Cerrone comments on his UFC pay

June 19, 2016

In Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 89 post-fight press conference, Donald Cerrone sent a not-so-subtle jab about his pay.

In response to a question which listed his accolades, Cerrone stated, “According to my pay, I don’t mean sh*t to the UFC. But we’ll see. Maybe I’ll talk to [UFC president] Dana [White] after this and see if we can figure that out.” (via MMA Fighting).  Cerrone did make the statement with a smirk and laughed about it.  Of course, that does not mean he was kidding.

Cerrone stopped Patrick Cote in the third round of his fight last night which earned him a $50,000 bonus.

In February, Cerrone made $79K/$79K in addition to his $50K bonus, Reeebok payout and any other undisclosed bonuses.

Cerrone donned the Monster logo on his Reebok shorts and cowboy hat which likely means additional compensation added into his purse, win money, bonus and Reebok payout.

Prior to the Reebok deal, Cerrone commented that he would be losing out on $60,000 in outside sponsors.  He was fined late last year for violating the Reebok outfitting policy.  Cerrone has picked up a Monster deal.

Payout Perspective:

Cerrone is a UFC favorite for his willingness to take a fight at a moment’s notice.  Obviously, attaining fight bonuses means that his fighting style is appealing as well.  Should he be paid more?  Sure.  But how much more would the UFC be willing to pay is another question. If he’s in the middle of a contract, it would be hard to renegotiate at this point, but he could receive preferential paid opportunities outside of the Octagon.  As we noted, he has been outspoken about losing money from the Reebok deal and then was flagged for violating the terms of the policy.  Of course, maybe we are just overblowing the comments from a fighter that is always willing to find a payday.

McGregor makes Forbes’ annual “World’s Highest-Paid Athletes”

June 12, 2016

Forbes released its annual report on the World’s Highest-Paid Athletes from June 2015 to June 2016.  Conor McGregor is the first UFC fighter to make the top 100 list.

McGregor landed at number 85 on the list earning a total of $22 million.  His salary is reported at $q8 million while he made another $4 million in endorsements.

Soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo topped the list with total pay of $88 million.  There was $56 million in salary and $32 million in endorsements.

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. lost his top spot from the past couple years as with just one fight during the timeframe he earned $44 million for one night’s work this past September against Andre Berto.  Still, he was number 16 on the list.  Manny Pacquiao was number 63 as he earned $24 million for his May fight against Timothy Bradley, Jr.  Canelo Alvarez was 92nd with $21.5 million.  Canelo had 2 fights within the one year from June to June.

Payout Perspective:

McGregor had 3 fights from June 2015-June 2016 (Mendes, Aldo and Diaz).  This would average $6 million per fight.  The endorsement deals are interesting considering the UFC Outfitting Policy does not allow outside sponsors during fight week or event night.  McGregor has an individual Reebok deal and has worn a Monster patch during his fights.

UFC 199: Payout Perspective

June 5, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 199 taking place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.  The show featured two title defenses.

Bisping shocks the world

Michael Bisping waited a long time for his shot at the middleweight title and he did not disappoint.  Perhaps exposing a suspect chin, Bisping KO’d the champion Luke Rockhold in the first round.  Rockhold appeared to be overconfident in the lead up to this fight and admitted as much post-fight.  Bisping is a polarizing figure but you have to respect his journey to the title.  We could see a rematch of the two or maybe Jacare Souza, who congratulated The Count on the way out of the Octagon would be a good choice.

UFC 199

Dominator overwhelms Faber

It was a very entertaining promotion for the fight, but in the end, Dominick Cruz showed that he was much better than Urijah Faber.  The oft-injured bantamweight champion secured a unanimous decision.  Joe Rogan seemed to focus on whether or not Faber would retire after this fight.

Would people be willing to pay $60 for a “superfight” with Demetrious Johnson?

Bonuses

Bonuses went out to Bisping and Dan Henderson (coincidentally opponents at UFC 100) for their performances.  Polo Reyes and Dong Hyun Kim earned Fight of the Night.  All received $50,000.

