UFC Fight Night 126 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 18, 2018

UFC Fight Night 126 was a fast-paced evening with early-stoppage and exciting action Sunday night.  Derrick Lewis led the list of bonus winners with his KO of Marcin Tybura.

Lewis, Curtis Millender, Brandon Davis and Steven Petersen earned the $50,000 bonuses for the night.  Millender earned the other Performance Bonus while Davis and Petersen earned Fight of the Night.

Despite being held on the ground in the previous round, Lewis used his power to KO Tybura in the third round for the stoppage.  Millender stopped Thiago Alves with stunning left knee to Alves’ head which put him on the canvas without a need for Millender to follow him to the ground.  Davis earned a unanimous decision over Petersen.

The event took place at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.  The event drew 10,502 for a live gate of $794,350.  Out of 3 visits to Austin, Texas, it had the highest gate and attendance.

The UFC announced the attendance, bonus and gate post-event.

Payout Perspective:

The event saw Donald Cerrone stop Yancy Medeiros in the first round which highlighted a night with 8 of the 12 fights ending in stoppages and 6 of those ending in the first round.  It was surprising that Cerrone did not receive a Performance Bonus although Lewis and Millender had impressive stoppages.  There also a variety of other fights to choose from for the honor.

UFC 221: Payout Perspective

February 13, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at the UFC’s first event in Perth for UFC 221.

Romero misses weight but KO’s Rockhold

Yoel Romero missed weight which threw the main event into question.  Romero was fined 30% of his fight purse which was given to Rockhold.  The awkward stipulation was that Rockhold could win the interim title but Romero could not.  It was expected that Rockhold likely received further incentives to fight Romero.

And hopefully he did because Romero KO’d Rockhold in Round 3 to destroy his chances of winning the interim middleweight title and a showdown with Robert Whittaker.

For Rockhold, it has to be a disappointing result. One might suggest he not go through with the fight since Romero missed weight but I’m sure it was a matter of getting paid for the event.  It sounds as though he is looking to move up to light heavyweight next.

Blaydes earns decision over Mark Hunt

Curtis Blaydes earned a unanimous decision victory over Mark Hunt.  The New Zealander was the fan favorite but the now 10-1 (5-1 in the UFC) Blaydes earned the biggest win of his UFC career.  The good news for Blaydes is that he it was the penultimate fight on his UFC fight contract which means he has some leverage going into negotiations for a new deal.

On the other end, Hunt, who is still embroiled in a lawsuit against the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar indicated that he would be ending his time with the UFC.

The UFC may need Blaydes.  Currently 9th in UFC rankings, the division is suffering from lack of known fighters and/or injuries.  Perhaps he is paired with another UFC 221 star, Tai Tuivasa, who defeated Cyril Asker.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

UFC 221 did well despite the Sunday morning start in Perth.  It drew 12,437 fans for a live gate of $3.6 million Australian dollars (or $2,810,520 American).

The bonuses went to Israel Adesany, Jussier Formiga, Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang.  Adesanya and Formiga earned Performance Bonuses while Matthews and Jingliang drew the “Fight of the Night.”  All received $50,000 bonuses.  There was some controversy in Jingliang’s receipt of the Fight of the Night since he eye-gouged Matthews while attempting to get out of his guillotine.  No foul was called despite calls for at least a point deduction.


Air Asia, Hudson Shipping Lines, Fetch, General Tire and Monster Energy had the center of the octagon.   I do not believe Modelo was a part of the signage for this event.

Fetch is an independent internet pay television provider.

Odds and ends

The promotion in the U.S. was minimal.  The UFC Countdown Show on Sunday night did register in the Nielsen 150 with 102,000 viewers and 0.04 in the A18-49 demo.  The post-fight show on FS1 drew 188,000 viewers.

The UFC 221 Prelims on FS1 drew 697,000 viewers on FS1.  It was the lowest-rated UFC Prelims event since UFC 216 on FX drew 653,000 viewers.  UFC 216 drew about 120,000 PPV buys.

Luke Rockhold arriving to open workouts on a camel was some Ricky Jarrett from HBO’s Ballers-type stuff.

