UFC Boston attendance, gate and bonuses

October 18, 2019

UFC on ESPN 6 took place on Friday night in Boston with the redux of Yair Rodriguez-Jeremy Stephens taking the Fight of the Night Honors.  The co-feature was the 2nd take of their showdown last month in Mexico City.

Rodriguez earned the unanimous decision victory over Stephens in the end.  In addition, Dominick Reyes made a big move forward in the light heavyweight division with a TKO victory in his matchup with former champ Chris Weidman.  Also, Charles Rosa earned a Performance bonus with a submission over Manny Bermudez.  All received the customary $50,000 apiece.

In addition, the UFC announced post-event that there were 12,066 in attendance at the TD Center for a gate of $1,124,765.

Payout Perspective:

Maycee Barber also had a Performance Bonus-worthy fight with her destruction of Gillian Robertson.  The fight between Rodriguez-Stephens was all that you had wished from their first fight in Mexico City.  As for Reyes, his win over Weidman puts a great W in his resume as he’ll move up in the UFC rankings.

UFC Copenhagen attendance, gate and bonuses

September 29, 2019

UFC Copenhagen took place on Saturday with Jarod Cannonier stopping local favorite Jack Hermansson in the second round of the night’s main event.  Cannonier took home led the performance bonus winners with upset victory over the higher-ranked middleweight.

In addition, Ovince St. Preux scored another Von Flue (shoulder) choke and earned a Performance bonus.  Also, John Phillips and Jack Shore scored $50,000 Performance Bonuses for their respective stoppages.

It was the company’s first appearance in Copenhagen and the event drew a sellout with 12,767 for a gate of $1.6 million at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Payout Perspective:

The big turnout for the company’s debut in the country reflects the continued advancement in popularity of the sport around the world.  It helps to have fighters in the region on the card that builds interest for the event.  Its clear that tapping new regions during its Fight Night events is a great way to build the sport and gain traction when promoting its brand.

UFC Mexico City bonuses

September 22, 2019

UFC Mexico City took place Saturday night with a Fight of the Night featuring strawweights Carla Esparza and Alexa Grasso.

The former inaugural women’s strawweight champion earned a majority decision in the entertaining fight that earned $50,000 for each.  Additionally, featherweight Steven Peterson’s spinning backfist of Martin Bravo earned him a Performance Bonus and maybe a KO of the year.  Also, Paul Craig earned a $50,000 bonus with a submission of Vinicius Moreira.

The main event of UFC Mexico City was disappointing after an incidental eye poke of Jeremy Stephens by Yair Rodriguez with just seconds into the first round of their fight.  Fans through objects including beer at the Octagon as they were dissatisfied with the stoppage.

Gaethje leads bonus winners from UFC Fight Night Vancouver

September 14, 2019

UFC Fight Night 158 took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on Saturday night.  In the main event, Justin Gaethje stopped Donald Cerrone in the very first round.  Gaethje led the list of bonus winners.

Tristan Connelly and Michael Pereira won fight of the night although Connelly received both bonuses after Pereira missed weight.  Misha Cirkunov earned a Performance Bonus for his Peruvian Necktie Submission over Jimmy Crute.

Payout Perspective:

An unfortunate time to miss weight for Pereira as not only he was docked money off of his purse but he did not receive his bonus money.  Gaethje looked impressive with his stoppage of Cerrone.

Khabib leads UFC 242 bonus winners

September 7, 2019

Khabib Nurmagomedov led the bonus winners for UFC 242 from Abu Dhabi on Saturday.  The lightweight champion solidified his status as the promotion’s top fighter at 155 with his 3rd round submission of interim champion Dustin Poirier.

In addition, Ottman Azaitar, Belal Muhammad and Muslim Salikhov earned the other $50,000 bonuses for their performances.  There was no Fight of the Night.

Azaitar earned his bonus with a KO of Teemu Packalen in the first round.  Belal Muhammad defeated Takashi Sato via third round submission.  Finally, Salikhov KO’d Nordine Taleb to earn his bonus.

Payout Perspective:

There was no attendance and gate announced after the event although from the looks of the event, it was a sell-out as most fans went home happy seeing Khabib get his hand raised.

New champ Zhang leads $50K bonus winners for UFC Shenzhen

August 31, 2019

UFC on ESPN +15 took place in Shenzhen, China on Saturday with Weili Zhang stopping Jessica Andrade in the first round to win the women’s strawweight title.

