Jones and the other by Amanda Nunes.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings reflect the popularity of Jon Jones even if he wasn’t on the Prelims broadcast.  From all evidence, it is looking like this event was one of the biggest since the promotion moved to ESPN.  The last time ESPN drew over 1 million viewers was for another Jon Jones headlining card back in March.

UFC 239 Payout Perspective

July 10, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 239, the annual promotion event held in Las Vegas.

Jones holds off Santos

It was closer than most believed but Jon Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight title over Thiago Santos.  Unlike previous challengers, Santos went after Jones’ legs with kicks but seemed to have tweaked his own knee in the second round.  This may have been the change in the fight as Jones was able to take advantage of Santos’ injury.  Yet, the Brazilian still attempted kicks and attacks but with his knee compromised, his mobility slowed enough for Jones to score on Santos.

With the win, Jones has to wait for another light heavyweight to emerge on the scene to challenge for his title.  But right now, he seems willing to take on the winner of the Cormier-Miocic fight with the possibility of a trilogy with DC a potential money-making fight.  It was later discovered that Santos’ Ls (MCL, PCL and ACL as well as his meniscus) were injured leaving him out for the rest of the year and maybe longer.

Despite the split decision Jones and Dana White scoffed at a rematch.  While this was the initial thought, I would have to think that if Santos is able to recover and scores a win or two after his return he may be able to garner another shot at the title if Jones is still the champion.

Nunes KO’s Holm

Amanda Nunes flexed her muscle and showed that she could finish in different ways.  This time, she used a headkick to stop Holm in the first round of their title fight.  Her slugfest which she came up on top on Cristiane Cyborg may be Nunes’ next fight although contract talks with Cyborg seem strained.  With her win against Holm, Nunes has established herself as the best in the sport of women’s MMA and you might even stretch that to the sport as a whole.  Her dominance against opponents is clear and there does not seem to be many that could hang with her.

Masvidal knees Askren for UFC record

It only took 5 seconds for Jorge Masvidal to take out Ben Askren with a well-timed knee to the side of the wrestler’s head.  Masvidal’s KO earned him the record for fastest stoppage in UFC history.  There was bad blood between the two in leadup to the fight which spurred the showboating by Masvidal afterward.  Masvidal gave a post-fight explanation for the extra punches he landed on Askren after he was unconscious.

For his part, Askren was humble and professional after the event and did not give any excuses about what happened.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

Perhaps the return of Jon Jones spurred the uptick of attendance from last year.  UFC 239 drew 18,358 for a gate of over $6 million.  Notably, last year’s July event drew 7,464 for a gate of $5,677,238.

The bonuses for the night went to Nunes, Masvidal, Jan Blachowicz and Song Yadong.  Blachowicz silenced Luke Rockhold with a solid fist to the jaw and earned him a bonus as well.  Yadong drew the only bonus awarded on the undercard with his KO of Alejandro Perez.

Payouts

Amanda Nunes and Jon Jones defended their titles and received the Champions purses.  With her $50K bonus, Nunes topped Jones overall with $300,000 to show another $200,000 for her defeat of Holly Holm to earn a total of $550,000.  Jones earned a $500,000 flat fee.

The rest of the payouts can be found here.

The Reebok Promotional Guidelines can be found here via MMA Junkie.

Ratings

The UFC Prelims scored 1.145M viewers on ESPN which was the best since Jon Jones’ last fight at UFC 235 in March.  It ranked #1 in cable viewership for Saturday night.

Sponsorships

The San Manuel Casino In Southern California was the most notable sponsor for this event as it was on the mat and a part of sponsor reads during the event.  I have reached at to them about whether this was a one off or something more and they have yet to respond.  In addition, The Rock’s new movie, Hobbs and Shaw, was prominently featured on the mat and a requisite clip to promote its release was also shown during the PPV.

Additionally, the sponsors in the cage included PariMatch, Devour, Toyo Tires, Hospital for Special Surgery, Buffalo Wild Wings, Body Armor, P3, PokerStars, Modelo, Nemiroff AM/PM, Motel 6 and Monster Energy in the center.

Modelo had the tale of the tape for the main event.  The last three fights were given sponsors for each.

Also, of note, Devour and Monster were featured on some fighters’ Reebok kits.  Jorge Masvidal held a Monster Energy can in the Octagon after his devastating KO of Ben Askren.  He also had Devour on his Reebok kit.  Jones whose had a Monster Energy sponsorship, sported the patch again tonight.

Modelo sponsored a video on Jorge Masvidal and his “Fighting Spirit” which was online via UFC.com.  The phrase “Fighting Spirit” was repeated again and again and there was

The Embedded series was sponsored by Motel 6.

Odds and ends

Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmogomedov almost got into a scuffle as Diaz passed the lightweight champion while getting to his seat.

ESPN + ran a special for those non-plus subscribers ordering the PPV.

Google trends had over 2 million searches for UFC 239 on Saturday night.  There were over 500,000 for “Ben Askren” which is solely due to his quick KO.

It was interesting that the ceremonial weigh-ins gave a backstory lead-up to Masvidal-Askren although it was not considered one of the two main events for the evening.

