UFC 164: Payout Perspective

September 2, 2013

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we go to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take a look at UFC 164 where the lightweight title changed hands.

Stain remains for Bendo as Showtime subs Henderson

In a sudden, decisive and anti-climactic way, Benson Henderson’s title reign ended Saturday as Anthony Pettis made Bendo submit to an armbar in the first round.  Henderson, a newly minted jiu jitsu black belt appeared to use a technique known as the “can opener” while in Pettis’ guard (a move used by GSP as well) to improve position and open guard. The problem is that the technique is susceptible to an armbar.

Pettis wins the lightweight title and might have a shot at Jose Aldo in his next fight dependent on the status of his knee.  A bad spot for Henderson here.  With the decisive loss, Henderson will have to wait for Pettis to lose the title and/or win a couple fights in a row in decisive fashion.  For a guy that defended the belt three times and having to had defend it a fourth time in Pettis’ hometown, and then told he wouldn’t get a rematch, it has to be deflating.

UFC_164_Bendo_vs_Pettis

War Master KOs Mir

Both guys have reasons to hate them.  In this battle, Barnett was able to land a knee which took Mir down.  While the stoppage may have been premature, Mir did not look like someone that could have made a comeback.  It will be interesting to see where the UFC puts Barnett next.  He could be a contender, but he did just fight a past his prime Mir. As some have suggested, a Mir-Overeem matchup seems just right for so many reasons.

Mendes takes care of The Carpenter

Chad Mendes solidified his position as next in line for the Featherweight title as he knocked out Clay Guida.  Prior to the stoppage, Guida had never been stopped in his career.

Its his fourth straight stoppage since being stopped himself by Jose Aldo in January 2012.  Depending on whether Aldo fights Pettis, Mendes should get the next shot at Aldo.  If not, Ricardo Lamas or Cub Swanson seem ready for him.

Rothwell stops The Truth

Ben Rothwell decided to do a “Clay Guida” like impression in the final round of his fight with Brandon Vera and overwhelmed Vera causing him to cover himself waiting for the ref to stop the fight.  Rothwell used his post-Octagon interview time to thank the fans and then call out Travis Browne.  For the second straight fight, Vera was in a position where he waited for the ref stoppage (Shogun Rua stopped Vera last August in similar fashion).

Attendance, Gate and Bonuses

As we reported earlier, attendance was 9,178 for a gate of $907,116.  It was decisively better for a previous visit to the Bradley Center for a UFC on Versus 5 card.

Bonuses of $50K each were given to Anthony Pettis (Sub), Chad Mendes (KO) and Hyung Gim Lin and Pascal Krauss (FOTN).  Arguably, Lin could have been a double recipient for KO.  Magnus Cedenblad could have had the Sub of the Night as well for his quick work on the prelim card.

UFC Countdown

The Countdown show featured The Showtime Kick…of course.  Aside from hearing about the history of the fight that shut down the WEC, the feature on Josh Barnett and Frank Mir was excellent.  It reminded people that both these guys held the UFC title at one point.

Sponsorships

The Octagon sponsors included TapouT, UltimatePoker.net, Dodge, MetroPCS, MusclePharm, the latest video game from Assassin’s Creed, Harley Davidson and Bud Light in the center.  The Discovery Channel’s Ahmish Mafia also sponsored the PPV which I do not quite understand.

UFC 164 was sponsored/presented by Harley Davidson which presented its Hometown Throwdown promotion for the 110th Anniversary of the company.  It had a special “110” logo on the Octagon mat to commemorate the occasion. Also, Harley Davidsons graced the stage during the weigh-ins and Arianny and Brittany wore the branded colors of Harley Davidson. There were also Harley Davidson events which included UFC fighters doing autograph signings as part of the brand activation.

Pettis’ sponsors included Hayabusa, Headrush, Corn Nuts and Toyo Tires.  Henderson was sponsored by Dethrone which also came out with Dethrone “toothpicks”. Phoenix International Speedway, Musclepharm and Training Mask were the ex-champs other sponsors.  FighterxFashion has Henderson’s fight shorts here which depicts the fact he now has a jiu jitsu black belt.

Hayabusa had a cadre of fighters wearing its shorts including Pettis.

Frank Mir was sponsored by the UFC and also wore out the UFC sponsored Monster Headphones to the ring.  He also had big logos for Midway, which appears to be some sort of exercise equipment.

