July 23, 2016
UFC on Fox 20 held another event in Chicago Saturday night. The bonuses included Eddie Wineland, Felice Herrig, Jason Knight and Jim Alers.
In addition to the bonuses, UFC on Fox 20 at the United Center drew 10,287 for a live gate of $1 million. The attendance and gate were announced at the post-fight press conference.
— UFC (@ufc) July 24, 2016
Wineland and Herrig drew the Performances of the Night while Knight and Alers drew the Fight of the Night. All earned $50,000 bonuses.
The event ranked fourth out of 5 events at the United Center in Chicago.
- UFC on Fox 2: 17,245, $1,270,960 gate
- UFC on Fox 6: 16,091, $1,270,000 gate
- UFC on Fox 16: 11,663, $1,200,000 gate
- UFC on Fox 20: 10,287, $1,000,000 gate
- UFC on Fox 10: 10,895, $863,655 gate
A $1 million gate is very good for this event considering that the co-main of Anthony Johnson and Glover Teixeira was pulled off the card leaving Holm as your real main attraction. The bonuses were fair although I thought that they could have given a bonus to Francis Ngannou.
July 13, 2016
The event drew 15,761 for a gate of $381,945. The event took place at Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls. According to its web site, the venue sits up to 12,000 for concerts so the event was nearly a sellout.
The bonuses went to John Lineker, Louis Smolka, Tony Ferguson and Lando Vannata. Each earned $50,000. Ferguson narrowly escaped a huge upset in round 1 and was able to stop Vannata in the Fight of the Night. Lineker and Smolka both earned Performances of the Night.
Very good attendance for a Wednesday night in Sioux Falls. It was the debut of the UFC in South Dakota so one might expect people to come watch the UFC live. The fights were entertaining albeit subject to the network pacing. For a last minute replacement, Vannata was a game opponent for Ferguson.
July 11, 2016
Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 200 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Nunes upsets Tate to win women’s title
If I were to tell you at the start of the year that the main event for July’s UFC 200 would be Amanda Nunes versus Miesha Tate, you probably would have thought that it was a joke. However, due to Ronda Rousey’s movie career, Conor McGregor’s poorly played power move and a Jon Jones drug test, we received Nunes-Tate as the final fight on what was/is supposed to be the biggest card of the year for the UFC.
Amanda Nunes looked sharped and started off quick as she always does. She peppered Tate and may have broken her nose. Once it got to the ground, Nunes applied the rear-naked choke (or chin crank) for the victory. You could see Tate being broken as the round went on. She barely made weight for this fight despite seemingly calm throughout the rest of the camp.
Nunes was emotional and became the first openly gay UFC champion for the sport. It was fitting as it was the same weekend that the UFC announced its line of apparel in support of the LGBTQ community. Of course, the weekend was somewhat tarnished by comments made by Donald Cerrone on Sunday although The Cowboy did apologize immediately.
Nunes may have Holly Holm or a returning Ronda Rousey at year’s end. If Rousey decides to return to the Octagon, I could envision a New York defense for Nunes against Rousey.
Lesnar dominates Hunt in return to Octagon
Brock Lesnar surprised most of the MMA fanbase as he defeated Mark Hunt in a 3-round heavyweight bout. Although Lesnar’s last time in the Octagon looked very bad (a loss to Alistair Overeem at UFC 141), he looked quick and his wrestling helped squash Hunt. In another surprise, Lesnar’s post-fight interview was far-less dynamic and much more humanitarian than beast-like in his UFC 100 tirade which even UFC Fight Pass censors due to his comments about sponsor Bud Light.
This was supposed to be a one-time thing for Lesnar as he was on “loan” (for $2.5M +) from the WWE. We will see if he will fight again. If he does, you have to think he’s close to being in line for a title shot.
Aldo wins interim belt as McGregor watches on
Jose Aldo looked like his old self in securing a unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar. Aldo’s ability to stuff takedowns and score on the outside helped him defeat a game Edgar. Aldo should receive his much-anticipated rematch against Conor McGregor (after his one-off with Nate next month).
Not sure what Edgar will do next. He had been on a great run up until Saturday. However, he’ll have to hope for a Conor win to get another shot at the 145 title.
Attendance and Gate
The UFC set a gate record in Nevada with $10.7 million for the 18,202 in attendance at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The bonuses of $50,000 went to Amanda Nunes, Cain Vevlasquez, Joe Lauzon and Gegard Mousasi. All were performance bonuses as there was no Fight of the Night.