Tai Tuivasa could be a fighter to watch out for in the heavyweight division.  Drinking out of the shoe was different.

Tyson Pedro also gave a great post-fight promo and Jon Anik was able to catch his attempt at a mic-drop.

There were over 200,000 google searches for UFC 221 on Saturday.


One might expect that this PPV to do very poorly.  Romero not making weight may have added some intrigue to the matchup.  This card would have been an interesting FS1 card but to pay $65 for the card is very hard to reconcile if you are a casual viewer.  Moreover, the fact that there is another UFC card next weekend makes skipping a PPV like this easier.  One might expect a buy rate of around 125,000.

UFC 221 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 10, 2018

The UFC made its promotional debut in Perth for UFC 221 and fans were happy to see the fighters in action.  It drew 12,437 fans for a live gate of $3.6 million Australian dollars.

The US equivalent is $2,810,520 for the gate for a Sunday afternoon in Perth.  According to UFC exec David Shaw it was the largest gross ever earned in a sporting event at Perth Arena.

The bonuses for UFC 221 went to Israel Adesanya, Jussier Formiga, Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang.  Adesanya and Formiga earned “Performance of the Night” while Matthews and Jingliang earned “Fight of the Night.”

Payout Perspective:

The gate has to be promising for the company as it tries to expand its reach in the region.  While the card may not have been PPV-worthy, there were some good matchups on the show.  Of course, Yoel Romero did not earn a bonus due to not missing weight.

UFC Fight Night 125 attendance and bonuses

February 4, 2018

The UFC announced the attendance and bonuses for Fight Night 125 from Belem, Brazil.

Thiago Santos, Anthony Smith, Valentina Shevchenko and Iuri Alcantara drew the $50,000 bonuses for the event.  Santos and Smith earned Fight of the Night while Shevchenko and Alcantara earned Performance Bonuses.

The event drew 10,444 fans with no gate being announced.  The event took place at the Mangueirinha Gymnasium in Belem, Para, Brazil.

The numbers were announced post-event.

UFC on Fox 27 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 27, 2018

UFC on Fox 27 took place Saturday night from Charlotte, North Carolina.  Ronaldo Souza headlined the card and took home a $50,000 fight bonus for his stoppage of Derek Brunson.

In addition, Mirsad Bektic, Drew Dober and Frank Camacho took home $50,000 bonuses.  Bektic earned a Performance Bonus with a TKO of Godofredo Pepey.  Drew Dober and Frank Camacho earned Fight of the Night on the main card on Fox with Dober earning a unanimous decision.

The event drew 10,249 for a gate of $944,000.  The event took place at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.

Notably, last year’s UFC on Fox event in January 2017 drew 13,233 and a gate of $1,020,434.  The main event featured Valentina Shevchenko submitting Julianna Pena.  It also had Jorge Masvidal stopping Donald Cerrone.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate is similar to that of a Fight Night card.  With the fighters on this card, it felt like a Fight Night card.  This may not bode well with the network ratings.  We shall see if enough people stayed home to watch the event.  Souza looked impressive in stopping Brunson as he registered another stoppage over the North Carolina native.

UFC 220 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 20, 2018

Daniel Cormier led the list of Performance Bonuses for UFC 220. The event at the TD Garden in Boston drew a record attendance for the company in the venue.

Cormier looked impressive in a 2nd Round stoppage of Volkan Oezdemir and earned a $50,000 Performance Bonus.  In addition,  Abdul Razak Alhassan, Calvin Kattar and Shane Burgos earned the other $50,000 bonuses.  Alhassan earned his Performance Bonus with a KO of Sobah Homasi.  The Fight of the Night went to Kattar and Burgos with the Boston native earning a third-round stoppage.

There were 16.015 in attendance for a gate of $2.45 million.  The number of fans in attendance was a record for an event by the UFC at the TD Garden. UFC 118 drew a higher gate when the event featuring Frankie Edgar-BJ Penn II drew $2.8 million.

The UFC announced the information post-fight.