Best walkout shirt of the night was Josh Barnett’s which was drawn by Kiyoshi Nakazawa.

Post-UFC 164 Headlines

Who is next for Pettis?  It was made clear that Benson Henderson would not get a rematch.  It appears that Pettis may want to go after Jose Aldo which begs the questions of whether the UFC wants a “superfight” between two of its division champions which it could market and sell for the possibility of a high PPV number.  Or, does the UFC make Pettis defend against TJ Grant.  While he’s earned the shot, Grant is not really known and would not elevate Pettis in terms of PPV star.  While Pettis is not a PPV draw yet, he has the entertaining style, good looks and great backstory to be a guy people would want to follow (one might recall his “World of Jenks” episode) He is a marketable fighter and one would think the UFC needs to capitalize on this.

Truth departure likely delayed.  The UFC has been kind to Brandon Vera.  He was cut but that was rescinded when it was discovered that Thiago Silva tested positive for a banned substance.  The announcement that the UFC wants to head to the Philippines in 2014 means that Vera is likely to stay in the UFC to help promote the visit as well as fight.  Aside from this, there is no reason why Vera should stay.

Odds and Ends

-Since its debut on FS1, it appears that the UFC is putting up Vegas Odds in the introductory fighter graphic.  An interesting move.  Does this encourage people to gamble?

-Pettis’ chain he wore post-fight was a nice touch.

-Somewhere Brian Stann was likely smiling.  Vera had called out Brian Stann for questioning Phil Davis’ win over Lyoto Machida.

-Sure Barnett has had a checkered past, but how can you not like a guy that almost suplexed Joe Rogan in his post-Octagon interview.

-Doesn’t Tim Elliott look like the WWE’s Daniel Bryan?

-Dethrone trotted out Benson Henderson toothpicks (via FighterxFashion) so you too can learn this disgusting habit.

ben-henderson-toothpicks

Conclusion

It was an entertaining card which had a very intriguing rematch in the main event.  But was that enough?  The start of college football season and the three day weekend may contribute to a lower PPV buy rate.  In addition, the lack of a true PPV star will limit the amount of buys.  One might expect around 300,000 buys for this event.

Dethrone dispels rumors of demise

May 18, 2011

MMA Payout had the opportunity to catch up with Nick Swinmurn, founder of clothing brand Dethrone Royalty. He clarified rumors that the clothing brand may be in trouble.

MP: Is there any truth to internet rumors that Dethrone is in financial trouble? Any idea where the rumors may have started?

Dethrone: Definitely no truth to the rumor. The rumor started couple of weeks ago when Jon Luther of FightHype tweeted out that his sources had told him Dethrone was going under. I sent him an email out of curiosity asking if he could share what he had heard. His “source” had apparently heard that “Dethrone inventory was being discontinued” and therefore the company was shutting down. I told him I have no idea what inventory being discontinued would mean other than in the usual context of discontinuing a particular item. He said he didn’t know what it meant either but that his source was always right. We went on to have a good conversation about Dethrone and the industry in general.

The other development that he referenced was Shane Carwin posting on the Underground that he was parting ways with Dethrone. This was true, our annual deal was set to expire end of May and when we couldn’t come to terms on an extension that was acceptable to both sides during March he asked to be released from his deal two months early in order to be able to have the UFC Expo and Countdown Show to help attract a new sponsor. We had no problem with that. We have a great relationship with Shane and was simply a matter of him being able to get more money elsewhere which we would never stand in the way of.

MP: Any issues with sponsorship of athletes? Do you still have your stable of UFC-Strikeforce fighters? Are you looking to add in the near future?

Dethrone: Jon asked if we had any issues paying sponsorships, this was on May 5th. I explained to him that we always have and always will pay every fighter we sponsor within seven days of the fight. By May 5th we had paid all four of our fighters from UFC 129 in full. I’d go out on a limb and guess they were probably the only 4 fighters on the card who had been paid in full by that point as the fight was less than a week earlier. We don’t do sponsorships we can’t afford. We have personal relationships with the fighters we sponsor and don’t understand how some brands can watch a guy put it all on the line while promoting their product and then take weeks or months to pay them. We don’t jump from fighter to fighter, we’ve been with our guys for a long time. Our fighter roster includes Phil Davis, Gray Maynard, Josh Koscheck, Cain Velasquez, Jose Aldo, Jon Fitch, Ben Henderson, Nate Diaz, Matt Wiman, Joe Stevenson, George Sotiropolous, Charles Oliveira, Ed Herman and Kyle Kingsbury. We also sponsor boxer Robert Guerrero and radio host/truck racer Jason Ellis. You are welcome to ask any of their managers regarding our payment times and financial stability.

