Iaquinta still not happy with UFC

April 24, 2017

Al Iaquinta is not mincing words when he it comes to the UFC.  In an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, he talked about the UFC bonus system and how it controls everybody.

Despite being on an 8-1 win streak since TUF 15, Iaquinta has spoken out about fighter pay and event contemplated retirement.  He pulled out of UFC 205 due to a dispute over his pay.  Without another UFC post-fight bonus, he tweeted his displeasure with the UFC.

Iaquinta had been banned from post-fight bonuses because of the UFC’s belief that he purposely skipped a UFC fighter summit in Las Vegas.

Iaquinta stated that the $50,000 bonuses is used as a way to control the fighters.

Payout Perspective:

It’s obvious that bonuses are a way to entice fighters.  You hear some fighters (mostly those lower on the pay scale) request in their post-fight interview for the $50K bonus.  The more exciting the fight, the bigger possibility that a fighter may get the $50K.  So, you can see where Iaquinta is coming from.  However, this “carrot and stick” happens in all forms of business and not just the UFC.  The more interesting issue will be what the UFC decides to do with Iaquinta.  Certainly, the easiest thing to do would be to not renew Iaquinta’s deal once it is over and allow him to leave for Bellator.

UFC Fight Night 108 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 23, 2017

UFC officials announced the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 108 from Nashville, Tennessee.  The event drew the second-highest attendance and gate in events in Nashville.

UFC Fight Night 108 drew 10,144 fans for a gate of $755,180.  The event took place at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.  The multi-purpose venue varies in maximum capacity from 17,000-20,000 depending on the event.

The $50,000 bonuses handed out for UFC Fight Night 108 went to Cub Swanson, Artem Lobov, Mike Perry and Brandon Moreno.  The main event of Swanson-Lobov drew the Fight of the Night while Perry and Moreno earned Performance of the Night bonuses.

It was the second-highest attendance of the four UFC events held in Nashville but the largest grossing of the four.  The last time an event was held in Nashville prior to Saturday night was UFC Fight Night 73 in April 2015.

The attendance is on par with other Fight Nights and was helped by having local UFC fighters on the card.

UFC on Fox 24 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 15, 2017

Demetrious Johnson, Robert Whittaker, Louis Smolka and Tim Elliott earned bonuses of the night for UFC on Fox 24.  The event, which aired Saturday night on Fox, drew a record for a sporting event at The Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Johnson earned his bonus after submitting jiu jitsu specialist Wilson Reis with an armbar.  Whittaker upset Jacare Souza via TKO in the second round.  Smolka and Elliott earned a Fight of the Night bonus for their fight which was the opener on the televised prelims portion.  It was a back and forth grappling contest which was won by Elliott.  All earned $50,000.

The event was well-received in Kansas City as the event drew 12,171 for a live gate of $1,081,193 million.  According to MMA Junkie it is the highest earning sports event in venue history.

The bonuses, attendance and gate figures were announced post-event.

Payout Perspective:

Another dominating performance for Johnson as he made it look easy against Reis.  Despite not being a PPV draw, Johnson does well on Fox cards and his dominance should really be marketed more by the UFC.

UFC 210 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 8, 2017

UFC officials announced the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 210 from Buffalo, New York.  UFC 210 set a venue record with in its fourth event in New York since the sport was legalized.

The event, which took place at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York drew 17,110 for a gate of $2 million.  It ranks second behind UFC 205 as top UFC gates in the state.  The event featured Daniel Cormier defending his light heavyweight title against Anthony Johnson.

In addition, the bonuses went to Gregor Gillespie, Charles Oliveira, Shane Burgos and Charles Rosa.  Gillesie and Oliveira drew Performance bonuses while Burgos and Rosa drew the Fight of the Night.  All bonus winners received $50,000.

The attendance, gate and bonuses were announced by the UFC post-event.

Payout Perspective:

The event was a success from an attendance  and gate perspective.  Chris Weidman and Patrick Cote had ample fans as both are from the area.  Weidman is from New York and Cote’s Canadian fans crossed the border to make it to Buffalo.  Notably, Cote and Anthony Johnson told the crowd that this was their last fight.

UFC Fight Night 107 attendance, gate and bonuses

March 18, 2017

The UFC announced post-fight bonuses for Jimi Manuwa, Gunnar Nelson, Marlon Vera and Marc Diakiese for UFC Fight Night 107 Saturday afternoon from London.  The event drew 15,761 for a gate of $2,015,777.

The event took place at The O2 Arena in London.  The main event featured Jimi Manuwa and Corey Anderson.  Manuwa won via KO and drew one of the four $50K bonuses.