Payout Perspective

The number in attendance reflects the popularity of the UFC in Boston.  Two title fights also provided some interest in the card.  Still, over 16,000 for the event ensures that Boston will always be a part of the annual tour for the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 124 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 14, 2018

UFC Fight Night 124 in St. Louis took place on Sunday night.  The headliners, Jeremy Stephens and Doo Ho Choi took home bonuses for Fight of the Night.

The bonuses and numbers were announced post fight.

Stephens also secured a Performance Bonus for his second-round stoppage over the self-proclaimed Korean Superboy.  In addition, Polo Reyes and Darren Elkins earned Performance Bonuses for their stoppages.  All earned $50,000 each.  Stephens drew two bonuses for $100,000.

The event in St. Louis drew 10,052 fans for a gate of $812,995 at the Scottrade Center.  It was the first visit to St. Louis for the company and just the second to the state of Missouri.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate are slightly lower than last year’s Sunday night January event from Phoenix.  But, that event featured the return of BJ Penn.  Still, the St. Louis numbers are very good for a new city the company visited.  Stephens win may put him up against another winner tonight, Darren Elkins.

UFC 219: Payout Perspective

January 2, 2018

Welcome to another addition of Payout Perspective.  This time around we are taking a look at UFC 219 taking place in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena.

Cyborg defeats game Holm

It took all 5 rounds but Cristane “Cyborg” Justino defeated Holly Holm via unanimous decision.  Holm made Cyborg work for the win but she was still too much for the former women’s Bantamweight champ.

It’s not clear what’s next for Cyborg as she has no equal in a division the UFC made for her.  Amanda Nunes seems like a stretch for Cyborg and Meeghan Anderson is an uncertainty.  Holm will likely go back down to 135 where she can still put on some interesting fights.

Khabib overwhelms Barboza

Khabib Nurmogomedov utterly destroyed Edson Barboza securing 10-8 rounds from all of the judges.  His grappling and ground and pound were devastating and the look on Barboza’s face while on the ground told a story of a fighter’s will be taken away from him.

Assuming that Khabib’s weight cutting issues are in the past, we should see him fight Tony Ferguson and/or Conor McGregor next.  The best scenario for the UFC is for Khabib to fight Ferguson in the spring with the winner going on to face Conor in July at International Fight Week.

Attendance, Gate and Bonuses

The event drew 13,561 fans for a gate of $1.76 million at the T-Mobile Arena.  In comparison, UFC 213 drew 12,834 for $2.4 million and UFC 216 drew 10,638 for a gate of $677,999.50.  UFC 213 and 216 were the other two events held at the T-Mobile Arena.

Last December’s UFC 207 featuring the return of Ronda Rousey drew 18,533 for a gate of $4.75 million.

Bonuses for UFC 219 went to Cyborg, Holm, Khabib and Tim Elliott.  Cyborg and Holm earned Fight of the Night while Khabib and Elliott earned Performances of the Night.


Purses for the main card fights were disclosed by the Nevada Athletic Commission.  The women’s Featherweight champion earned $500,000 while the challenger drew $300,000.

Other salaries disclosed:

Khabib Nurmogomedov $80,000/$80,000

Edson Barboza $75,000/$75,000 (if Barboza won)

Carlos Condit’s $115,000/$115,000

Neil Magny $70,000/$70,000.

Cynthia Calvillo $41,000/$41,000

Carla Esparza $36,000/$36,000.

Promotion of the Fight

The UFC Embeddeds seemed sporadic this time around as the first one surfaced on Tuesday due to

Christmas being on Monday.  But, there were two Embedded episodes uploaded on Saturday for a total of five episodes.  Either did not have time due to the holiday or not enough content.

The original Netflix Film “Bright” used UFC 219 to promote its movie.  The UFC promoted the event in multiple social media posts.  It appears the UFC was paid by Netflix for the promotion.


In the Octagon, it was the first time we saw Motel 6.  This might be potential for another official sponsor.  In addition, Air Asia, Gruntstyle.com, MetroPCS, Budweiser, Monster Energy, AM/PM, Harley Davidson, Hospital for Special Surgery and Netflix’s original movie, “Bright” were in the Octagon.