The event took place at Universiade Sports Center in Shenzhen, China.  The event bonuses went to Weili Zhang, Li Jingliang, Heili Alateng and Danaa Batgerel.  Zhang and Jingliang won Performance Bonuses while Alateng and Batgerel won Fight of the Night.

Zhang needed less than a minute in the first round to win the strawweight title from Andrade.  Conversely, Jingliang earned a KO in the third round with less than 10 seconds left in the fight.  Alateng and Batgerel fought on the prelims of the card.

The bonuses were announced post fight.

Payout Perspective:

With Zhang’s victory over Andrade, it should mean that Rose Namajunas is back in the title picture.  Andrade was no match for Zhang tonight and the Chinese crowd went crazy after her victory.  As the first Chinese champion, Zuffa now has found its connection to the Chinese market.

UFC 241: Payout Perspective

August 19, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at a very successful UFC 241 from The Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Stipe KOs Cormier to regain Heavyweight title

Stipe Miocic regained the UFC Heavyweight title with a KO of Daniel Cormier late in the 4th round.  DC had looked like the better fighter through most of the 4 rounds but Miocic’s strategy of body shots took its toll on Cormier leading to the KO.  Cormier had been leading on all cards at the time of the stoppage.

Despite the loss, Cormier has had a tremendous career and showed all class in what could be his last fight in the Octagon.  Personally, I think he still has a couple more fights in him before he retires.  It would seem as though a rematch would be the most logical thing to do although Miocic could wait to see the winner of the Walt Harris-Alistair Overeem fight or another fight with Francis Ngannou.

Diaz returns to defeat Pettis

The biggest question going into UFC 241 was determining how Nate Diaz would look like with 3 years off.  The answer was sensational.  Diaz looked fresh and used his dirty boxing tactics to stifle Anthony Pettis.  Showtime did break his foot during the fight but Diaz was clearly the dominant fighter tonight.

Diaz called out Jorge Masvidal for his next fight in what many believe would be a great fight to see.

Attendance and gate

For the first time, an MMA event in California drew over $3 million as UFC 241 drew $3,237,032 with 17,304 in attendance according to the UFC post-event.  It bested the previous record, UFC 214 by nearly $1 million.  Earlier in the week, SeatGeek noted the secondary market was up for this event.

Bonuses

The $50,000 bonuses went to Stipe Miocic, Khama Worthy, Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero.  Miocic and Worthy earned Performance Bonuses for their respective stoppages and Costa-Romero was a sight to behold with both fighters unloading big shots. Costa won by decision in the end.

Payouts

The California State Athletic Commission disclosed the payouts from the event.  Stipe Miocic topped the payouts with $750,000

Stipe Miocic: $750,000 (no win bonus)
def. Daniel Cormier: $500,000

Nate Diaz $250,000 (no win bonus)
def. Anthony Pettis: $155,000

Paulo Costa $120,000 (includes $60,000 win bonus)
def. Yoel Romero: $150,000

Sodiq Yusuff $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Gabriel Benitez: $40,000

Derek Brunson $190,000 (includes $95,000 win bonus)
def. Ian Heinisch: $25,000

Khama Worthy $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Devonte Smith: $23,000

Cory Sandhagen $154,000 (includes $77,000 win bonus)
def. Raphael Assuncao: $79,000

Drakkar Klose $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Christos Giagos: $28,000

Casey Kenney $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Manny Bermudez: $20,000

Hannah Cifers $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Jodie Esquibel: $10,000

Kyung Ho Kang $44,000 (includes $22,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Davis: $21,000

Sabina Mazo $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Shana Dobson: $12,000

Sponsorships

UFC sponsors in the Octagon included Toyo Tires, Roar Sports (“Aurora Canabis”), Motel 6, Devour, PariMatch, PokerStars, The Rock’s latest movie, “Hobbs and Shaw,” Nemiroff, Modelo, P3, Devour, Monster and Circle K shared an Octagon post and Monster Energy had the center.

Poker Stars also had the outside the Octagon standing area for the coaches.  Body Armor was all over the place last night including the drinks and stools for the event.

Devour had the fighter prep point.  It was also on most of the Reebok fighter kits including shorts and walkout shirt. Notably, it was not on Cormier’s fight kit as he had the Monster, “M” on his gear.

Trifecta Nutrition presented the 7 Embedded Episodes.

Daniel Cormier signed a deal with cbdMD as it was announced during fight week.