Attendance and Gate

The UFC announced post-fight that The Forum was a sellout with 15,587 for a live gate of $2,168,675.

Sponsorships

The sponsors in the Octagon included Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Bud Light, MetroPCS, and the TNT upcoming drama, Animal Kingdom.  Food 4 Less, a Compton, California-based “no frills” grocery was a sponsor in the Octagon as it shared a post with Monster.  As with most UFC events, Monster Energy had the center of the Octagon.

Dominick Cruz sported a Monster patch on his Reebok black kit.  He also did an old school thank you to them post-match including holding a Monster can.

UFC Embedded appears to be the place to have your non-official UFC sponsors to be visible.  Luke Rockhold wore Adidas and Monster Milk during the vlogs.

Odds and Ends

Three big pieces of news not related to 199.  First, Brock Lesnar is back.  Despite how he left the company, he returns and the move should draw eyebrows as the WWE is allowing Lesnar to fight a month before the company’s second-biggest show of the year – Summerslam.

Second, Fedor Emelienenko will be on Fight Pass on an EFN card on June 17th.   Thus, the UFC will finally get Brock Lesnar-Fedor…just not together.

Finally, the rematch no one except Conor McGregor wants as Nate Diaz will face McGregor at UFC 202 in Vegas August 20th.  Interesting that the UFC is traveling less domestically.

There were 4 fights on UFC Fight Pass Prelims.  3 of the 4 fights were very good.

UFC Fight Pass introduced a promotion where fans can send in 1 minute videos to tell Dana White why they are the biggest UFC fan.  The winner will get to come to International Fight Week, meet Dana White and attend UFC Fight Night: Alvarez-RDA.

UFC allowed flags in lieu of sponsor banners in the Octagon.

Octagon ladies sport the Monster patch on their uniforms, do they get paid for doing so?

Watching Embedded, apparently the champions (Cruz and Rockhold) were given rental properties to stay in during fight week while the others stayed in a hotel.

The weigh-ins were different since newly instituted weigh-in rules with the California State Athletic Commission allowed fighters to weigh-in between a 10am-2pm window the day before the fight.  Thus, the televised weigh-ins we usually see did not include the official weigh-ins.

Did the finish of Hendo/Lombard look similar to Hendo/Bisping at UFC 100 with Hendo unloading on an already unconscious opponent?

Ariel Helwani and three others were escorted from the building during UFC 199.  Helwani tweeted that he had been banned by the UFC for life.  It was Helwani that broke the Brock Lesnar news on MMA Fighting.

The show concluded with a tribute to Muhammad Ali who passed away on Friday.

Conclusion

This was a very good show but it will likely be overshadowed by the news that Brock Lesnar is returning next month.  Google trends had 500,000 searches for UFC 199 on Saturday.  Notably, Brock Lesnar drew 100,000 searches on Saturday.  How many PPV buys will this card receive?  Without a proven PPV draw at the top of the card, yet a solid lineup for the PPV, the buy rate should be 350,000 to 400,000 PPV buys.

UFC 198: Payout Perspective

May 16, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 198 taking place from Curitiba, Brazil where Fabricio Werdum took on Stipe Miocic for the Heavyweight title.

Miocic crowned Heavyweight Champ

Despite the massive crowd in favor of Fabricio Werdum, Stipe Miocic knocked him out in the first round.  The KO stunned the massive crowd in Curtiba.  For Miocic, it was an emotional win and he showed it when he returned back home to Cleveland.  He also had a message for the city’s NBA team.

Cyborg does not disappoint in debut

The long-awaited debut of Cris “Cyborg” Justino did not disappoint the Brazilian fans as she overpowered Leslie Smith earning a TKO in the first round, just 1:21 in, despite a vehement protest from Smith.  Smith took to social media after the fight to vent her anger.