Marlon Vera drew another bonus for his third-round finish of Brad Pickett.  Perhaps a bittersweet bonus since Pickett was seemingly ahead on the scorecards in his retirement match.

Gunnar Nelson won via submission over Alan Jouban and Marc Diakiese knocked out Teemu Packalen for the other bonuses.  Notably Packalen earned a POTN bonus at UFC Fight Night 84, the last UFC event in London before today.

The attendance and gate were announced post-fight.  It was the ninth UFC event in London and the first since February 2016 when Michael Bisping defeated Anderson Silva.  The event outdrew the February 2016 event in gate but not attendance.

Payout Perspective:

The Fight Pass only show was well-attended by the London as this UFC event was third all-time out of 9 in terms of attendance and gate for the arena.  It shows the great support for the UFC overseas especially in the U.K.

UFC Fight Night 106 attendance and bonuses

March 12, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the UFC Fight Night 106 attendance and bonuses for Saturday’s event from Fortzleza, Brazil.

The bonuses went to Kelvin Gastelum, Edson Barboza, Paulo Borrachinha and Michel Prazeres.

The UFC announced a sell-out of 14,069 at Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Ceara, Brazil.  As is custom with the announcements in Brazil, no gate was announced.

The last time the UFC was in Fortzleza was in 2013 for UFC on Fuel TV 10 at a smaller venue which drew over 6,000 fans.

Payout Perspective:

A good night of fights with some entertaining finishes including Barboza’s stoppage via flying knee.  The announced attendance is a positive sign that builds on 2013’s appearance in the city.

UFC 209: Payout Perspective

March 7, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition, we take a look at UFC 209 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Woodley wins rematch with Wonderboy

The last seconds of the last round were really the most exciting part of this tactical fight.  There was not a lot of action for the first four rounds and Woodley’s flurry at the end of round 5 may have been the most

Teymur defeats Vannata in FOTN co-main

Replacing Khabib Nurmogomenov and Tony Ferguson was a daunting task and Teymur and Vannata put on a respectable fight.  Obviously, most MMA fans would have liked Khabib-Ferguson.

Attendance and Gate

The get-in price as of Friday, was $62 on the secondary market although there were a lot of tickets available on Ticketmaster.  The lowest price on Ticketmaster as of Friday was $95.  Vivid Seats noted that most tickets on the secondary market were from California.

The event drew 13,150 for a gate of $2,385,230 at the T-Mobile Arena.  It was by far the lowest out of the 4 events at the new arena.  However, the other 3 (200, 202, and 207) had big names attached to those events.


The bonuses went to Darren Elkins, Iuri Alcantara, David Teymur and Lando Vannata.  Elkins earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his come-from-behind win against Mirsad Bektic.  Alcantara won via kneebar against Luke Sanders.  Teymur and Vannata earned Fight of the Night.


Woodley earned $500,000 as he earned $400,000 to show and another $100,000 to win.

Stephen Thompson earned $380,000 for his narrow loss to Woodley.

Khabib lost out on $500,000 to show.  Tony Ferguson was awarded his show purse of $250,000 but lost out on his chance to his win bonus of $250,000.

The other salaries are as follows as disclosed by the NAC (via MMA Junkie)

David Teymur: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Lando Vannata: $25,000

Daniel Kelly: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Rashad Evans: $150,000

Cynthia Calvillo: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Amanda Cooper: $17,000

Alistair Overeem: $750,000 (no win bonus)
def. Mark Hunt: $750,000

Marcin Tybura: $72,000 (includes $36,000 win bonus)
def. Luis Henrique: $16,000

Darren Elkins: $92,000 (includes $46,000 win bonus)
def. Mirsad Bektic: $21,000

Iuri Alcantara: $68,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Luke Sanders: $12,000

Mark Godbeer: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Daniel Spitz: $12,000

Tyson Pedro: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Paul Craig: $12,000

Albert Morales: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Andre Soukhamthath: $10,000

Promotion of the Fight

The Embedded series seemed to focus on getting to know Khabib Nurmogomenov.  They showed him a lot during the series including going to see Mike Tyson.  Unfortunately, it did not turn out well for Khabib.  It also gave us a glimpse of the return of GSP.  Once again, there was no sponsor for the series.

The UFC Countdown show airing Sunday night on FS1 drew 80,000 viewers.  I wouldn’t look too much into this as many fans watch it online instead of just the show.

Woodley and Wonderboy did media rounds together to promote the fight.  Woodley brought up the issue of race during the media rounds.  Dana White dismissed this issue and while praising Woodley also called him a “drama queen.”  Whether or not you believe Woodley, his courage to talk about a controversial subject when many UFC fighters tip-toe around being controversial for fear of being punished by the company.