The biggest payout was Brock Lesnar and his $2.5 million. Even with no win bonus, it’s the largest reported payout for a UFC fighter. No complaints from anyone else as Lesnar likely brought in many PPV purchasers. Lesnar likely will make more from his PPV cut.
Lesnar’s opponent, Mark Hunt, received $700,000 for stepping in with the WWE superstar. According to Kevin Iole, the Nevada State Athletic Commission stated that Cormier was slated to make $1 million for his fight with Jon Jones. But since that was cancelled, he made $500,000.
Promotion of the Fight
The UFC bought ad time on Adult Swim in an effort to expand its reach as well as touch upon the network’s African American demo. At the time, the main event was Cormier-Jones.
In addition, the UFC had a “confrontation show” on FS1 with Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier talking about their fight.
Bud Light and Monster Energy held promotions months in advance holding trips to win a chance to go to UFC 200.
The UFC did their usual media stops although it did not seem as broad a reach as UFC 196.
The special gold mat included the usual sponsors as well as a couple new ones. EA UFC2, Harley-Davidson, MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Bud Light and Monster were all in the Octagon with the energy drink having the center of the Octagon. Hudson Shipping Lines, a mainstay sponsor on many International UFC cards had signage in the Octagon. DirecTV promoted its original show, Kingdom. It showed clips of the show as well as showing stars in attendance. Also, Speedway was also in the Octagon sharing a signage post with Monster. The company is a gas and convenient store with most of its locations on the East Coast. It ran a promotion in conjunction with Monster leading up to this event.
Bud Light had the prep point at the televised weigh-ins and at the event.
As we mention, Bud Light and Monster Energy had promotions far in advance of 200.
Odds and ends
Yes, we’ll address the sale in another post.
The mat probably was to be more a gold look but was yellow to commemorate UFC 200.
The UFC offered 200 in 4K. It was the first time ever and event was offered in PPV.
This was the first reveal of the Reebok kits. It had more colors. Notably the yellow looked good for Anderson Silva as it was his usually color. But, the yellow also was the same as the mat.
Interesting that DC was wearing his Nike Air Max shoes during fight week including during the Embedded where Dana White told Cormier that his fight with Jones was off.
The WWE did not actively promote UFC 200 although the PPV featured an ad for Summerslam. It was not until Brock’s win did the WWE social media machine engage.
— WWE (@WWE) July 10, 2016
While there is so much love for Lesnar right now, an injury-free Cain Velasquez at sea-level is probably the best heavyweight out there.
It’s been slightly over 1 year with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and the company’s biggest event is greatly affected by it. At least we know that there are no favorites in the process.
The UFC and Snapchat announced a multi-year partnership for coverage of its live events which began at UFC 200.
The UFC Prelims on FS1 were sent to FS2 for the first half hour due to the MLB game that preceeded the event going to extra innings. The FS1 audience missed out on the Sage Northcutt fight. Despite an average (maybe below) average performance, Sage secured an individual Reebok sponsorship.
The Exclusive UFC Fight Pass Prelims had some of the more exciting fights of the night on it as it produced two bonus winners (Lauzon, Mousasi).
Speaking of Fight Pass, I was interviewed by The Verge about how the UFC became the ‘Netflix of Combat.”
We’ll have more on the event, the Expo, Jon Jones and more in part 2. But, everyone probably wants to know what an estimated buy rate would be for this event. While we pondered whether this event could draw 2 million PPV buys, that would be unlikely after the Jon Jones debacle. Jones is not a big PPV draw but the promotion and marketing was centered around the feud with Cormier. UFC 182 drew 800,000 PPV buys. With Lesnar and two other title fights, one would think that it could draw near the 2 million mark. Even without the feud, UFC 200 should do well with just the name Brock Lesnar attached. UFC 200 should doing something between 1 million to 1.2 million PPV buys. While it won’t eclipse UFC 100’s buy rate, it will be a good sendoff for Zuffa.
July 9, 2016
UFC 200 set a record gate for the UFC in the state of Nevada with $10.7 million. The event drew 18,202 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
The attendance and gate were announced at the UFC post-fight press conference. The gate surpasses December’s UFC 194 which drew $10.1 million at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. We should note that the estimated attendance for Conor-Aldo was 16,516.
