UFC Fight Night 123 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 10, 2017

UFC Fight Night 123 drew 7,605 fans for a gate of $528,290.  Brian Ortega was the star of the night earning two bonuses for his main event submission over Cub Swanson.

Ortega and Swanson received a bonus for Fight of the Night.  Ortega received another for his submission victory in round 2.  Marlon Moraes drew the other $50,000 bonus of the night for his devastating knee of Aljamain Sterling.

The first UFC event from Fresno drew 7,605 fans at the SaveMart Center.  The reported gate, according to UFC officials, was 568,290.

Payout Perspective:

The SaveMart Center was far from a sellout as the capacity for boxing/wrestling events is 16,182.  But, with the Fight Night event, these are the types of attendances to expect.  Notably, the attendance is the same as UFC Fight Night 112 from Oklahoma earlier this year.  The UFC may have found another fighter to put into the mix for Max Holloway’s title as Brian Ortega put on another great performance.

UFC 218 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 3, 2017

UFC 218 drew 17,587 for a gate of $2 million according to Dana White who announced it at the post-event press conference.  He also gave two Fight of the Night Bonuses Saturday night.

Alex Oliveira and Yancy Medeiros earned a Fight of the Night for slugfest on the UFC 218 Prelims. Both fighters looked to be out of it at points during the first round but each came back.  The underdog, Medeiros, finally stopped the Cowboy in the third round.  What was expected as the Fight of the Night lived up to its expectations as Eddie Alvarez’s knee in the final round stopped Justin Gaethje.  It was a back and forth fight with both fighters taking damage.  But, The Underground King outlasted a tired Gaethje.

The attendance was announced as a sellout.  It was the first event in Michigan since UFC 123 which took place at The Palace in Auburn Hills.  That event featured Rampage Jackson and Lyoto Machida and drew a gate of $2.1 million with 16,404 in attendance.

Payout Perspective:

A good night of fights and the two Fight of the Night bonuses reflects it.  In addition, there were some good stoppages.  Most notably, heavyweight Francis Ngannou made a statement by flattening Alistair Overeem.  Also, Max Holloway stopped Jose Aldo.

New UFC Flyweight leads bonus winners from TUF 26 Finale

December 2, 2017

New UFC Flyweight champ Nicco Montano led the bonus winners at the TUF 26 Finale event on Friday night.  The bonus winners were announced post-event.

Montano and Roxanne Modafferi earned the Fight of the Night while Gerald Meerschaert and Brett Johns earned performance bonuses.  Montana won a five-round unanimous decision over the late substitution, Modafferi, to earn the inaugural Flyweight title.  Meerschaert defeated Eric Spicely via TKO after a liverkick.  Johns submitted Joe Soto via calf slicer within 30 seconds of the first round.

Payout Perspective:

The Meerschaert submission was impressive considering the calf-slicer is a rare submission.  The Montano-Modafferi fight was not Griffin-Bonnar but a very good fight to conclude the TUF 26 season.

UFC Fight Night 122 attendance and bonus winners

November 25, 2017

UFC Fight Night 122 took place in Shanghai, China and was a success from the box office as the company reports a sellout.  In the main event, Kelvin Gastelum earned a Performance Bonus with a 1st round KO over Michael Bisping.

In addition, Li Jingliang, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Song Yadong earned the $50,000 bonuses for their Performances which all ended in stoppages.  There was no Fight of the Night bonus.  The company made the announcement post-event.

In addition, the UFC announced the event as a sellout with a reported 15,128 fans in attendance.  No gate was announced for the event.  The event took place at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai.  According to this, ,the maximum capacity is 18,000 altho0ugh the 15,000 may be a sellout based on the configuration for the event.

Payout Perspective:

A good turnout for the promotion’s first event in China.  The Gastelum KO know brings concern about Bispimg’s health.  But one has to wonder where this was prior to signing him on as a replacement.  Recall, the event was to be headlined by Gastelum and Anderson Silva.  Still, the event featured many Chinese fighters including bonus winner Jingliang.

UFC attendance and bonuses (only 3 $50K bonuses awarded)

November 19, 2017

The UFC announced the attendance, gate and bonuses for Saturday’s Fight Night 121 from Sydney, Australia.  Only 3 bonuses were handed out.

