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.

UFC 240 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 28, 2019

UFC 240 took place Saturday night in Edmonton, Alberta Canada.  The promotion awarded its $50,000 bonuses which included two Performance Bonuses and a Fight of the Night.

Deiveson Figueiredo’s victory over Alexandre Pantoja drew Saturday’s Fight of the Night as the two flyweights put on a show on the Prelims which aired on ESPN.  In addition, Geoff Neal won a Performance Bonus for his second-round stoppage over Niko Price.  Also, Hakeen Dawodu stopped Yoshinori Horie in the last minute of the final round of their fight on the Prelims.

The event drew $1.4 million (U.S) and 12,144 from Rogers Place.   The numbers were announced post-fight by the UFC.

The main event saw Max Holloway successfully defend his Featherweight title against Frankie Edgar.

Payout Perspective:

The Prelims produced a lot of the action Saturday with Figueiredo-Pantoja and Dawodu’s KO.  The attendance and gate were very good although we don’t know the amount of comps for the event.  Still, a pretty nice showing from the Canadian crowd.

UFC on ESPN +4 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 21, 2019

UFC on ESPN +4 took place on Saturday night from San Antonio, Texas.  The UFC awarded bonuses to Walt Harris, Dan Hooker, Mario Bautista and Jin Soo Son.

The bonus winners won $50,000.  Harris earned the bonus for his quick work in stopping Aleksi Oleinik.  Hooker stopped James Vick and Bautista and Son earned Fight of the Night.  Bautista won via unanimous decision.

The event took place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio and aired on ESPN.  The event drew 9,255 for a live gate of $841,820.61.  The numbers were announced post event.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate are on par with most Fight Night events.  The main event of Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards was a good attraction but not one with much star power despite RDA being a former champion. With Pacquiao-Thurman on Saturday night and a PBC on Fox card, it will be interesting to see the ratings for the UFC event.

UFC on ESPN + 13 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 13, 2019

UFC on ESPN + 13 took place Saturday night in Sacramento, California.  The event drew 10,306 fans for a gate of $938,734.17 according to the company post-event.

The event took place at Golden1Center in Sacramento and featured local favorite Aspen Ladd taking on Germaine de Randamie in a battle of bantamweights.  Also, it featured the returning of Urijah Faber as he had his own bantamweight matchup against Ricky Simon.

Faber’s KO of Ricky Simon earned him a Performance Bonus.  Faber’s first round stoppage of Simon was the quickest KO of his career.  Also receiving bonuses were Josh Emmet with a first round stoppage over Mirsad Bektick, Jonathan Martinez with a 3rd round KO of Pingyuan Liu.  Andre Fili grabbed the final Performance Bonus with a stoppage of Sheymon Moraes.

Payout Perspective:

Interesting to note that all of the bonuses were stoppages and no Fight of the Night was awarded.  The event did well as the return of Faber and Ladd in the feature sold tickets as they were local favorites.

UFC 239 Payout Perspective

July 10, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 239, the annual promotion event held in Las Vegas.

Jones holds off Santos

It was closer than most believed but Jon Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight title over Thiago Santos.  Unlike previous challengers, Santos went after Jones’ legs with kicks but seemed to have tweaked his own knee in the second round.  This may have been the change in the fight as Jones was able to take advantage of Santos’ injury.  Yet, the Brazilian still attempted kicks and attacks but with his knee compromised, his mobility slowed enough for Jones to score on Santos.

With the win, Jones has to wait for another light heavyweight to emerge on the scene to challenge for his title.  But right now, he seems willing to take on the winner of the Cormier-Miocic fight with the possibility of a trilogy with DC a potential money-making fight.  It was later discovered that Santos’ Ls (MCL, PCL and ACL as well as his meniscus) were injured leaving him out for the rest of the year and maybe longer.

Despite the split decision Jones and Dana White scoffed at a rematch.  While this was the initial thought, I would have to think that if Santos is able to recover and scores a win or two after his return he may be able to garner another shot at the title if Jones is still the champion.

Nunes KO’s Holm

Amanda Nunes flexed her muscle and showed that she could finish in different ways.  This time, she used a headkick to stop Holm in the first round of their title fight.  Her slugfest which she came up on top on Cristiane Cyborg may be Nunes’ next fight although contract talks with Cyborg seem strained.  With her win against Holm, Nunes has established herself as the best in the sport of women’s MMA and you might even stretch that to the sport as a whole.  Her dominance against opponents is clear and there does not seem to be many that could hang with her.