The St. Louis Cardinals supported the Missouri-born fighter.


Woodley is a Monster Energy sponsored athlete as evidenced by the “M” on his fight kit and holding the Monster can in the Octagon post-fight.

7-11 used UFC 209 for sponsorship activation as it offered a free Slurpee or Big Gulp by simply texting a number.

In addition to 7-11, MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Budweiser and Monster Energy were in the Octagon.

The UFC continues its relationship with Netflix as this PPV it featured the series Ironfist.

The Sidekick Experience is a second screen experience where fans can go on the UFC Fan Page to watch Facebook Live of people talking about the fights.

Odds and ends

Maybe the best sponsor of Saturday night was actually Kung Fu Teas which was on the mat during the Keith Thurman-Danny Garcia Fight.  It received great network exposure for a product I did not know existed.  Also of note, Monster Headphones, a UFC sponsor, was in the ring for Thurman-Garcia.

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would have placed the strap around Wonderboy had he defeated Woodley.

Bob Bennett showing up at the post-fight press conference to denounce a judge’s score in the main event sets bad precedent.  It undermines his judges and brings into question close decisions.  Press and fans will be looking to Bennett each time there is a questionable score.

There were over 500,000 google searches on Friday night for UFC 209 another 500,000 Saturday night and 100,000 for UFC may bode well for the final PPV buy rate.

The UFC and Dana White filed a Motion to Dismiss Mark Hunt’s lawsuit during fight week.  Despite Hunt stating he was not thinking about it, one has to think it had to be on his mind a little bit.  He is still being paid at a high level, $750,000.  The pay puts him in the top 1-2% of UFC contracted fighters right now.  This is something that the UFC will bring up during the lawsuit as it proceeds.

Perhaps unrelated to UFC 209, but Geico amplified its relationship with the UFC by having Cody Garbrandt star in its latest commercial.

The return of GSP and the announcement that he will take on Michael Bisping did alleviate some sting from the Khabib news.  As for the press conference, what was the deal with Bisping being late and seemingly drunk?  Very unprofessional for the champ.


This event was not going to do huge numbers but looked good from a hardcore MMA perspective as Khabib-Ferguson was a much-anticipated fight that was cancelled twice before this latest cancellation.  It probably hurt some, but overall this PPV was not going to do big numbers.  But, without Khabib-Ferguson, one would think this PPV does between 300-325K viewers.

UFC 209 attendance, gate and bonuses

March 4, 2017

Darren Elkins, Iuri Alcantara, David Teymur and Lando Vannata earned bonuses at UFC 209 on Saturday night from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The bonuses, attendance and gate were announced post-fight.

Elkins scored a Performance of the Night with a come from behind victory over Mirsad Bektic. Alcantara also fought back from adversity and scored a second-round stoppage via kneebar over Luke Sanders. The Fight of the Night went to recently promoted co-main event David Teymur and Lando Vannata.
In addition, the event drew 13,150 in attendance for a gate of $2.385,230.

Payout Perspective:

Cynthia Cavillo or Alistair Overeem could have earned a performance bonus as well for their respective stoppages. The attendance is the lowest out of the 4 PPV cards held at T-Mobile. Then again, it did not have a big name card to market. Recall, 200, 202 and 207 all had major attractions (i.e., Brock Lesnar, Diaz-McGregor, Rousey) at T-Mobile.

UFC Fight Night 105 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 20, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 105 from Halifax.

The event took place at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.  The event drew 8,123 for a live gate of $575,832 U.S. dollars.

The bonuses went to Derrick Lewis and Travis Browne for Fight of the Night while the performance bonuses went to Paul Felder and Thiago “Marreta” Santos.  Each earned $50,000.

Payout Perspective:

The event was a little below capacity for the arena but based on reports the Canadian fans were happy that the UFC came to town.  No real issues with the bonuses.  Santos stoppage was the better stoppage in my opinion.

UFC 208 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 11, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 208 in Brooklyn.

Notably, there was only one Performance of the Night bonus.

Jacare Souza earned the only POTN bonus with his first round submission of Tim Boetsch.  The first fight of the PPV, Dustin Poirier-Jim Miller drew the Fight of the Night.  All three earned $50,000.  There were no other performance bonuses.

The Barclay’s Center was sold out: 15,628 fans for a live gate of $2,275,10.  The bonuses, attendance and gate were announced post-event.

Payout Perspective:

Only 3 bonuses which reflects the lack of finishes on the card.  Although Holm-de Randamie was a good fight, Poirier-Miller was better.  The attendance and gate is a good sign that New York is hungry for MMA despite the card’s lack of star power.

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