The bonus winners were Tai Tuivasa, Nik Lentz and Damien Brown.  Tuivasa and Lentz drew the Performance bonuses of $50,000 each while Brown earned Fight of the Night honors.  Brown’s opponent, Frank Camacho, missed weight and was not eligible for a bonus.

In addition, the event drew 10,021 at the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.  No live gate was announced.  According to this, the seating capacity is 18,2000 for the venue.

Payout Perspective:

Ryan Benoit could have been awarded the other $50,000 bonus for his head kick KO of Ashkan Mokhtarian but the UFC decided to just award Brown and keep the other $50,000.  The attendance is good for an event that had little interest unless you are a hardcore UFC fan.

UFC Fight Night 120 attendance, gate and bonuses

November 12, 2017

Dustin Poirier led the list of bonuses at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, Virginia Saturday night.  Poirier’s opponent in the main event Anthony Pettis received a $50,000 bonus for their Fight of the Night.

In addition, Matt Brown and Rapahel Assuncao received the other $50,000 bonuses.  Brown, in his retirement fight, destroyed Diego Sanchez with an elbow for the KO.  Assuncao dropped Matthew Lopez in the third round with a kick to win via KO.

The event from the Ted Constant Convocation Center drew 8,442 fans for a gate of $642,070.  It was the highest-attended event for a UFC event in Virginia although it did not draw the largest gate.

Payout Perspective:

 Saturday’s event is on par with attendance at other Fight Night events in North America.  It was a night of some good fights including the main event featuring Poirier and Pettis in a blood bath.

UFC 217: Payout Perspective

November 6, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 217 taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York.

GSP Returns to win Middleweight Title

Georges St Pierre looked more muscular than ever before in his foray into the middleweight division against champion Michael Bisping.  GSP looked great in the first round but it appeared that he tired.  Bisping was able to open him up with elbows from guard despite being taken down.  But, Bisping was caught by GSP.

We’ll see what happen next for GSP.  He’s not done, but could be in the middleweight division.  Of course, that puts Robert Whittaker’s position in the division up in the air.  If GSP leaves to face Tyron Woodley in the welterweight division, we could see Whittaker-Bisping.

TJ Dillashaw regains Bantamweight Title from Cody Garbrandt

In a heated fight between two former teammates, TJ Dillashaw regained his bantamweight title from Cody Garbrandt.  Cody tagged TJ at the end of the first but it was Dillashaw that got off the shot in an exchange in the second which ended Cody’s night.  Dillashaw says there will not be a rematch for now and is setting his targets on Demetrious Johnson.

Thug Rose upsets Boogie Woman

The stare-down at the weigh-ins and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s proclamation that she was the “Boogie Woman” made me want to see this fight all the more.  The contrasts between a stoic Namajunas and the bombastic Joanna Violence led many to wonder if Rose was ready or if she knew something.  She knew something as she was able to knock down the strawweight champ twice and with the second make her tap to the strikes.  The loss was surprising to most as Jedrzejcyk looked, on paper, to have the overwhelming advantage out of the 3 title fights of the night.  Yet, Namajunas was able to outstrike the Muay Thai specialist.

If a loss were to ever be beneficial, this one helps the UFC as they can now set up a rematch between the two which could sell much better as a standalone main event for a future UFC PPV.

Attendance and Gate

Madison Square Garden produced a $6.1 million gate drawing 18,201 fans according to the UFC.  The event was the second highest gate in the company’s short history since MMA was legalized in the state.  Last year’s UFC 205 drew astronomical numbers with over 20,000 fans and a $17 million gate.

The secondary market was not as robust as last year’s November event, but still did very well.  Although tickets dropped during the week, the average resale price was still $538 as of Thursday of fight week.

Bonuses

There were no Fight of the Night bonuses as Performance $50,000 bonuses were given to GSP, Rose Namajunas and  TJ DIllashaw.  Ovince St. Preux and Ricardo Ramos drew $25,000 bonuses for their performances.  St. Preux stopped Corey Anderson with a headkick on the UFC Prelims while Ramos’ spinning back fist gave him the win over Aiman Zahabbi.

