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.

UFC 216 attendance, gate, bonuses and payouts

October 8, 2017

UFC 216 attendance, gate, bonuses and payouts were disclosed on Saturday.  Notably, it was the lowest turnout for a UFC PPV in the history of PPV events at the T-Mobile Arena.

The bonuses of the night 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.

Attendance announced by the UFC post event was 10,638 for $677,999.50.  Of the 7 events at the T-Mobile Arena since the UFC become one of the anchor tenants for the venue, it landed 6th on the list with just this past July’s TUF 25 Finale having a smaller attendance

Payouts were disclosed by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Saturday night with Tony Ferguson earning the most on the roster.

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

Payout Perspective:

Johnson’s submission of Borg was unbelievable.  The attendance and gate were not surprising considering the card did not have any big names.  Tickets were still available on Ticketmaster.  Lee and Borg had career high payouts.  It’s not known if Mark Godbeer will be compensated after losing his spot when Walt Harris filled in for Derrick Lewis against Fabricio Werdum.  Looking at Werdum’s pay, I’d assume that he wanted to fight and not want to sit out and lose out on a nice payday.

UFC Fight Night 117 attendance and gate

September 23, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan.  It was the lowest-attended UFC event from Japan.

Ovince St. Preux, Gokhan Saki, Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha earned $50,000 bonuses.  OSP stopped Yushin Okami in the first round via Von Flue Choke.  Gokhan Saki stopped Henrique da Silva in a wild back and forth striking match.  Saki looked like he was in trouble but landed a punch right on the button knocking da Silva down and ending the fight.  The Fight of the Night went to Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha in a bloody three round affair that went to Andrade.

It was the fifth UFC event in Japan and drew 8,571 fans.

UFC 144:  Edgar-Henderson – 21,000

UFC on Fuel TV 8:  Silva-Stann – 14,682

UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt-Nelson – 12,395

UFC Fight Night 75 Barnett-Nelson – 10,137

UFC Fight Night 117:  St. Preux-Okami – 8,571

Payout Perspective:

No issues with the bonus winners as each deserved the bonus.  Andrade and Gadelha was a great affair and one of the best ever in the 115-pound women’s division.

UFC Fight Night 116 attendance, gate and bonuses

September 18, 2017

UFC Fight Night 116 drew just 7,005 fans for the event at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  UFC officials announced the attendance and gate post-event which took place Saturday night.

In addition, the $50,000 bonuses went to Mike Perry, Uriah Hall, Gregor Gillespie and Jason Gonzalez.  Perry and Hall earned Performance Bonuses while Gillespie and Gonzalez earned Fight of the Night.

The attendance at the event was the lowest for a UFC event this year with just 7,005 fans and the gate drew $396,190.  The figures were announced post-event by the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

UFC Fight Night 112 this past June in Oklahoma City had similar attendance figures but this past Saturday’s event was the lowest gates of the year.  With Canelo-GGG on the same night as well as college football, this may have been a tough sell for the UFC.  But, this is what to expect of the lower-tier Fight Night events.

Main card fighters draw UFC 215 bonuses

September 9, 2017

Rafael Dos Anjos, Henry Cejudo, Jeremy Stephens and Gilbert Melendez drew the Fight of the Night Bonuses for UFC 215 on Saturday night.

The $50,000 bonuses were announced by the UFC post-fight.

RDA made quick work of Neil Magny in an impressive outing in the former lightweight champion’s new weight class.  He took out Magny with a head and arm choke.  Cejudo ended the night for Wilson Reis with a 2nd round stoppage and Stepehens and Melendez put on a good show with Stephens winning.

It was the first time the promotion held an event in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The event took place at Rogers Place.

Payout Perspective:

A nice night of fights with some very good performances on tonight’s card.  RDA, Cejudo and Stephens were really strong tonight and made up for the cancellation of the Borg-DJ main event.

UFC Fight Night 115 attendance, gate and bonuses

September 3, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 115 from Rotterdam.

The $50,000 bonuses went to Alexander Vokov, Stefan Struve, Zabit Magomedsharipov and Mairbek Taisumov.  Volkov and Struve earned Fight of the Night and Magomedsharipov and Taisumov drew Performance bonuses.  All 3 of the fights ended with stoppages.