The obvious question was whether Cyborg could make weight, which she did.  Now, the next hurdle would be coming down another 5 pounds to challenge Miesha Tate for the bantamweight title.  Of course, maybe there’s a fight out there at the 140 pound catchweight that could happen (i.e., Ronda Rousey).

Attendance

It was a record crowd at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba Parana, Brazil as the announced attendance was over 45,000 (45,207 to be exact).  It made it the 3rd highest attendance in UFC history according to the announcement on the PPV telecast.  The tickets sold out in one day.  No gate was announced which seems to be the norm for Brazil shows.

Bonuses

The bonuses of $50,000 went to Miocic, Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, Francisco Trinaldo and Yancy Medeiros.  Trinaldo and Medeiros won for Fight of the Night which aired on the UFC Prelims on FS1 and Miocic and Souza earned performance bonuses.

Sponsors

Budweiser was in the center of the Octagon.  Notably Nissan had signage in the octagon.   Bud Light was also present in the Octagon along with Toyo Tires, EA UFC 2, Harley Davidson, MetroPCS, Fight Pass, and ads for UFC 199 and 200.

Budweiser sponsored the Embedded episodes and also had the fighter prep point.  Bud Light was a big sponsor throughout the broadcast.

No Monster Energy Drink on the broadcast.  This may be due in part that TNT Energy Drink had been a UFC sponsor in Brazil.  According to this UFC press release, the Monster exclusive deal with the UFC, excludes Brazil.

Odds and Ends

This was a big show but think how much bigger it could have been with Anderson Silva-Uriah Hall.

Fans were given Werdum “faces” which had the former champ’s trademark smirk.  He did it a couple times during the walk out.  Werdum seemed like he had the time of his life until the fight started.

A subtle post-fight gesture for new champs is that they are given the champion’s “black” Reebok shirt.  Miesha Tate was given it after defeating Holly Holm.  Miocic was handed the shirt after his post-fight interview.

Matt Brown probably should never fight in Brazil again.  He gave the Brazilian fans the Stone Cold Steve Austin treatment at weigh-ins.  Although FS1 did not show it, there was footage of random fans taking shots at Brown on his walkout to the Octagon against Damian Maia.

Brown was submitted by Maia.  The next day, his ex-coach takes a swing at him.  Fortunately, authorities got a hold (literally) on the guy.

I know that there are practical reasons for this, but does anyone find it odd that Benson Henderson was once again wearing a UFC uniform in the corner of training partner, Bryan Barberena.

It looks like Jon Jones is really feeling it.

Big Nog was announced as the first UFC fighter to go into the company’s Hall of Fame this summer.  Little Nog had a KO of Patrick Cummins as the featured fight on the early UFC Prelims on Fight Pass.

There were 500,000 google searches for UFC 198 on Saturday.

Conclusion

UFC 198 was a very entertaining card with some good finishes.  But, did the Werdum-Miocic appeal to the casual viewers?  Probably not.  This was a card which was focused on Brazil.  The attendance looked very good and the crowds (including at the weigh-ins) were great.  However, the PPV buys for this event will likely come in around 325,000 buys.

Belfort compares Reebok deal to slavery

May 9, 2016

UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort compared the Reebok deal to slavery according to an interview he did with Sports TV Brazil.

Translated by Bloody Elbow:

“MMA is a lot closer to entertainment than sport these days. I’m not satisfied with the way the company is handling sponsorship. We are pretty much living in slavery. We can’t use our own sponsors, they are banned inside the Octagon. We have no properties… I hope I can leave a legacy which fighters can use to raise awareness about a minimum wage pay. It’s a contact sport. I don’t think it’s fair for someone to earn 500 dollars to be elbowed in the face. There has to be a retirement plan, which does not exist now. That’s something for the next generation. They need to save their money and invest. They need to know the athlete life will end.”

Payout Perspective:

Salacious comments from Belfort but the remark is support to evoke some emotion from the reader.  Last year, Belfort’s wife and manager indicated that he has lost millions due to the deal.  The sports agency 9ine, founded by Ronaldo, cut ties with the UFC due to Reebok.  The agency had ties with Belfort and Anderson Silva.  Based on his comments, it’s clear that Belfort was one greatly affected by the deal due to the amount of money he could earn from sponsors.  Since that is no longer happening, he is one of the contracted fighters speaking out.