We had sponsored Gilbert Melendez and Nick Diaz until our UFC agreement limited us to Zuffa fighters last summer. Now with the merger we are once again looking into the possibility of sponsoring Strikeforce fighters.

MP: How is the business? What are the future plans of the business?  More shirts? Anymore crossover promotions with major league teams like you did this past year with the Warriors? (e.g., any promos with the A’s or Giants)

Dethrone: The business in general is doing great. It’s been just over two years since we launched the brand. We knew this was a longterm opportunity, not a get rich quick scheme. We have planned and budgeted accordingly. We’ll be moving into our new headquarters this summer. We just received our new collection of shirts last week and will be rolling those out right away, we have a new collection every 2-3 months. We have a Dethrone race truck driven by Jason Ellis in the Lucas Oil Offroad Series that runs until December. We will be continuing our relationship with the Golden State Warriors next season and have had discussions with other teams as well. We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to promote and extend the brand.

It’s not an easy business and definitely not a get rich quick opportunity, which I think are probably the two biggest misperceptions about the apparel industry to outsiders. You can’t just slap your logo on a couple of fighters and watch the cash roll in, but with patience and planning it can be an exciting and rewarding industry.

Payout Perspective: UFC 127

March 1, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective! This time we look at UFC 127 which took place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. The main event saw a draw between Jon Fitch and BJ Penn. In the other featured bout, Michael Bisping defeated Jorge Rivera after an illegal knee and a questionable decision to continue the fight.

Fitch-Penn Draw

Although one judge had Jon Fitch beating BJ Penn, the other two judges scored the fight a draw resulting in a majority draw decision. Two judges scored the fight 10-8 for Fitch in the third which caused the draw. While the draw may not be the most questionable call of the night, it was an interesting matchup with both fighters displaying their strengths. At the end, it had BJ bummed, and contemplating retirement and Fitch uncertain of the direction of his career.

Bisping illegal knee drops Rivera, then KOs Rivera

Michael Bisping is a sensitive guy. At least that’s how he started his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. He certainly displayed this characteristic after his illegal knee put Jorge Rivera on Dream Street. Perhaps the knee was due to the emotion of the trash talk videos Rivera made in ramping up to the matchup. Inexplicably, the ring doctor and ref did not take control and stop the fight. Instead, they asked Rivera if he could continue. What do you think would be the response? Rivera was game enough to hold off Bisping momentarily before the stoppage. After the fight was when the real fireworks began as Bisping spat at Rivera’s corner as well as middle fingering the crowd (or someone in the crowd but the camera panned away). Bisping’s actions caused a mention on ESPN’s Sportsnation.

In recent memory, when most bad blood fights happen (except Rashard-Rampage); the fighters are professional in squashing whatever beef they had after the fight. Bisping looked like he would do the same, but he decided to rub it in. Even Paul Dailey thought the illegal knee was unprofessional. The UFC has decided to punish Bisping for spitting at Rivera’s corner, not for the knee.

All of the bad blood stems from the trash talk and videos made between the two. From a fan perspective, the hype is great and it’s definitely motivation to watch a fight (which frankly did not look too exciting on paper), but as professional fighters they have to know that what’s said to hype the fight can’t be taken personal. Yet, both camps (Alchemist-Wolfslair) are still issuing statements calling out the other.

For Bisping, Vito Belfort and Chael Sonnen (assuming his career is thawed out by the UFC) have already requested to fight him. Does anyone else think it should be Bisping calling out Belfort and/or Sonnen?

Last minute fill-in Ebersole becomes feel good story of UFC 127

Self-proclaimed journeyman Brian Ebersole upset Chris Lytle in his debut in the UFC. It was great to see Ebersole’s raw emotion on two specific occasions: as Ebersole readied himself to enter the Octagon for the first time and at the end of the fight. The cameras caught Ebersole realizing his dream–good TV.  Ebersole was unique as seen with his cartwheel kick, shaved chest and wearing headgear to the ring. Great visibility for Hayabusa-Ebersole’s sponsor.

Bonuses

Fight of the Night honors went to Ebersole and Chris Lytle for their fight.

Former TUF cast member, Kyle Noke won Submission of the Night honors with an early choke out of Chris Camozzi.