Darren Rovell stated that Amanda Nunes is not as marketable as Ronda Rousey or Paige Van Zant.  One might infer that the reason Nunes is not marketable is because she is not the blonde hair, blue-eye traditional women that you can market based on looks and attraction.  In fact, Nunes is the opposite since she is Brazilian, English is not her native language and she is openly gay.  These factors could be leveraged to her benefit.  But they are not.  Hopefully, the UFC can rectify this through its partnership with ESPN (in fact, Nunes will be featured in ESPN’s annual nude issue) But, for as forward-thinking that the UFC is with its early adaption to trends and technology, it knows its base.  And those fans don’t believe that Nunes could be perceived as the face of MMA or women’s MMA.  Whether or not the UFC is doing as much as it can to push Nunes and if Nunes wants the push (as the UFC wants her marked) has not been revealed. But one would hope that Nunes receives all the accolades that she should the greatest women’s champion in the history of the sport.


Conclusion

While we will not receive official tallies of buys for this event, all indications is that it did well.  Certainly, Jon Jones can be attributed to the success of this PPV as his continued reign in the UFC is making him the face of the company.  Without Conor McGregor, there is not another fighter out there that can draw like Jones.  If we were to give out a buy prediction, I’d think that this drew a buy rate between 400-450K buys.

USADA issues 2 year ban for UFC light heavyweight

July 9, 2019

Former UFC light heavyweight Ivan Shtyrkov has accepted a two-year suspension from USADA for violation of the UFC anti-doping rules.  The Russian stated on social media that he tested positive for a banned substance and this was confirmed by USADA on Tuesday.

Despite accepting the suspension, Shtyrkov has signed with Rizin FF.

Shtyrkov accepted a fight against Devin Clark at UFC on ESPN +7 this past March but that fight was scrapped after USADA notified the UFC that two out-of-competition urine samples had returned an “atypical” result.  The samples contained the banned steroid boldenone and its metabolite 5β-androst-1-en-17β-ol-3-one.  Boldenone is a veterinarian drug used on horses but has been used by professional athletes.  Notably, Stephan Bonnar and Josh Barnett had tested positive for the banned substance.

Boldenone is a non-Specified Substance in the class of Anabolic Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List.

Shtyrkov is undefeated with 16 wins and one draw.  It was initially announced that he was “sick” and hospitalized as a reason from pulling out of his fight with Devin Clark.   Shtyrkov’s manager indicated that a USADA test came back with an abnormal reading and not a positive test for PEDs.

Payout Perspective: 

 Here’s a case where you can argue that the USADA tests were not conclusive for the banned substance.  Yet, evidence was clear enough to pull him from his UFC debut and we are brought back to the argument about how long a substance can remain in one’s system.  We’ve seen this with Jon Jones and this may have been another case.  Despite the ban, Shtyrkov has decided to continue his career with Rizin.

Champs Jones and Nunes top UFC 239 salaries

July 7, 2019

The Nevada Athletic Commission disclosed the salaries for Saturday’s UFC 239.  Jon Jones earned the most guaranteed of the night but Amanda Nunes ended up topping the roster.

With her win bonus and Performance bonus, Nunes drew $550,000.  Jones earned $500,000 with no win bonus and challenger, Thiago Santos, earned $350,000.

As compiled by MMA Junkie:

  • Champ Jon Jones ($500,000; no win bonus) vs. Thiago Santos ($350,000; no win bonus)
  • Champ Amanda Nunes ($300,000; $200,000 win bonus) vs. Holly Holm ($300,000; no win bonus)
  • Ben Askren($210,000; $160,000 win bonus) vs. Jorge Masvidal ($100,000; $100,000 win bonus)
  • Jan Blachowicz($46,000; $46,000 win bonus) vs. Luke Rockhold ($200,000; $150,000 win bonus)
  • Michael Chiesa($52,000; $52,000 win bonus) vs. Diego Sanchez ($103,000; $103,000 win bonus)
  • Arnold Allen($32,000; $32,000 win bonus) vs. Gilbert Melendez ($200,000; no win bonus)
  • Nohelin Hernandez($12,000; $12,000 win bonus) vs. Marlon Vera ($48,000; $48,000 win bonus)
  • Claudia Gadelha($51,000; $51,000 win bonus) vs. Randa Markos ($30,000; $30,000 win bonus)
  • Alejandro Perez($42,000; $42,000 win bonus) vs. Song Yadong ($45,000; $45,000 win bonus)
  • Jack Marshman($30,000; $30,000 win bonus) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan ($16,000; $16,000 win bonus)
  • Ismail Naurdiev($14,000; $14,000 win bonus) vs. Chance Rencountre ($14,000; $14,000 win bonus)
  • Julia Avila($10,000; $10,000 win bonus) vs. Pannie Kianzad($12,000; $12,000 win bonus)

Payout Perspective:

Interesting to note that Melendez earning $200,000 as well as Rockhold.  Due to his tenure with the UFC, Diego Sanchez drew $103,000 with the opportunity to have had doubled the amount.

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