(UPDATED) Athlete Outfitting Policy Payouts

With 3 title fights, the Reebok payouts was more than a typical card.

Michael Bisping: $40,000
Georges St-Pierre: $30,000

Cody Garbrandt: $40,000
T.J. Dillashaw: $30,000

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: $40,000
Rose Namajunas: $30,000

Stephen Thompson: $10,000
Jorge Masvidal: $15,000

Paulo Costa: $2,500
def. Johny Hendricks: $20,000

James Vick: $5,000
def. Joseph Duffy: $5,000

Ovince Saint Preux: $15,000
def. Corey Anderson: $5,000

Mark Godbeer: $2,500
def. Walt Harris: $5,000

Randy Brown: $5,000
def. Mickey Gall: $2,500

Curtis Blaydes: $2,500
def. Aleksei Oleinik: $5,000

Ricardo Ramos: $2,500
def. Aiemann Zahabi: $2,500

Promotion of the Fight

Sponsors came out in full force for what many believed to be the biggest event of the year thus far.

Bud Light Canada produced a video and sent it out via twitter with Georges St Pierre

Body Armor, a UFC sponsor, produced bottles of its sports drink with the UFC logo.  Kobe Bryant, a part-owner of Body Armor was in town to speak at a Body Armor press conference making the sponsorship official.  Cody Garbrandt, Cynthia Calvillo, Francis Ngannou and Michelle Waterson were announced as the UFC’s BodyArmor athletes and a new UFC-geared BodyArmor flavor – Knockout Punch.

Air Asia was announced as the company’s very first “Official Airline” of the UFC.  It covers Asia and Australia so the opportunity for a domestic airline is still there.

EA Sports released the official trailer of the UFC’s next game, UFC 3.  It will be released on February 3rd and unveiled some new things to the game.  Conor McGregor will make his second appearance on the cover of the UFC video game.

MetroPCS introduced a new commercial featuring Demetrious Johnson.

The UFC provided a video of Cody Garbrandt preparing for his fight and using TriFecta Nutrition.  The company, which delivers nutritional meals includes Urijah Faber as a part of the company.

Embedded is starting to tie in the UFC sponsors as the episodes featured more Reebok kits (the fighters looked over their kits which they helped design), Body Armor and mouthguard sponsor GuardLab.

Sponsorships

New official UFC sponsor, Air Asia, made its debut in the Octagon.  In addition, MetroPCS, Budweiser, Toyo Tires, Budweiser, Harley Davidson, Performance Inspired, Hospitals for Special Surgery, Wish, Monster Energy and Sheetz shared an Octagon post.  Monster also had the center of the Octagon.  AMC’s the Walking Dead and EA UFC 3 also were in the Octagon

Budweiser sponsored the Embedded episodes and the fighter prep point.

In addition, Toyo Tires sponsored the post-fight interviews which was on the UFC Facebook page.

Wish sponsored the post-fight interviews in the Octagon.  EA Sports UFC sponsored the GSP-Bisping fight.

Odds and Ends

UPDATED:  UFC 217 almost made it without a cancelled fight after all fighters made weight.  But heavyweight Ion Cutelaba was flagged for an out-of-competition test and his fight was nixed from the card.

The Walt Harris-Mark Godbeer fight was called off after a low-blow followed by a kick to the head.  This was the fight that was held over from last PPV after Harris took the Werdum fight.  The way it ended, Godbeer probably wishes that the fight did not happen.

James Vick tied Demetrious Johnson with the latest stoppage of a fight with 4:59 in the third round.  Vick stopped Joe Duffy as the featured fight on the UFC Prelims on FS1.

Notably, GSP is still sponsored by Under Armour as he wore the clothes while working out on Embedded.   Also, some may have noticed the branded mat at TriStar on one of the Embedded episodes.

There were over 1 million searches for “UFC 217” on Saturday which bodes well for the PPV buys.  Dana White noted that it was trending to do 1 million PPV buys but nothing has been confirmed.  Rose Namajunas had over 200,000 google searches.  Cody Garbrandt had 100,000 searches and boxer Deontay Wilder had 100,000.