UFC 197: Payout Perspective

April 29, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  Better later than never, we write about UFC 197 taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena with the return of Jon Jones.

Jones takes care of OSP

Jon Jones returned to the UFC octagon to handily defeat Ovince St. Preux via unanimous decision.  OSP was a late replacement for Daniel Cormier and did his best, but it was clear that he was in there against a far superior opponent.  OSP’s cardio was not ready for a 5 round fight and he wasn’t able to do much against Jones.  It seems unfair to criticize OSP since he stepped up on late notice.  But, he was given a chance and was unable to capitalize.

For Jones, it was a good fight to get back into fighting.  It was his first fight since January 2015.  Next is a showdown with Daniel Cormier as the main event for UFC 200.

UFC 197

Mighty Mouse is still good

Say what you will about Demetrious Johnson, there were two fighters on the card that you may argue are the best for pound in the world.  Only one looked like it.  Johnson dispatched of former Olympian Henry Cejudo in round one of the defense of his Flyweight title.

There is no one left in the Flyweight division for Johnson.  Perhaps a rematch against Dominick Cruz would be the most compelling fight to help Johnson draw an audience he deserves.

Attendance and Gate

The event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena drew 11,352 fans for a gate of $2.3 million as announced at the post-fight press conference.

Bonuses

Also announced the presser, the $50,000 bonuses went to Demetrious Johnson, Yair Rodriguez, Danny Roberts and Dominique Steele.

Ratings

UFC 197 Weigh-Ins on FS1: 184,000

UFC Pre-Fight Show on FS1: 218,000 viewers

UFC 197 Prelims on FS1: 835,000 viewers

UFC Post-Fight Show on FS1: 279,000 viewers

UFC 197 Payouts

Jon Jones led the roster making $500,000 (with no win bonus) followed by Demetrioius Johnson ($195,000).

The rest of the payouts are here.  The payouts do not include the Reebok sponsor pay.

Promotion of the Fight

Jon Jones almost did not make this fight as he was cited once again for a traffic infraction.  This time, it caused him to violate parole and spend a couple days in prison.  Ironically, Daniel Cormier pulled out of the fight soon after Jones’ legal troubles.  Instead of a Jones-Anthony Johnson showdown, the pick was Ovince St. Preux.

Henry Cejudo made pro-UFC comments about Conor McGregor.  He then clarified the comments which seemed a little more confusing.  The fact that he was the guy that said he would not fight in Nevada so long as Nick Diaz was suspended makes his comments this week uneven.  Granted, he’s entitled to his opinion and just because he’s supported Diaz does not mean he has to support Conor.

The Embedded episodes focused on the return of Jon Jones, OSP, Mighty Mouse and Cejudo.  It also included the Pettis brothers training at the same time as Jones in preparation for the fight.

Sponsorships

Reebok, Harley Davidson, EA UFC 2, Toyo Tires, MetroPCS, Monster Energy Drink, Bud Light, mobile app game Mobile Strike were in octagon sponsors with Monster taking the center.

Jon Jones had a Monster sponsorship patch in addition to his Reebok gear.  He also held a Monster can after the fight in an old school way of promoting the drink.

Some notables: Jon Jones wore his sponsor, nutrition products company, GAT during an open UFC workout and it was captured on Embedded.

Luke Rockhold was seen in the crowd at UFC 197 sporting an Adidas hat.  Prior to the Reebok deal, Rockhold had a deal with Adidas.  Of course, since the two companies are linked, there was likely no problem with Rockhold wearing the hat.

Odds and Ends

Was it odd or great promotion that Daniel Cormier served as the color commentator for the Jones-OSP fight?

Was it me, or did it seem like OSP did not believe he was going to win this fight?

