UFC 103 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 15, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 103 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Yair Rodriguez led the bonus winners after demolishing B.J. Penn.

Aleksie Oleinik, Augusto Mendes and Frankie Saenz were the other bonus winners.  Mendes and Saenz drew Fight of the Night while Rodriguez and Olenik won for Performance Bonuses.

UFC 103 in Phoenix drew 11,589 for $913.372.  The event took place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Arena).

UFC 207: Payout Perspective

January 3, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 207 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rousey finished in 48 seconds

It was the long-awaited return of Ronda Rousey.  She looked in top shape but the question was whether she could return to her form pre-UFC 193.  The former bantamweight champion that brought women’s MMA to prominence could not.  Amanda Nunes broke Rousey’s spirit within seconds of the fight starting.

Rousey’s lone takedown attempt was stuffed and she actually started turning away from punches as if she’s never fought before.  It was pretty sad to watch a former champ go down this easy. She was out on her feet and didn’t even realize the fight was over.

For Nunes, it was easy work.  As she did at UFC 200, she broke a fighter’s spirit and likely retired another top opponent.  Nunes also showed some great promo skills post-fight as she told the media to forget about Rousey.

It will be interesting to see who will be next for Nunes.

I don’t think we can say poor Ronda Rousey.  Even though her MMA career should be over, her payday ($3 million) ties her for the highest-ever with Conor McGregor.  Rousey is more psychologically damaged than physical and if she doesn’t have her heart in fighting, she shouldn’t do it.

Garbrandt showboats to championship

While one championship fight had little promotion, the Dominick Cruz-Cody Garbrandt title match-up had great lead-up.  The two verbally sparred throughout the promotion of the fight and Garbrandt attempted to go after Cruz during media rounds.  There was even a pull-apart at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

Garbrandt showed no fear and solved Cruz’s awkward, but successful style.  It could be that Garbrandt was just quicker or Cruz lost a step but it made it a unanimous decision for the challenger.

This exchange will likely be gif’d to death.  In all honesty, I’ve watched it about 50 times.

In a touching moment, Garbrandt put the belt around a kid he befriended that battled back from leukemia. The kid, who walked hand in hand with Garbrandt to the ring, chanbed his life according to the new champ.  In the same post-fight interview, he called T.J. Dillashaw a m****f*****.  So, he’s still rough around the edges.

Garbrandt could grant Cruz a rematch or go after T.J. Dillashaw.

Attendance and Gate

Ticket demand was still high for Rousey as UFC 207 drew the largest attendance for an MMA event in the state of Nevada with 18,533.  T-Mobile Arena sold standing room only seats for the event which likely helped the attendance figure.  The gate was $4.75 million.

While the secondary market was not as robust as prior Rousey events, this was the first one in sometime in Vegas.


The fighters taking home the belts earned bonuses: Amanda Nunes and Cody Garbrandt.  Garbrandt and Cruz won the Fight of the Night.  Nunes and Alex Garcia earned a Performance bonus as well.  All received $50,000 checks.


Ronda Rousey drew $3 million which ties her with Conor McGregor for the highest-reported salary in the UFC.  Amanda Nunes earned $200,000 ($100k win/$100 show) for her defeat of Rousey.

The full list is here.

Pre-Fight Promotion

Ronda Rousey did little pre-fight promotion except for appearances on Conan, Ellen and an ESPN piece with Ramona Shelburne. Dana White stated that this was due to a one-time agreement with Rousey.

There were radio ad buys for UFC 207 to bolster the end of the year event.  The ad included the Cain-Werdum fight which did not happen.

Although Rousey did not speak, the faceoff in her return during the UFC 205 event in New York was intense.  Also, the ceremonial weigh-in on Friday with Nunes wearing the lionhead was great as well.

Over 103,000 people watched the ceremonial weigh-ins on YouTube and over 59,500 watched it on Facebook Live during the Rousey-Nunes faceoff.

Rousey appeared in 3 of the 6 Embedded episodes although she did not talk that much.