Conclusion

With over 1 million Google Searches on Saturday for UFC 217 and Rose and Cody getting their own searches, it appears that the return to New York will be a PPV success.  I am not sure if the PPV gets to 1 million buys but it will have the best chance of the PPVs this year to hit the mark.  Look for this to do a strong 825,000-850,000 PPV buys.

UFC Fight Night 119 attendance and bonuses

October 28, 2017

UFC Fight Night 119 took place at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.  The event was a sell out although the Brazilian fans left disappointed as Derek Brunson KO’d the returning Lyoto Machida in the main event.

The UFC announced the attendance and bonuses post-event.

For his work, Brunson earned one of the Performance bonuses of the Night.  Pedro Munhoz earned the other Performance bonus with his submission of Rob Font.  The Fight of the Night went to Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos and Max Griffin which aired on the FS2 Prelims. Dos Santos won via unanimous decision.  Each drew $50,000 bonuses.

The attendance was reported as a sellout of 10,265.  As is custom with Brazilian events, the gate was not announced.

Payout Perspective:

It was a disappointing night for Brazilian fans as Machida was knocked out and Colby Covington defeated Demian Maia in the co-main event.  He then trashed the country in a post-fight interview in the Octagon.  The report of a sell-out reflects the fact that Brazil is still a big market for the UFC.  This past March it drew over 14,000 fans in Fortaleza, Brazil for Fight Night 106.

UFC Fight Night 118 attendance, gate and bonuses

October 21, 2017

Darren Till made a splash today by stopping Donald Cerrone in the first round of the main event from Gdansk, Poland.  Till led the bonus winners for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event.

Till, Jan Blachowicz, Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned $50,000 bonuses.  Blachowicz earned a performance bonus for his second-round submission of Devon Clark.  Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned fight of the night.  Kelleher pulled out a third-round TKO of Stasiak.

The event in Gdansk, Poland drew 11,118 for a gate of $677,000. The event took place at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.  It was the first event the UFC has ever held in Poland.

Payout Perspective:

A nice turnout in Poland for a UFC Fight Pass Only card.  With a relatively low gate for the number in attendance, the figure represents that the UFC should likely return to the area with a bigger card.  The performance by Till makes it likely that he may headline another card in the country.

UFC 216: Payout Perspective

October 10, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 216 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ferguson submits Lee

It was not a good week for Kevin Lee.  Not only did he have issues with cutting weight which kept everyone in suspense on Friday.  It appeared that he had a staph infection on Saturday night.  Joe Rogan noticed a mark on Lee’s left pec immediately.  Lee acknowledged the infection which makes one wonder how the commission allowed Lee to fight.

It was a good fight but it looked like Lee had tired in the third and was eventually submitted.  Ferguson should go on to face Conor McGregor if he decides to return to fight.  If not, could we see another setup with Khabib.

DJ makes history with title defense

Demetrious Johnson did it again with another successful title defense of his UFC Flyweight title and another 5th round stoppage.  Johnson had a sensational suplex into an armbar transition to tap out Ray Borg.  It was the 11th title defense which set a record.  DJ stands alone in the UFC Flyweight division.

Despite the remarkable accomplishment Johnson was the co-main event and not the main fight on the show.  This was a subtle sign that despite the remarkable accomplishment, Johnson is not a top of the card draw as he should be.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

This was the lowest attendance and gate for a UFC PPV held at the T-Mobile Arena.  The figures announced post-fight totaled just 10,638 for a gate of $677,999.50.  Of 7 events at the T-Mobile, it was 6th in terms of attendance and gate.  Only this summer’s TUF 25 Finale drew less and that’s due to the fact that there are events on back to back nights.

The bonuses went to Demetrious Johnson, John Moraga, , Bobby Green, Lando Vannatta.  Johnson and Moraga earned the Performances of the Night while Green and Vannatta earned Fight of the Night for their draw.

Payouts

Tony Ferguson was the highest paid fighter of the night earning $500,000 while Demetrious Johnson drew $340,000.  Both Kevin Lee and Ray Borg earned the most of their career with their pay on Saturday.