Mark Hunt won KO of the night with his second round beat down of Chris Tuchscherer. It was also featured on ESPN’s Sportsnation.

Each fighter earned an additional $75,000 to their pay. (H/t MMA Junkie)

Attendance and Gate

As previously reported, UFC 127 was a success as it set the record for attendance for UFC events outside of North America. 18,136 fans attended for a gate of $3.5 million.

Facebook/ION/PPV

For the first time, the UFC aired its fights over three platforms: Facebook, TV and PPV. The ION broadcast garnered 714,000 viewers according to MMA Junkie. This is down from the 829,000 viewers of ION’s initial broadcast in January. This is a significant downturn from the UFC 126 prelims on Spike TV which garnered an all-time best of 2 million viewers.

Despite the decrease in viewership for UFC 127, fans had the opportunity to watch more fights. The drawback was that you had to switch from your computer, to finding the ION channel (again) and then switching to PPV. Not the most convenient for the casual fan.

Sponsorship Watch

SafeAuto Insurance – This was the first of several times this year where SafeAuto will be on the mat and ring posts for the UFC since it became an official sponsor.  It also sponsored Dennis Siver in his upset victory over George Sotiropoulos.

Lids –The hat store, a new sponsor to the UFC, was presenting sponsor of the Tale of the Tape. Interesting to see it becomes involved in MMA sponsorship.

Gamefly.com, the Netflix of video games, and new shooter game Killzone3 were prominent sponsors with the former having its logo on the center of the ring and the latter on the ring posts.

US Marines sponsored the mini-Fitch and Penn Keys to Victory segment. This is a nice segment that they started at 126. It’s a new way to get sponsor visibility during the PPV.

Dethrone Royalty – Surprisingly, there were a lot of positive comments about Jon Fitch’s walkout shirt which depicted a dog.  It definitely was a nice alternative to the usual fare.

Public Relations for 127

Like other places where MMA is trying to penetrate the market, some local newspapers wrote negative pieces (here and here ) about the sport in general. The Herald Sun had an especially ignorant rant on MMA.  For the UFC’s part, it conducted a PR tour in December. The tour consisted of going out into the community, working out at local gyms and giving interviews to local press. Educating the public on the sport is the key for it to make inroads in new markets.

The UFC contributed to the relief efforts for Tropical Cyclone Yasi which caused widespread flooding in Australia. The UFC held an auction featuring UFC memorabilia with funds going toward flood victims. It also matched the fight purse of James Te Huna, who donated his fight purse to the relief efforts. This was a good move by the UFC in recognizing an opportunity to help the community. It shows that it is more than just flying in, making money and leaving.

In the less serious department, during fight week, the UFC had multiple greet and grin opportunities as UFC fighters visited a rugby team, went surfing at Bondi Beach and the UFC Octagon girls visited the zoo.

Storylines Post-UFC 127

– What now for Fitch and Penn? Is a rematch in the future and does anyone want it? Both sides seemed dejected afterward. Fitch wants a shot at the Shields-GSP winner but that is unlikely. Although Penn wondered about hanging it up, it would be hard to see him going out like this.

– Siver upsets Sotiropoulos. Dennis Siver’s win over George Sotiropoulos in front of his homeland crowd stopped Sotiropoulos’ march to the top of the 155 contender list.

– Zhang wins. A preliminary bout with potential major implications. Tiequan Zhang dropped down to 145 pounds and submitted Jason Reinhardt. Zhang, coming off an upset loss needed a victory here. It’s not too big of a stretch to say that Zhang’s success will make it easier for the UFC to create inroads into China. With the global expansion of the company, it would benefit the UFC if Zhang does well at 145. In his post-fight interview he noted that he doesn’t feel pressure to grow the Chinese market but believes the UFC will be in China.

– Judges do it again. Not only was there questionable scoring made in the main event and sketchy decision-making by the ring doctor and ref in the Bisping-Rivera fight,  the judges got it wrong in the Nick Ring-Riki Fukuda fight. Dana White said as much as he tweeted that Fukuda would receive his win bonus despite the loss.

– Australian crowd. The Aussie crowd showed its knowledge of MMA and was into the fights. The attendance reflects the popularity of the sport down under. It was announced that a possible stadium show in Australia could happen in the future. Australia could be marketed as an annual destination stop for the UFC.

Odds and Ends

– Other than the draw, what received more attention for Jon Fitch: his shirt or his diet?