Demetrious Johnson is on Twitch.  One would think that he could connect his video game interest with MMA fans for more popularity.

Former UFC lightweight champion, and the only UFC fighter to grace the cover a Wheaties box, Anthony Pettis has lost his last 3 fights.

Cody East, the fighter found by Dana White, was stopped by Walt Harris in round 1 on the Early Prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Even without Conor McGregor appearing at this event, it seemed like the biggest news was his “retirement” and then the UFC taking him off of 200.

Conclusion

There were only 50,000 google searches for UFC 197 nationwide the Friday before the event.  This does not bode well if we are to assume the searches relate to interest and the interest relates to PPV buys.  Jon Jones is not a standalone PPV star like Conor McGregor or Ronda Rousey.  OSP is not someone anyone knew.  Moreover, Mighty Mouse is not a PPV draw.  This event likely ends up with 350,000 PPV buys as many had predicted.

Reebok to revamp fight kits for UFC

April 25, 2016

The Sports Business Journal reports that Reebok will unveil new UFC apparel starting at UFC 200 this July.  Fighters were made aware of the tweaks earlier this month at the UFC Fighter Summit.

Fighters were able to give feedback on the new apparel to people within Reebok’s new combat sports division at the Summit

The Reebok kits were unveiled last July to mixed reviews and were subject to wide criticism.  According to the SBJ article, the new apparel includes a jersey that includes more of the UFC logo across the chest, color to the shorts and grants the fighters more color choices.  A total overhaul is scheduled for 2017.

Payout Perspective:

The article is free to non-subscribers I believe and I think it is an interesting read.  It quotes managers John Fosco and Malki Kawa about the deal and what it means for fighters.  Fosco likes the deal while Kawa does wish there was a way “to compensate the fighters a little bit better…”  The obvious omission from the article I believe was any word whether pay structures would be tweaked as well.  It does not appear so.  While the Reebok brand is changing its kits to appease athlete feedback, it does not address the financial payouts.  The new revamped unis are a positive for Reebok and the UFC as one might consider this may help with retail.  But, the bottom line of compensating fighters still seems to remain status quo.

Reebok secures deal with TriStar Gym

March 13, 2016

TriStar Gym has signed a deal with Reebok according to MMA Fighting.  The gym made famous by the likes of Georges St. Pierre will now have its fighters sponsored by the official brand of the UFC.

Based out of Montreal, Quebec, TriStar becomes the second gym to be sponsored by Reebok.  Late last year, Reebok signed a deal with Ireland’s SBG Gym – the home gym of Conor McGregor.

The deal expands Reebok’s Combat Training division as it appears that the clothier will now be worn by fighters training from TriStar.

Financial terms of the deal were not mentioned.

Payout Perspective:

An interesting move by Reebok to target gyms with its brand.  This likely means that we should see more of the Reebok brand in other MMA organizations.  It also shows that Reebok is committed to its alignment with MMA.

UFC 196: Payout Perspective

March 7, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 196 which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  In the main event, Conor McGregor took on Nate Diaz.

Diaz chokes out McGregor

Despite being a late replacement, Nate Diaz used his length and superior jiu jitsu skills to end the mystique of Conor McGregor with a second round tap out of the featherweight champion.  The fight was back and forth in the first round with McGregor making the best of the exchanges.  However, Diaz’s boxing skills took over in round 2 as he touched up McGregor who seemed to gas out.  This became apparent once McGregor attempted to take Diaz down.  Once it was to the ground, Diaz secured a rear-naked choke and McGregor tapped quickly.

It was very interesting how some in the media spun the loss to applaud McGregor into doing something most would never try.  ESPN’s Chael Sonnen stated that McGregor’s star was brighter after the loss.  It’s clear that the UFC does not want to lose the luster of a fighter that earned them two straight attendance and gate records in 2015 and has helped resurrect its PPV business.  McGregor still can be a dominant fighter in the lower weight classes.  But, any dreams of winning titles in 3 or 4 divisions is over.