Masvidal knees Askren for UFC record

It only took 5 seconds for Jorge Masvidal to take out Ben Askren with a well-timed knee to the side of the wrestler’s head.  Masvidal’s KO earned him the record for fastest stoppage in UFC history.  There was bad blood between the two in leadup to the fight which spurred the showboating by Masvidal afterward.  Masvidal gave a post-fight explanation for the extra punches he landed on Askren after he was unconscious.

For his part, Askren was humble and professional after the event and did not give any excuses about what happened.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

Perhaps the return of Jon Jones spurred the uptick of attendance from last year.  UFC 239 drew 18,358 for a gate of over $6 million.  Notably, last year’s July event drew 7,464 for a gate of $5,677,238.

The bonuses for the night went to Nunes, Masvidal, Jan Blachowicz and Song Yadong.  Blachowicz silenced Luke Rockhold with a solid fist to the jaw and earned him a bonus as well.  Yadong drew the only bonus awarded on the undercard with his KO of Alejandro Perez.

Payouts

Amanda Nunes and Jon Jones defended their titles and received the Champions purses.  With her $50K bonus, Nunes topped Jones overall with $300,000 to show another $200,000 for her defeat of Holly Holm to earn a total of $550,000.  Jones earned a $500,000 flat fee.

The rest of the payouts can be found here.

The Reebok Promotional Guidelines can be found here via MMA Junkie.

Ratings

The UFC Prelims scored 1.145M viewers on ESPN which was the best since Jon Jones’ last fight at UFC 235 in March.  It ranked #1 in cable viewership for Saturday night.

Sponsorships

The San Manuel Casino In Southern California was the most notable sponsor for this event as it was on the mat and a part of sponsor reads during the event.  I have reached at to them about whether this was a one off or something more and they have yet to respond.  In addition, The Rock’s new movie, Hobbs and Shaw, was prominently featured on the mat and a requisite clip to promote its release was also shown during the PPV.

Additionally, the sponsors in the cage included PariMatch, Devour, Toyo Tires, Hospital for Special Surgery, Buffalo Wild Wings, Body Armor, P3, PokerStars, Modelo, Nemiroff AM/PM, Motel 6 and Monster Energy in the center.

Modelo had the tale of the tape for the main event.  The last three fights were given sponsors for each.

Also, of note, Devour and Monster were featured on some fighters’ Reebok kits.  Jorge Masvidal held a Monster Energy can in the Octagon after his devastating KO of Ben Askren.  He also had Devour on his Reebok kit.  Jones whose had a Monster Energy sponsorship, sported the patch again tonight.

Modelo sponsored a video on Jorge Masvidal and his “Fighting Spirit” which was online via UFC.com.  The phrase “Fighting Spirit” was repeated again and again and there was

The Embedded series was sponsored by Motel 6.

Odds and ends

Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmogomedov almost got into a scuffle as Diaz passed the lightweight champion while getting to his seat.

ESPN + ran a special for those non-plus subscribers ordering the PPV.

Google trends had over 2 million searches for UFC 239 on Saturday night.  There were over 500,000 for “Ben Askren” which is solely due to his quick KO.

It was interesting that the ceremonial weigh-ins gave a backstory lead-up to Masvidal-Askren although it was not considered one of the two main events for the evening.

Darren Rovell stated that Amanda Nunes is not as marketable as Ronda Rousey or Paige Van Zant.  One might infer that the reason Nunes is not marketable is because she is not the blonde hair, blue-eye traditional women that you can market based on looks and attraction.  In fact, Nunes is the opposite since she is Brazilian, English is not her native language and she is openly gay.  These factors could be leveraged to her benefit.  But they are not.  Hopefully, the UFC can rectify this through its partnership with ESPN (in fact, Nunes will be featured in ESPN’s annual nude issue) But, for as forward-thinking that the UFC is with its early adaption to trends and technology, it knows its base.  And those fans don’t believe that Nunes could be perceived as the face of MMA or women’s MMA.  Whether or not the UFC is doing as much as it can to push Nunes and if Nunes wants the push (as the UFC wants her marked) has not been revealed. But one would hope that Nunes receives all the accolades that she should the greatest women’s champion in the history of the sport.


Conclusion

While we will not receive official tallies of buys for this event, all indications is that it did well.  Certainly, Jon Jones can be attributed to the success of this PPV as his continued reign in the UFC is making him the face of the company.  Without Conor McGregor, there is not another fighter out there that can draw like Jones.  If we were to give out a buy prediction, I’d think that this drew a buy rate between 400-450K buys.