– Speaking of t-shirts, I thought BJ Penn’s shirt/banner, “Aloha Mate” with Mate upside down was pretty clever. Penn was a fan favorite in Sydney.

– Did you know Kyle Noke was “The Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin’s bodyguard?

– Sonnen and Belfort use email and twitter to lobby for a potential matchup with Michael Bisping. Doesn’t anyone use a cell phone to text anymore?

NBA’s Warriors host MMA Night on Monday

February 6, 2011

Dethrone Royalty’s stable of fighters will be featured at the Golden State Warrior’s game Monday night for MMA Night. There are special ticket packages which include a Dethrone t-shirt and a pre-game autograph signing featuring Cain Velasquez and Josh Koscheck.


Payout Perspective:

This is the first I’ve heard of an NBA team working a promotional night featuring MMA stars. Let us know if there have been others. According to this, Cain Velasquez was part of the Warriors Latino Heritage night in January. We’ve seen the MMA crossover in MLB and the NHL.  It would be interesting to see how the Warriors honor the MMA stars. How much will they be involved in any of the in-game promotions. Hopefully, no kiss cam.  The promo poster states that Cain Velasquez, Josh Koscheck, the Diaz Brothers, Gilbert Melendez and Daniel Cormier will be in attendance. The poster lists Nate Diaz as “Nathan”. I am sure that the Warriors made a mistake with his name unless Diaz is changing it up on us.

Although NBA attendance is usually lower on Monday and Tuesdays, the fact that the Warriors will play the Suns may get more people to the arena. This can only help with more fans meeting MMA stars in person. MMA Night at an NBA game is a sign of the growing acceptance of the sport as a sport. For Dethrone, it introduces the brand to a broader audience of sports fans.

WEC 53: Payout Perspective

December 21, 2010

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective: WEC edition. The final WEC event took place in Glendale, Arizona at the Jobing.com arena. In the main event, hometown favorite Benson “Smooth” Henderson faced Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. Fitting for the WEC, it ended with a flourish with the kick seen everywhere.

Business Storylines

It’s Showtime! Pettis claims UFC lightweight title shot

Anthony Pettis solidified his promotion to the big show by defeating Benson Henderson. Whatever you want to call the kick, everyone has seen it and commented on it. We have looked at its promotional value and the mainstream attention it has drawn.

The kick is the biggest MMA move to occur in the era of social media. Don’t think so? Just look at how many times it was looped on ESPN. It was featured on Top Plays of the Night, commented on Pardon The Interruption and Pettis was interviewed on ESPN’s First Take. It was an Internet sensation.  It even received a posting on Deadspin.  Not to mention, Pettis’ twitter account exploded with 4,000 more followers in a day.

For the WEC, it was an appropriate way to send it off. For Pettis, it is not hyperbole to think that the kick propelled him as an overnight sensation. For Henderson, a dominant reign in the 155 pound division ended on the biggest night for the title. An instant shot at the UFC title and a main event on MMA’s biggest stage was on the line. But, Pettis looked prepared for Henderson and implemented a strategy which wore down Henderson (by literally riding his back for almost one round) one of the best conditioned athletes in the lightweight division.

Pettis will be a marketable 155 pounder if he shows well against Maynard or Edgar.  Fans will like his flash, his fighting style and the anticipation that he will put on a “Showtime” move at a moment’s notice.

Cruz defeats Jorgenson—possible TUF coach versus Faber

Overshadowed by the “Showtime” kick, Dominick Cruz dominated Scott Jorgenson to win the new UFC Bantamweight title. It’s rumored that Cruz and Urijah Faber will oppose each other as TUF coaches in 2011. This would be a great way to introduce the Bantamweight division and the Cruz/Faber rivalry to the UFC viewers.

Zhang loses

Tiequan Zhang lost by unanimous decision to Danny Downes on the undercard.  This is a setback for Zhang, the first fighter from China, as Zuffa is trying to garner more interest from the China market. Zhang’s fight was televised live in China.

Versus Pre and Post Fight Show

Once again, Versus included a Pre-Fight and Post-Fight Show. Prior to the pre-fight show, Versus ran the World MMA Awards. A good lead-in to a night of fights. The Pre-Fight Show served as the ad hoc retrospective for the WEC. The broadcast did a sufficient job of previewing the fights while looking back at the best of WEC.  Still, it would have been nice to have had a dedicated hour to look back at the best fights and fighters. 