For Diaz, his career should take off.  He should receive a “money fight” next with either a top welterweight or maybe even a title shot at 155.

Tate chokes out Holm for title

According to the scorecards going into Round 5, Holly Holm led Miesha Tate 38-37 after winning 3 rounds but losing Round 2, 10-8 on all of the scorecards.  Tate knew that she had to win Round 5 and try to submit Holm.  She secured a takedown and was able to get Holm’s back and sink in the rear-naked choke.  Holm attempted to fight it off but eventually went unconscious to the choke.

The loss showed Holm’s inability to defend a rear-naked choke.  The deficiency in her jiu jitsu should be worked on before Holm returns to the octagon.  Based on how great this fight was, I do not think anyone would be mad if we saw this fight at UFC 200.

For Tate, you have to be happy for her.  She was contemplating retirement and was likely never going to get a shot at the bantamweight title so long as Ronda Rousey was the champion.  Due to Holm’s upset in November, it opened the door and Tate walked right through it.  Of course, Ronda Rousey is likely waiting for her this fall if she survives her first title defense.

Attendance and Gate

UFC 196 drew 14,697 for a gate of $8.1 million according to the post-fight press conference.  Another impressive outing in Vegas with McGregor as the headliner.  It was the least attended of the three but was a higher rate than UFC 189’s $7.2 million.

Bonuses

The bonuses went to McGregor, Diaz (x2) and Tate.  Each earned an additional $50,000 per bonus which means Diaz drew $100,000 for Fight of the Night and Performance Bonus of the Night.

Unfortunately, the performances of Teruto Ishihara and Vitor Miranda did not get them extra money.

Salaries

Conor McGregor became the first UFC fighter to make a reported $1 million.  Despite the fact that he stated in a CNBC interview he would make over 10 times that amount, it is mere speculation.  In addition, Holly Holm and Nate Diaz both earned $500,000.  Diaz made an additional $100,000 for his double bonus.  Miesha Tate was the only one of the four to make less than $100,000 without a bonus ($46K/$46K).  Of course, with Tate’s Performance bonus she made $150,000.

Diego Sanchez was the only other fighter to make more than $100,000 at UFC 196.  The rest of the payouts can be found here.

Promotion of the Fight

For a show that had its main event fall out within two weeks before, the UFC did an excellent job in putting together a compelling fight.  The press conference between McGregor and Diaz at the UFC Gym in Torrance was great as over 20K tuned into YouTube to watch it live.  Now, over 2.9M have viewed the pre-fight presser.  I’m sure not as many saw his brother and GSP in the infamous “wolf tickets” presser but it was as entertaining, if not more entertaining.

The Embedded episodes, sponsored by the new UFC video game, featured McGregor and also caught up with Diaz.  It also followed Holm and Tate.

On the Jim Rome Show, Dana White promoted the fight and stated he did not like the Holm-Tate fight for the specific result that occurred.  Holm-Rousey II was the fight the UFC wanted.  If that happens, there will not be as much build for it since both will have a loss.

Conor McGregor appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  Obviously, the jinx was in effect.  Fanatics (a company McGregor has a sponsorship deal with) and UFC.com.

CNBC did an interview with McGregor and Diaz in which Diaz walked off.  Frankly I would have too.  It attempted to be cute and informative but ended up just being condescending and stupid.

Sponsors

MetroPCS, 7-11, Monster Energy Drink, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, the movie Hardcore Harry, Bud Light.  Monster had the center of the Octagon.

McGregor wore a Monster Energy Drink patch on his Reebok shorts.

The fight clock and prep point were sponsored by EA UFC 2.

Notably, Harley Davidson renewed its sponsorship agreement with the UFC as they announced it at the beginning of fight week.  One of the unique parts of the new deal was viewing parties at Harley Davidson dealerships across the country.  During the FS1 prelims, it showed a live viewing party at a Harley Davidson dealership in San Diego.  UFC fighter Ricardo Lamas made an appearance at the viewing party.