Odds and Ends

Nate Diaz ascended to superstar status at UFC 241.  If he was not already a star after defeating Conor McGregor at UFC 196, he reminded people after a 3-year absence why he believes he’s the best in the fight game.  Notwithstanding, you can argue that the UFC made some concessions due to Diaz’s new leverage.  As Embedded showed, he didn’t have to wait around at weigh-ins, he stayed in Corona del Mar near the Wedge (pretty posh neighborhood near Newport Beach) and he lit up a blunt (later clarified as a CBD cigarette from his business) at open workouts.  Yet, the UFC and ESPN went along with it.

The UFC is better with Nate Diaz than it is without him and Dana White admitted that he is a “needle mover.”

As part of the media strategy to reintroduce Diaz to the masses, the New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning writer, John Branch, wrote a piece about him which highlighted the fighter’s anti-hero attributes.

During UFC 241, there was a lot of hype for next month’s UFC 242 taking place in Abu Dhabi. As a part, it relived the Conor-Khabib matchup from last October.

Nate Diaz had a bunch of unintentional funny comments during his post-fight presser.  Including this one:


There were many notable fighters in the crowd including boxer Terrence Crawford and various UFC fighters but no one drew the most heat than Colby Covington and his MAGA gimmick.

The best part of the Embedded was the “push-up pump” Romero did before getting his photos taken.

The Costa-Romero fight earned Fight of the Night.  During the first round, Romero used the “hey look over there” gimmick to buy time and nail Costa with a punch.  The winner talked about it after.

In spite of his loss, Daniel Cormier showed class in the face of adversity.  Embedded showed his busy schedule in promoting the fight which included throwing out the first pitch at the Angels game, a spot on Access Hollywood and other media.  It also showed the various businesses that he has which will take care of him after his fight career.

Conclusion

UFC 241 drew over 2 million google searches on Saturday which likely equates to a very good buy rate.  The return of Nate Diaz likely spurred the influx of interest coupled with the Heavyweight fight between Cormier and Miocic.  Something in the range of 400-450K PPV buys from ESPN+ would be a good estimate.

UFC 241 attendance, gate and bonuses

August 17, 2019

UFC 241 took place on Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.  The event drew the largest MMA gate in the state of California.

It was announced that UFC 241 drew 17,304 for a gate of $3,237.032 at the Honda Center.  It was the first time that an MMA event drew over $3 million in the state.  The previous high was Cormier-Jones 2 at UFC 214 at the Honda Center.  There were 16,610 in attendance for a gate of $2.4 million.

The bonuses went to Stipe Miocic, Khama Worthy, Paulo Costa and Yoel Romero.  Miocic and Worthy drew the Performance Bonuses and Costa and Romero earned Fight of the Night for their wild battle. All earned $50,000 each.

Payout Perspective:

A good night for the UFC highlighted by a title change at Heavyweight and Nate Diaz returning to the Octagon.  SoCal is a hotbed for MMA so its not surprising that it was a sellout but the gate had to have exceeded expectations.  Moreover, according to SeatGeek, the ticket demand on the secondary market was strong.

UFC on ESPN +14 attendance and bonuses

August 11, 2019

UFC Fight Night Uraguay took place on Saturday airing on ESPN +.  The event saw another title defense from Valentina Shevchenko as she soundly defeated Liz Carmouche.

The event drew 9,255 fans at the Antel Arena in Montevideo, Uraguay for the promotion’s first event in the country.  The UFC announced the event as a sellout.  No gate was announced.

UFC on ESPN+14 bonus winners included Mike Perry, Vincente Luque, Volkan Oezdemir and Veronica Macedo.  Oezdemir and Macedo drew Performance of the Night honors while Luque-Perry earned Fight of the Night.

Payout Perspective:

A good crowd for the promotion’s first event in this South American country.  The title fight was lackluster but the crowd was given a slugfest in the semi-main event with Perry and Luque.

UFC on Fight Night 5 attendance, gate and bonuses

August 3, 2019

UFC on ESPN +5 took place Saturday afternoon from Newark, New Jersey.   The card’s main event saw Colby Covington dominate Robbie Lawlor for a unanimous decision victory.

The event took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  The Fight of the Night saw Antonina Shevchenko score a submission victory over Lucile Pudilova in a back and forth fight.  Also receiving Performance Bonuses were Matt Schnell with a submission victory over Jordan Espinosa and Nasrat Haqparast with a KO victory over Joaquim Silva.

According to UFC officials post-fight, the event drew 10,427 for a gate of $687,778.  It was the lowest attendance and gate for a UFC on ESPN event thus far and the lowest for a UFC event at the venue.

Payout Perspective:

One might have to think that the afternoon start likely hurt the attendance for this event.  There were a number of local area fighters on the card to entice people to come, yet the numbers this time around were low.

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