Bonuses went to Amanda Nunes, Cain Velasquez, Joe Lauzon and Gegard Mousasi. All were Performance Bonuses and there were no Fight of the Night Bonus. Each won $50,000 bonuses.
Although UFC 100 drew $100K bonuses and UFC 129 drew $129K bonuses there were no $200K bonuses. As for the gate, the record is due in part to the high ticket prices to get in. Certainly, it was another great three days of fight culminating with a big event that drew a record number of fans paying premium prices to break the gate record.
July 8, 2016
In the second night of three nights of live fights in Las Vegas, Joanna Jedrzejcyk successfully defended her women’s Strawweight title against Claudia Gadelha at the TUF 23 Finale at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Jedrzejcyk and Gadelha earned Fight of the Night Honors while Performance of the Night bonuses went to Doo Ho Choi and Tatiana Suarez. Each earned $50,000.
The event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena drew 8,115 for a gate of $736,408. The attendance, bonus and gate were announced at the post-event press conference.
Friday’s event had slightly more in attendance than Thursday’s UFC Fight Night 90 show. You can probably chalk that up to fans coming in for the weekend. This edition of the TUF Finale did better than December’s gate of $450,000 although that event was at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan which is a much smaller venue. Last July’s TUF 21 Finale drew just 4,844 for a gate of $291,000. Thus, an improvement over last year’s event.
July 8, 2016
International Fight Week had its first of three night of live fights with UFC Fight Night 90 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Eddie Alvarez defeated Rafael dos Anjos to win the UFC lightweight championship.
UFC Fight Night 90 bonus winners were Eddie Alvarez, Pedro Munhoz, Alan Jouban and Belal Muhammad. Jouban and Muhammad received the Fight of the Night while Alvarez and Munhoz earned Performance of the Night. Each received $50,000.
Attendance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena was 7,760 for a live gate of $690,526.
The bonuses and attendance numbers were announced post-fight.
I was at the event in person and it was a great night of fights. Attendance was slim. The top section of the arena was blocked off and there was a smattering of empty seats in the lower level. The main card was very good for the most part and Alvarez’s shocking first round stoppage was the definite highlight of the night as there were many fans of The Underground King in attendance.
June 19, 2016
UFC Fight Night 89 from Ottawa, Canada drew 10,490 for a gate of $1,278,250. The attendance, gate and bonuses were announced at the post-event press conference.
According to this, TD Place has a standing room capacity of over 10,500. Thus, the numbers reflect a full house on Saturday night for the UFC’s debut in Ottawa.
The bonuses went to Donald Cerrone, Krzysztof Jotko, Steve Bosse and Sean O’Connell. Each earned $50,000. Cerrone and Jotko earned performance bonuses for their respective stoppages. Bosse and O’Connell put on a slugfest to earn fight of the night honors.
A good night of fights and based on the attendance announced it was a well-attended event. The choice in venue (i.e., lower-capacity venue) probably makes this event look much more impressive.
June 5, 2016
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 199 taking place at The Forum in Inglewood, California. The show featured two title defenses.
Bisping shocks the world
Michael Bisping waited a long time for his shot at the middleweight title and he did not disappoint. Perhaps exposing a suspect chin, Bisping KO’d the champion Luke Rockhold in the first round. Rockhold appeared to be overconfident in the lead up to this fight and admitted as much post-fight. Bisping is a polarizing figure but you have to respect his journey to the title. We could see a rematch of the two or maybe Jacare Souza, who congratulated The Count on the way out of the Octagon would be a good choice.
Dominator overwhelms Faber
It was a very entertaining promotion for the fight, but in the end, Dominick Cruz showed that he was much better than Urijah Faber. The oft-injured bantamweight champion secured a unanimous decision. Joe Rogan seemed to focus on whether or not Faber would retire after this fight.
Would people be willing to pay $60 for a “superfight” with Demetrious Johnson?
Bonuses went out to Bisping and Dan Henderson (coincidentally opponents at UFC 100) for their performances. Polo Reyes and Dong Hyun Kim earned Fight of the Night. All received $50,000.
Attendance and Gate
The UFC announced post-fight that The Forum was a sellout with 15,587 for a live gate of $2,168,675.
The sponsors in the Octagon included Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Bud Light, MetroPCS, and the TNT upcoming drama, Animal Kingdom. Food 4 Less, a Compton, California-based “no frills” grocery was a sponsor in the Octagon as it shared a post with Monster. As with most UFC events, Monster Energy had the center of the Octagon.