Via MMA Junkie:

 

Tony Ferguson: $500,000 (includes $250,000 win bonus)
def. Kevin Lee: $250,000

Demetrious Johnson: $370,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ray Borg: $100,000

Fabricio Werdum: $400,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus)
def. Walt Harris: $28,000

Mara Romero Borella: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Kalindra Faria: $12,000

Beneil Dariush: $48,000*
vs. Evan Dunham: $40,000*

Cody Stamann: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Tom Duquesnoy: $23,000

Bobby Green: $24,000*
vs. Lando Vannata: $25,000*

Poliana Botelho: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Pearl Gonzalez: $10,000

Matt Schnell: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Marco Beltran: $14,000

John Moraga: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus)
def. Magomed Bibulatov: $17,000

Brad Tavares: $74,000 (includes $37,000 win bonus)
def. Thales Leites: $57,000

The official Nevada Commission’s pay sheet had Godbeer receiving his show money.  Notably, the Nik Lentz-Will Brooks fight was scrapped due to an illness which hospitalized Lentz.  Although the Nevada Commission may not have paid Brooks, a social media post infers that he was still compensated.

The commission did not have purse payments for Lentz, Brooks and Derrick Lewis.

Promotion of the Fight

With the horrible events that happened the Sunday before the fight the event hype was muted for obvious reasons.  Dana White did not have any fight hype on his twitter timeline until Wednesday.  The Embedded episodes that usually kick off the week were held until that Wednesday.  With this event being a hard sell even before the tragedy, the lack of last minute buzz certainly did not help the buys for this event.

Sponsorships

Although not exactly related to this event, it was announced this week that longtime sponsor Bud Light would be replaced in the U.S. by Modelo Especial staring in 2018.

We are starting to see a lot subtler sponsor promotion on the Embedded series as we see the fighters getting their Reebok gear and visiting the UFC Performance Institute.

Aside from Budweiser, Toyo Tires, Metro PCS, Performance Inspired, Harvey Davidson, 7 Eleven and Monster Energy had the center of the Octagon.  One may have noticed that 7 Eleven had its own signage post whereas in past events it shared one with Monster Energy.  It also had the prep point.  The twitter hashtag Vegas Strong was also in the Octagon.

Odds and ends

It was a different opening for the UFC 216 PPV as Dana White invited over 1,500 first responders to the event and brought some of the survivors of the devastating shooting to the octagon.  Everlast, from House of Pain fame, also sang “America the Beautiful.”  There were cold openings for both the Exclusive Fight Pass Prelims and the Prelims on FX.

The festivities were strained by Dana White’s public scorn for Jason Aldean.  He claimed that Aldean did not want to perform (Aldean was the performer on stage during the shooting).  But, he showed up on Saturday Night Live the same night.  Let it go Dana.  It’s petty to mess up a nice night by getting mad at this.

Derrick Lewis and Fabricio Werdum were taken off last minute with Walt Harris taking the fight against Werdum.  The good news is that Godbeer was paid despite being taken off the card.  Brooks was not although his social media account infers he may have been compensated by the UFC.

Prelims were on FX this time around to compensate for College Football on FS1.  It drew just 653,000 viewers Saturday night.

The commission had some explaining to do with the one hour allowance for Kevin Lee to cut the pound he was over.  Apparently, the rules allow it for championship fights.

There was also the issue of how the UFC Anti-Doping Policy allowed exemptions to Kalindra Faria and Mara Romero Borella.  Yet, it took Andrea Lee off the card due to her prior issues with drug testing.

It appeared as though the upper bowl of the T-Mobile Arena was cordoned off which reflects the attendance was low for the event.  Ticketmaster had seats available up until Friday (and likely Saturday) of the event with the get-in price going for $55.

The UFC sold Vegas Strong T-shirts with 100% of the proceeds going to victims of the shooting on October 1st.

The PPV ended before 10:00pm on the west coast and the broadcast crew was forced to stretch instead of trying to fill in a fight from earlier in the evening.  It did provide some comedy as Daniel Cormier had problems with his headset cords.

There were over 500,000 searches for UFC 216 on Saturday.

Conclusion

This will be one of the lower-purchased PPVs of 2017.  While Lee and Ferguson is a good fight, it is not one you’d pay $60 to see as the main event.  Johnson is one of the greatest fighters ever, but fans do not want to pay to watch him fight.  While it was a good night of fights, its hard seeing this event doing more than 170,000 PPV buys.

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