Odds and ends

The weigh-ins revealed a new camera view on the scale which is a “go-pro” look at the fighter on the scale.  Maybe it is to get the anxious look on a fighter’s face looking to make weight.

Speaking of “go-pro” cameras, the cutmen wore them as they were also sponsored.  The question should be whether the cutmen get a “cut” of the sponsorship money.  Remember Stitch.

5 million google searches for UFC 196 on Saturday night.  On Friday, there were 100,000 searches and Nate Diaz had another 100,000 for Diaz on Thursday.

On a night that Tate wins the title, Ronda Rousey garnered 100,000 google searches.

UFC Fight Pass offered 20% off to fans wanted to purchase the PPV on its digital platform.  This may be a test for the future as the company would receive a greater part of the gross revenue from PPV purchase.  Even with a discount, the UFC probably cleared more than sharing with a PPV distributor.

Fight Pass offer

Tom Lawlor wore a fake McGregor tattoo at weigh-ins.

Since I’m from Seattle, this is great.  I understand most of the rest of the world it probably means Tate is trying to be a heel.

NAnyone else notice McGregor steal a lyric from Jay-Z at the end of the first Embedded, “I’m not a business man…I’m a business…man.”

It did not go unnoticed that Royce Gracie (who just fought in Bellator) made an appearance on Embedded as he met McGregor.

Speaking of the Embedded series, will McGregor command a full rental mansion in Vegas when he returns for UFC 200 or will he have more of a scaled back Penthouse suite?

Not sure EA intended for its cover to have two fighters coming off of losses when the video game debuts.

Conclusion

The UFC gambled with both McGregor and Holm. While this may be a short-term gain for the company, it could be a long-term worry. The substitution of Nate Diaz proved to be the right replacement but the wrong result. With Tate winning the belt, it means a possible Rousey-Tate III. But it also negates a Holm-Rousey II which could have proved to be big business if Holm remained undefeated until Rousey returned. But for UFC 196, the amount of press and buzz for this event makes me think we see another McGregor fight drawing close to 1 million PPV buys. With the loss, can he continue to draw these numbers past. We will see.

Cerrone tops UFC FN 83 Reebok payouts

February 22, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the pay from the UFC-Reebok Athlete Outfitting policy.  With his 30th fight for the company, Donald Cerrone led the Fight Night roster with $20,000, the most of any fighter Sunday night.

Via MMA Junkie:

Donald Cerrone: $20,000
def. Alex Oliveira: $2,500

Derek Brunson: $10,000
def. Roan Carneiro: $5,000

Dennis Bermudez: $10,000
def. Tatsuya Kawajiri: $5,000

Cody Garbrandt: $2,500
def. Augusto Mendes: $2,500

Chris Camozzi: $10,000
def. Joe Riggs: $10,000

James Krause: $5,000
def. Shane Campbell: $2,500

Sean Strickland: $2,500
def. Alex Garcia: $2,500

Oluwale Bamgbose: $2,500
def. Daniel Sarafian: $5,000

Anthony Smith: $5,000
def. Leonardo Augusto Leleco: $2,500

Nathan Coy: $2,500
def. Jonavin Webb: $2,500

Ashlee Evans-Smith: $2,500
def. Marion Reneau: $2,500

Lauren Murphy: $2,500
def. Kelly Faszholz: $2,500

Shamil Abdurakhimov: $2,500
def. Anthony Hamilton: $2,500

The total payout for UFC Fight Night 83 was $125,000.  This was the lowest payout for 2016.  Thus far, the Athlete Outfitting Program has paid out $810,000.  In 2015, it paid out $3,180,000 for an overall total of $3,990,000.

Payout Perspective:

Based on a look at the Fight Night roster, most of the fighters have 5 fights or less for the company.  This makes some sense since Fight Night events are geared more to the younger, less-experienced fighters on the UFC roster.  Cerrone, of course, is a savvy veteran with a ton of fights under his belt.  Unfortunately for him, with the exception of a title challenge or winning a title, he has topped out for Reebok payouts.

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