The UFC weigh-ins drew 222,000 viewers on FS1 and 94,000 in the A18-49 category per Sports TV Ratings.

The UFC 207 Prelims drew 1.511 million viewers on Friday night making it the fourth-highest rated PPV prelim of 2016.

The pre-fight show on FS1 drew 572,000 viewers and the post-event drew 404,000 viewers.

Overall, very strong numbers despite the fact it was a Friday night.


MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, the WGN series ‘Outsiders’, Geico, Twinzz.com, IconicFaceOff.com, Geico, Budweiser, the movie XXX and Monster Energy had the center.  XXX is the latest in the Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) series.

Rousey was sponsored by Monster Energy drink as she had the logo on her shorts.  The same for Dominick Cruz.

Pantene also had the Rousey commercial during the PPV.  The company activated a new campaign around Rousey in lead-up to this event.

Toyo Tires sponsored the Embedded series.

Odds and ends

Yahoo Beauty found a way to mention Ronda Rousey by doing a story on why women MMA fighters braid their hair.

Johny Hendricks looked better against Neil Magny, but missed weight again.  The issue seems to be in his head as he challenged media to cut weight.

Cain Velasquez was taken off the UFC 207 card and his fight with Fabricio Werdum after discussing his injuries in an interview.  The NAC took Cain off the card without his knowledge according to the former heavyweight champion.  He responded via a lengthy Facebook post.

Embedded was a good time for Dominick Cruz to show-off his branded t-shirts.

A big faux pas occurred when cable and satellite distributors advertised that UFC 207 was happening Saturday.  As we know, it was Friday.  Based on the Friday night ratings, people knew the correct time.

Nunes had the “Island of Dr. Moreau” look with the lion head at the ceremonial weigh-ins.

If you noticed a man in a wheelchair at the weigh-in, he had cashed in his UFC Reward Points for the opportunity to be on stage at the weigh-ins.  A pretty nice payoff considering he saw an almost fight right in front of him and Rousey-Nunes.

The bad news about Rousey’s fame was that she was covered in most of the mainstream news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.

“Ronda Rousey Fight” drew over 5 million google searches on Friday which should indicate a huge PPV gate.  But, a portion of those probably were searching for the fight after learning the news that Rousey was KO’d in less than a minute.  Interesting enough, there were no copyright warnings as there were for UFC 193.


All the indicators (google searches, ratings, etc.) reflect a huge PPV buy rate.  While we may want to discount some of those google searches, there were still a healthy amount of people that knew the fight was going to be Friday and that Ronda Rousey was returning to the Octagon.  For those that though there was “lack of buzz,” they underestimate the Rousey demo and are stuck in their old ways of thinking of what “MMA fans” want to see.  It would not be surprising to see this PPV hit 1 million buys.

UFC 207 bonus winners include Nunes, Garbrandt

December 30, 2016

Amanda Nunes, Cody Garbrandt, Dominick Cruz and Alex Garcia were the post-fight bonus winners at UFC 207.

The bonuses were announced post-fight.

Garbrandt and Cruz earned Fight of the Night for their 5-round battle.  Nunes and Garcia won Performance bonuses.  Garcia starched Mike Pyle in a vicious KO and Nunes probably ended the MMA career of Ronda Rousey with a first round stoppage.

Payout Perspective:

Hard to argue with these awards.  Certainly, the Garbrandt/Cruz fight was the best of the night while Garcia’s KO of Pyle was devastating as Pyle’s head bounced off the canvas.  And, for the second straight fight, Nunes took the soul of her opponent as she stopped Rousey.

UFC on Fox 22 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 17, 2016

UFC on Fox 22 attendance drew 13,136 for a live gate of $1,238,992.50 as announced at the post-fight press conference.  The bonuses went to Leslie Smith, Irene Aldana, Michelle Waterson and Paul Craig.

It was the 5th visit to Sacramento for the UFC but the first one in the newly opened Golden 1 Center.  It ranked third among attendance and gates in the city.

Smith and Aldana received the bonus for Fight of the Night in a bout which Smith earned the victory on the FS1 Prelims.  Waterson and Craig won the Performance bonuses.  All received $50,000.