EA’s UFC 3 had the fighter prep point.

The Will Smith Netflix movie used UFC 219 as a way to activate and reach out to the UFC demo.  Netflix worked with the UFC in developing a social media campaign which centered around one of the movie’s main characters pretending to become an MMA fighter and facing Heavyweight Travis Browne.  The movie, despite widespread poor reviews, received over 11 million views in just 3 days of availability on Netflix.

It was the last time we will see Budweiser in the Octagon as its sponsorship contract ended and Modelo Especial will now be the official beer maker for the UFC.  The move allows the company to seek hard alcohol sponsors as Anheuser Busch InBev prevented the UFC from taking on hard liquor sponsors.

Metro PCS also had Periscope ancillary coverage featuring Demetrious Johnson.

Toyo Tires sponsored the UFC Embedded episodes.

It looks like you will see Cyborg on 7-11 Big Gulps in the near future.


Odds and ends

Cyborg used UFC 219 to promote a drive to collect toys for local children in Las Vegas.  A good gesture especially during the holidays.

Tito Ortiz made a cameo on the Embedded episodes and the UFC Hall of Famer cornered her during the fight.

Speaking of corners Ben Askren made an appearance in the UFC octagon.

There was the photographer controversy which made me wonder why a gym needs a “photographer” with media credentials. The UFC has now revoked is credentials for good.

More disappointing performance:  Carlos Condit or Cynthia Calvillo.  Condit was expected to come back with avengence after a long layoff.  Calvillo is an up and coming fighter that hope to climb the ratings ladder.  Both lost although I would suggest Condit had the worst outing as he looked nothing like he used to while Calvillo lost a controversial split decision.

There were over 1 million searches for “UFC 219” on Saturday night which ranked second in searches in the United States to “New Year’s Eve 2017”

The UFC weigh-ins on Friday drew 138,000 viewers and 0.04 in the A18-49 on FS1.


Despite being the end of year event, UFC 219 starved from a lack of buzz.  But the over 1 million searches for UFC 219 may mean that there were more casual fans looking for the event than originally estimated.  Cyborg-Holm does not feel like a huge PPV event although I will estimate this event draws between 250K-300K buys.

UFC 219 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 30, 2017

UFC 219 ended 2017 with a reported 13,561 attending for a gate of $1.76 million.  The main event also was deemed Fight of the Night with Cris “Cyborg” Justino pulling off the unanimous decision over Holly Holm.

The official gate per UFC officials (via MMA Junkie) was $1,760,628.74.  The event pales in comparison to last December’s UFC 207 which 18,533 for a live gate of $4.75 million.  Of course, that event featured the return of Ronda Rousey.

The bonuses of the night went to Cyborg-Holm for Fight of the Night.  Khabib Nurmogomedov and Tim Elliott drew the Performance Bonus.  Each earned $50,000.  The return of the “Eagle” was impressive as he buried Edson Barboza.


UFC on Fox 26 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 16, 2017

Bonuses for UFC on Fox 26 happened early as all awards were given to Prelim fighters.

Alessio Di Chirico, Nordine Taleb, Julian Marquez and Darren Stewart received the $50,000 bonuses.  The bonuses were announced post-event by the UFC.  Marquez and Steward were awarded the Fight of the Night while DiChirico and Taleb drew Performance Bonuses.

Di Chirico stopped Oluwale Bamgbose in the first televised fight of the prelims with a knee to the head of his tentative opponent.

Taleb enjoyed a quick stoppage of Danny Roberts within a minute of the first round.

The event in Winnipeg from the Bell MTS Place drew 8,862 for a gate of $781,000 according to the UFC.  The last time the UFC was in Winnipeg was in June 2013 for the less-than-impressive UFC 161.  Still, the event drew 14,754 for a gate of $3.15 million.

Payout Perspective:

If not for missing weight, I would think that Josh Emmett would have received a bonus for his main card KO of favorite Ricardo Lamas.  The event did not draw as many for the UFC’s return to the area but this card did not have a lot of drawing power.  Going up against the NFL on Saturday night, one has to think it draws one of its lower December ratings since being on Fox.

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