Promoting the Fight

Most of the promotion for the fight centered around hometime favorite Henderson, which makes his loss more bittersweet. Henderson made appearances at the Phoenix Coyote hockey game and at a rally in his honor. His gym, MMA Lab, held daily Ben Henderson contests on twitter giving away Henderson memorabilia leading up to the fight.

Bonuses

Fight of the Night – Henderson v. Pettis – $10,000

Submission of the Night – Shane Roller – $10,000

Knockout of the Night – Eddie Wineland – $10,000

These bonuses will be much more in the UFC. As you may recall, UFC 124 fighters made $100K bonuses–ten times what was dished out at the final WEC card. Unlike UFC 124, the main event, Henderson/Pettis, was definitely the fight of the night.

Sponsorship Watch

-Henderson sported t-shirt maker Dethrone Royalty while Pettis was a Form Athletics endorser. After the win, Form Athletics sent out a press release congratulating Pettis and maybe made a little jab at Henderson’s sponsor.

Pettis overcame a nearly 2-to-1 underdog rating, dethroning lightweight title-holder Ben Henderson in the card’s featured fight of the night.

Maybe reading into this, but it would be a funny jab to use dethrone in describing Pettis’ win.  Despite the loss, Dethrone still has a champion stable of Velasquez and Aldo.

-It was interesting to see Henderson’s primary short sponsors as The Gun Store and Iron Bridge tools. The Gun Store as a sponsor seems a little contrary to Henderson, a devout Christian.

-MusclePharm continued as a mat sponsor despite a report that it settled a debt in which it owed the WEC $375K for outstanding sponsorship debt.

-The Kenny Powers/Uriah Faber commercials for KSwiss are hilarious. They are not new, but it shows the marketability of Faber.

Attendance

According to MMA Junkie, 6,348 fans attended the event at the Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Arizona. It is the seventh largest crowd in WEC history. The top three were WEC events in Sacramento. It was the promotion’s first time in Arizona.

The venue was chosen as a result of a fan vote from the “Hometown Throwdown” promotion sponsored by Amp Energy.

(UPDATE) Ratings

MMA Junkie reports that the event scored a strong 0.62 household rating and an average audience of 615,000 viewers. In addition, the post-fight show on Versus scored a 0.34 household rating with an audience of 352,000.

Conclusion

For the last round of the last fight for an outstanding organization, it would have been nice if Versus kept with the fighters as they came out of their corners. Instead, we saw the two fighters in the center of the ring. It was a small thing, but it’s the details that would help close out the organization.

I was surprised that there was little closure to the end of the WEC. Reed Harris mentioned in more than one interview that he’s been “too busy” to think about the ending of the WEC. Yes, this may be true, but it seems like he is ignoring the history of the situation. Perhaps this was the corporate edict-business as usual. Definitely, Zuffa could have capitalized on the ending of the WEC with a retrospective and a bigger lead-up to the event. It could have released a “Best of” DVD just in time for the Holidays. Although the WEC 53 pre-show provided some memories, it seemed like more could have been done.

But, the story of the night, and what made the night a success was the “Showtime” kick. It was a good sendoff for the WEC.

GSP v. Koscheck: T-Shirt Edition

December 10, 2010

Before they enter the octagon at UFC 124, pay attention to the walk out of Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck as they will be wearing t-shirts of their respective sponsors: Affliction and Dethrone.

The GSP shirt is touted as a limited edition Affliction shirt with only 500 made. With a price point of $57.99, its more than buying the PPV (if you purchase the PPV on DirecTV HD – $54.95).

Josh Koscheck’s  Dethrone “walkout t-shirt” is not a limited edition, but comes in all black and all red (pictured) and has a “Kos” logo. Koscheck’s shirt is “reasonably” priced at $27.99.

Payout Perspective:

Similar to replica jerseys in team sports, for fight fans, t-shirts are a practical way to support your favorite fighter. Although many people do not like the huge designs, depictions of destruction, skulls or devils, I expect many fans wearing Affliction and Dethrone gear at the fight on Saturday. As for the two shirts above, I think the price point for GSP’s t-shirt is too expensive for an average MMA fan. Even a $28 Koscheck shirt seems a bit high, but is much more manageable on the wallet.

It would be a nice coup for Dethrone if it could claim to have the UFC Heavyweight Champ and the UFC Welterweight Champ. Possible slogan: “The brand of champions”?

*Note: I realize GSP may be wearing his gi during the walkout, but he should have his shirt on at the end of the match.