Payout Perspective:

An entertaining main card with Mickey Gall finishing Sage Northcutt in the second round in the co-main event and Michelle Waterson upsetting Paige VanZant in round 1.  The event was well attended and ranked third highest of the 5 in the city.

UFC 206: Payout Perspective

December 13, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 206 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Holloway stops Showtime for Interim Featherweight title

With Anthony Pettis missing weight, Max Holloway was the only fighter that could have won the interim title.  Pettis claimed to have broken his hand on the first punch of the fight.  It appeared that may have been the case as Holloway seemed to control the fight.  He eventually made Pettis quit in the third round.

Holloway gets a chance to unify the interim title with a fight against Jose Aldo.  However, it would be nice to see a rematch against Conor McGregor.  It does not seem that that fight will not happen.  Yet, the Aldo match should be real good and we can have an actual champion at 145.

As for Pettis, he has lost 4 out of his last 5 and will move back up to lightweight.  Pettis is in a fight slump and needs to get back on the winning track.  It will be hard going back to lightweight.

Cerrone stops Brown with kick

It was the second-best fight of the night as Donald Cerrone and Matt Brown did not disappoint with their matchup on Saturday night.  Cerrone was able to get in head-kicks on Brown but Brown battle back and stung Cowboy with a couple shots.  However, in the third round, Cerrone got in another well-placed head-kick to Brown which knocked him out.

Cerrone should move up the ladder in the welterweight division while Brown’s showing should still keep him a main card fighter.

Attendance and gate

Despite losing a light heavyweight title fight, the fans in Toronto came to watch the fights.  It was another sellout at Air Canada Centre with 18,057 In attendance.  The gate drew $1,843,101 US dollars.  It was the fourth sellout for a UFC PPV in Toronto.


The bonuses went to Max Holloway, Lando Vannata, Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi.  Holloway and Vannata earned performance bonuses for their stoppages while Swanson and Choi put on the Fight of the Night.

Cerrone could have earned a $50,000 for his head kick finish as well.  Interesting that he did not receive one and just a week prior he appeared with the MMAAA.


The most notable sponsor of the night was the Government of Ontario which had a spot during the “Tale of the Tape” on the PPV.  According to a Bloody Elbow report, Ontario paid $150,000 for sponsoring the event.  The question of a conflict arose as to how the government could sponsor the event while its Office of the Athletics Commissioner regulated the event.   It would seem not to be a direct conflict since it would be two different departments within the government.  Ontario, as a sponsor, likely saw this as tourism exposure which could help the local industry.  Ontario, as a regulating body, would ensure the integrity of the sport and safety of the fighters.  There would not seem to be any conflict between the two.

The sponsors in the Octagon included Bud Light, Toyo Tires, Reebok, Monster Energy, 7-11, Harley Davidson, UFC Fight Pass and Monster Energy had the center.

Bud Light Living sponsored the Embedded Episodes.

Monster logos were on the shorts of both Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis.  Cerrone held the Monster can for the camera when his hand was raised in victory.

Odds and ends

Cub Swanson-Doo Ho Choi put on one of the best fights of the year.  Cerrone-Brown followed the fight and was almost as good.

The Ronda Rousey promo for UFC 207 was aired throughout the PPV.

The Embedded episodes did a good job of getting Max Holloway over as a major fighter. He seemed to become more comfortable in front of the camera and played to the Toronto crowd.

The Ontario Athletic Commission forced Emil Meek to cut his beard per commission rules.

Why was Donald Cerrone preparing for the fight in Cabo San Lucas with Joe Schilling?  Interesting that the “BMF” tattoo on his neck was fake but the black eye was real.

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson was hanging out with the Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson at the fights.


While this was a very good main card, it’s unlikely that it did well with PPV buys.  There were only 200,000 google searches for “UFC 206” on Friday which likely means a low buy rate. The cancellation of the light heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson took a lot out of the steam for promotion.  Pettis missing weight probably did little to add more damage to the PPV buy rate but it likely didn’t help.  Despite a strong attendance, the PPV buy rate for this event will be between 250,000 to 275,000 buys.