As for the attendance, the Fight Pass only event drew 10,224 fans for a live gate of $900,000 per the UFC post-event.  The UFC’s previous event in The Netherlands drew 10,421 for a gate of slightly over $1.5M.

Payout Perspective:

Struve was the headliner for the event and fell short to Volkov in a very good heavyweight matchup.  The event scored about the same in gate and attendance.  The debut event of UFC Fight Night 87 featured Alistair Overeem which may have been a bigger draw for the Dutch crowd.

UFC Fight Night 114 attendance and bonuses

August 6, 2017

UFC Fight Night 114 drew 10,172 fans in Mexico City Saturday night according to UFC officials post-event.

There was no live gate announced for the event.  Of 5 events taking place in Mexico City at the Mexico City Arena, UFC Fight Night 114 drew the lowest attendance of the 5.  Arguably, it was the weakest card out of the 5 as well.

  1. UFC 188:  Velasquez Werdum – 21,036
  2. UFC 180: Werdum-Hunt – 21,000
  3. UFC Fight Night 98: RDA-Ferguson – 11,460
  4. UFC Fight Night 78: Magny-Gastelum – 10,410
  5. UFC Fight Night 114: 10,172

The UFC also announced the bonuses for Fight Night 114 which included Dustin Ortiz, Joseph Morales, Humberto Bandenay and Niko Price.  There was no Fight of the Night as all 4 received Performance Bonuses.

Payout Perspective:

You probably shouldn’t be surprised with the low turnout since this is the archetype for a Fight Night card.  Still, Niko Price, Sergio Pettis and Markos-Grasso put on good performances on Saturday night.  We shall see how it did up against ESPN’s Topo Rank Boxing.

UFC 214 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 30, 2017

The UFC announced the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 214 in Anaheim Saturday night.

Jon Jones, Volkan Oezdemir, Brian Ortega, and Renato Moicano earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Jones and Oezdemir won for their stoppages and Ortega and Moicano earned the Fight of the Night.

The event at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California drew 16,610 fans for a live gate of $2,448,870.  It was the best gate for the venue in the 7 UFC events held at the venue.

Payout Perspective:

The Curran-Albu fight could have drawn the FOTN bonus but Ortega’s stoppage probably gave the fight the nod.  Southern California is a great region for MMA and the attendance and gate reflects the fact that when there are solid fights, people will come.  Clearly, this card was the strongest of the year.

UFC on Fox 25 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 22, 2017

UFC on Fox 25 drew 11,198 fans for a gate of 1 million per the UFC post-event.  In addition, Alex Oliveira, Junior Albini, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Lyman Good earned the $50K bonuses for the event on Long Island.

You may recall that last July’s UFC on Fox 20 from Chicago did well with a main event of Holly Holm-Valentina Shevchenko.  The event drew 10,287 for a gate of $1 million.  The event drew 2.975 million viewers which was the biggest ratings for a summer UFC on Fox event in its history.

This year, the event took place at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  It was the company’s first event on Long Island and 4th in New York.

(h/t:  MMA Junkie)

2017 UFC on Fox

UFC on Fox 24: 12,171, $1,081,193

UFC on Fox 23: 13,213, $1,020,434

Payout Perspective:

Based on the configuration of the arena for the event, it looks like this was not a sellout but a solid event nonetheless.  The event is less than the other events this year but on par with each.  We shall see how ratings do for this event tomorrow.

UFC Fight Night 113 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 16, 2017

UFC Fight Night 113 from Scotland drew 10,589 fans for a gate of $1.2 million per the UFC post-fight.  Main event Santiago Ponzinibbio led the performance bonus winners with his stoppage of Gunnar Nelson.

Paul Felder, Danny Henry and Daniel Teymur drew the other $50,000 bonuses.  Felder earned bonus of the night while Henry-Teymur drew Fight of the Night.  Ponzinibbio scored a huge upset over the favored Nelson with a huge KO in round 1.

The event was held at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland.

The last event in Glasgow featured Michael Bisping defeating Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 72.  The debut event in the country drew 10,451 for a gate of $1.5 million at the SSE Hydro.

Payout Perspective:

A nice return to Scotland for the UFC.  While fan favorite Gunnar Nelson did not win, it was an entertaining card with some entertaining fights.  Despite making less than 2015, the event shows the fans will support the company when they return.

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