Champs Jones and Nunes top UFC 239 salaries

July 7, 2019

The Nevada Athletic Commission disclosed the salaries for Saturday’s UFC 239.  Jon Jones earned the most guaranteed of the night but Amanda Nunes ended up topping the roster.

With her win bonus and Performance bonus, Nunes drew $550,000.  Jones earned $500,000 with no win bonus and challenger, Thiago Santos, earned $350,000.

As compiled by MMA Junkie:

  • Champ Jon Jones ($500,000; no win bonus) vs. Thiago Santos ($350,000; no win bonus)
  • Champ Amanda Nunes ($300,000; $200,000 win bonus) vs. Holly Holm ($300,000; no win bonus)
  • Ben Askren($210,000; $160,000 win bonus) vs. Jorge Masvidal ($100,000; $100,000 win bonus)
  • Jan Blachowicz($46,000; $46,000 win bonus) vs. Luke Rockhold ($200,000; $150,000 win bonus)
  • Michael Chiesa($52,000; $52,000 win bonus) vs. Diego Sanchez ($103,000; $103,000 win bonus)
  • Arnold Allen($32,000; $32,000 win bonus) vs. Gilbert Melendez ($200,000; no win bonus)
  • Nohelin Hernandez($12,000; $12,000 win bonus) vs. Marlon Vera ($48,000; $48,000 win bonus)
  • Claudia Gadelha($51,000; $51,000 win bonus) vs. Randa Markos ($30,000; $30,000 win bonus)
  • Alejandro Perez($42,000; $42,000 win bonus) vs. Song Yadong ($45,000; $45,000 win bonus)
  • Jack Marshman($30,000; $30,000 win bonus) vs. Edmen Shahbazyan ($16,000; $16,000 win bonus)
  • Ismail Naurdiev($14,000; $14,000 win bonus) vs. Chance Rencountre ($14,000; $14,000 win bonus)
  • Julia Avila($10,000; $10,000 win bonus) vs. Pannie Kianzad($12,000; $12,000 win bonus)

Payout Perspective:

Interesting to note that Melendez earning $200,000 as well as Rockhold.  Due to his tenure with the UFC, Diego Sanchez drew $103,000 with the opportunity to have had doubled the amount.

UFC 239 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 7, 2019

UFC 239 took place Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The promotion awarded four bonuses highlighted by Jorge Masvidal’s record-setting KO of Ben Askren.

Perhaps the theme of the $50K bonuses Saturday were Knockouts.

Masvidal’s knee to Askren’s head ended the fight in just 5 seconds.  In addition, Amanda Nunes garnered a Performance Bonus for her headkick and follow up stoppage of Holly Holm.  Jan Blachowicz silenced Luke Rockhold with a solid fist to the jaw and earned him a bonus as well.  Yadong drew the only bonus awarded on the undercard with his KO of Alejandro Perez.

The event at T-Mobile drew 18,358 for a gate of $6,063,707.11.  The attendance, bonus and gate were announced post-event.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate numbers bested last year’s annual July event in Vegas as UFC 226 drew 17,464 for a gate of $5,677,238.  Perhaps the uptick in attendance may have been due to Jon Jones’ appearance in the main event.  Arguably, last year’s Miocic-Cormier fight looked more competitive on paper.  The bonuses were reflective of the multiple stoppages on the card.

UFC Greenville attendance, gate and bonuses

June 22, 2019

UFC on ESPN +12 took place on Saturday from Greenville, South Carolina.  It was the promotion’s first appearance in the area.

The event drew 7,682 fans for a gate of $567,930,80 according to UFC officials post event.  The event took place at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.

The bonuses of the night went to Deron Winn, Eric Spicely, Chan Sung Jung and Jair Rozenstruik.  The Korean Zombie scored his bonus with a first round TKO of Renato Moicano.  Rozenstruik earned the second fastest heavyweight KO in UFC history with a 9 second stoppage of Allen Crowder. Winn and Spicely started the evening with an entertaining fight that won FOTN.  Winn earned the decision.

Payout Perspective:

The event in South Carolina was one of the lowest turnouts in terms of gate and attendance but this may have been anticipated as the UFC enters regional markets across the U.S.  Similarly, the UFC had relatively small numbers when it visited Wichita, Kansas earlier this year.  The original plan as believed by most was for native Stephen Thompson to headline which may have provided an extra boost for fans to attend. However, due to injury Thompson was not ready to return to the Octagon.

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