Dominick Cruz sported a Monster patch on his Reebok black kit. He also did an old school thank you to them post-match including holding a Monster can.
UFC Embedded appears to be the place to have your non-official UFC sponsors to be visible. Luke Rockhold wore Adidas and Monster Milk during the vlogs.
Odds and Ends
Three big pieces of news not related to 199. First, Brock Lesnar is back. Despite how he left the company, he returns and the move should draw eyebrows as the WWE is allowing Lesnar to fight a month before the company’s second-biggest show of the year – Summerslam.
Second, Fedor Emelienenko will be on Fight Pass on an EFN card on June 17th. Thus, the UFC will finally get Brock Lesnar-Fedor…just not together.
Finally, the rematch no one except Conor McGregor wants as Nate Diaz will face McGregor at UFC 202 in Vegas August 20th. Interesting that the UFC is traveling less domestically.
There were 4 fights on UFC Fight Pass Prelims. 3 of the 4 fights were very good.
UFC Fight Pass introduced a promotion where fans can send in 1 minute videos to tell Dana White why they are the biggest UFC fan. The winner will get to come to International Fight Week, meet Dana White and attend UFC Fight Night: Alvarez-RDA.
UFC allowed flags in lieu of sponsor banners in the Octagon.
Octagon ladies sport the Monster patch on their uniforms, do they get paid for doing so?
Watching Embedded, apparently the champions (Cruz and Rockhold) were given rental properties to stay in during fight week while the others stayed in a hotel.
The weigh-ins were different since newly instituted weigh-in rules with the California State Athletic Commission allowed fighters to weigh-in between a 10am-2pm window the day before the fight. Thus, the televised weigh-ins we usually see did not include the official weigh-ins.
Did the finish of Hendo/Lombard look similar to Hendo/Bisping at UFC 100 with Hendo unloading on an already unconscious opponent?
Ariel Helwani and three others were escorted from the building during UFC 199. Helwani tweeted that he had been banned by the UFC for life. It was Helwani that broke the Brock Lesnar news on MMA Fighting.
The show concluded with a tribute to Muhammad Ali who passed away on Friday.
This was a very good show but it will likely be overshadowed by the news that Brock Lesnar is returning next month. Google trends had 500,000 searches for UFC 199 on Saturday. Notably, Brock Lesnar drew 100,000 searches on Saturday. How many PPV buys will this card receive? Without a proven PPV draw at the top of the card, yet a solid lineup for the PPV, the buy rate should be 350,000 to 400,000 PPV buys.
June 5, 2016
UFC 199 held at The Forum in Inglewood, California drew 15,587 for a live gate of $2,168,675 according to the announcement at the post-fight press conference. In addition, Michael Bisping led the bonus winners for the night.
In addition to Bisping’s KO of Luke Rockhold to earn the middleweight title, Dan Henderson received a fight bonus for his KO of Hector Lombard. The show’s first fight of the night, Polo Reyes-Dong Hyun Kim drew honors for FOTN.
The Forum’s capacity is 17,500 although with seating configuration the 15,587 announced may be a sellout.
Notably, the last time the company was in Los Angeles, UFC 184: Rousey-Zingano drew 16,577 for $2,675,560 at the Staples Center.
No real arguments on bonus winners although Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway put on dominant performances. Despite Chris Weidman dropping out, the fights were entertaining and fight fans came out to watch.
May 29, 2016
UFC Fight Night 88 drew 5,193 for a live gate of $359,000 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Headliner Cody Garbrandt led the list of bonus winners.
The attendance, gate and bonuses were announced at the post-fight press conference.
Cody Garbrandt, Jake Collier, Jeremy Stephens and Renan Barao earned the $50,000 fight night bonuses. Garbrandt and Collier won for their Performances of the Night. Stephens and Barao drew Fight of the Night.
The attendance and gate was one of the lowest for a Vegas UFC show.
The annual Memorial Day show was held on a Sunday night instead of the usual Saturday PPV. On would have to go back to UFC Fight Night 47 for a live gate and attendance this low for a Fight Night. I left out UFC Fight Night 80 (PVZ-Rose 1,643 in attendance and $234,725 gate) since the venue was so small. Obviously, this event comes at a time in between big events and with no top names the low attendance and gate may have been expected.