UFC 206 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 11, 2016

MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 206. The event was a sellout in the UFC’s return to Toronto.

The bonuses went to Max Holloway, Lando Vannata, Cub Swanson and Doo Ho Choi.  Holloway and Vannata earned performance bonuses for their stoppages while Swanson and Choi put on the Fight of the Night.

The event from Toronto’s Air Canada Center was a sellout with 18,057 In attendance.  The gate drew $1,843,101 US dollars.

Past events at Air Canada Center:

UFC 165 – September 21, 2013 (Jones-Gustafsson): 15,504 attendance, $1.9M gate

UFC 152 – September 22, 2012 (Jones-Belfort) 16,800 attendance, $1.9M gate

UFC 140 – December 10, 2011 (Jones-Machida) 18,303 attendance, $1.9M gate

Payout Perspective:

Donald Cerrone was shut out from a $50,000 bonus despite a dramatic kick to stop Matt Brown in a very entertaining fight.  Despite losing a light heavyweight title fight between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, fans showed up.  The attendance varied but the gate was essentially the same to reflect what was a sell-out according to the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 102 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 10, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 102 from Albany, New York on Friday night.

The Fight Pass only show drew 6,216 fans for a gate of $411,000.  The event took place at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York.  The Times Union Center has a capacity of 15,500.

Francis Ngannou, Gerald Meerschaert, Gian Villante and Saparbek Safarov earned the $50,000 bonuses for the night.  Villante and Safarov earned the Fight of the Night while Ngannou and Meerschaert drew the Performance bonuses.

The attendance, gate and bonus numbers were announced post-fight.

Payout Perspective:

It was the second time in New York in as many months since the ban on pro MMA was lifted within the state.  The attendance and gate are comparable to a Fight Night card.  For a Friday night card and the level of fighters featured, there did not seem to be anything surprising about the attendance.

TUF 24 Finale attendance, gate and bonuses

December 4, 2016

MMA Junkie reports The Ultimate Fighter 24 Finale attendance, gate and bonuses from Saturday night’s event at The Palms in Las Vegas.

Sara McMann, Anthony Smith, Jared Cannonier and Ian Cutelaba earned $50,000 bonuses.  McMann and Smith earned the Performance bonuses while Cannonier and Cutelaba had the Fight of the Night.

McMann submitted Alexis Davis while Smith earned a TKO victory over Elvis Mutapcic.

The event at the Palms drew 1,800 for a live gate of $143,000.

The numbers were announced post-event

Payout Perspective:

Rob Font could have earned a Performance Bonus for his stoppage of Matt Schnell.  The attendance and gate is the maximum for the venue as 1,800 for $143,000 is the usual numbers for The Palms.

UFC Fight Night 100 attendance and bonuses

November 20, 2016

UFC Fight Night 100 took place at the Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  It was the second event held by the UFC on Saturday.  Notably, it was the second straight event where there was no Fight of the Night bonus.

The UFC announced that the event drew 9,028 fans.  No gate was announced as seems to be the standard for events in Brazil.

The bonuses went to Thomas Almeida, Pedro Munhoz, Cezar Ferreira and Gadzhimurad Antigulov.  Each $50,000 bonus was for Performance of the Night.  There was no Fight of the Night bonus.

UFC Fight Night 99 attendance, gate and bonuses

November 20, 2016

UFC Fight Night 99 took place from Belfast, Ireland on Saturday.  It was the first of two UFC events on a busy day for combat sports.

The UFC announced the event drew 7,222 and a live gate of $850,000.  The event took place at SSE Arena Belfast in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Previously, the UFC held an event in Belfast in 2007 at SSE Arena Belfast.  The event drew 8,000 fans for a live gate of approximately $1.2 million.

The bonuses for the night went to Jack Marshman, Kevin Lee, Abdul Razak Alhassan and Justin Ledet.  Each earned Performance of the Night.  There were no Fight of the Night Bonuses.

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