February 20, 2017
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.
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.
February 11, 2017
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.
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.
February 4, 2017
UFC Fight Night 104 announced the attendance, gate and bonuses for Saturday night’s event. The Korean Zombie topped the list of bonus winners for UFC Fight Night 104 from Houston. Chan Sung Jung’s KO of Dennis Bermudez in round 1 earned him a $50K bonus after a 3 plus year layoff.
In addition, an entertaining fight between Jessica Andrade and Angela Hill drew the Fight of the Night. Marcel Fortuna earned the other Performance bonus with a one punch KO of Anthony Hamilton.
The event drew 8,119 fans for a gate of $611,133. The event took place at The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
The information was provided post-event by UFC officials.
After serving in the military, KZ looked fresh and without rust in catching Bermudez with an uppercut that put down the favorite. It’s the best news for the division as KZ has a cult following and is a popular figure based on his fight style. As for the attendance, it was the lowest for a UFC event in Houston. Perhaps the Super Bowl in town at the same time maybe detracted rather than attracted fans to go to the event.
January 28, 2017
UFC on Fox 23 drew 13,233 for a gate of $1,020,434 as announced by UFC officials post-event. In addition, the company announced bonuses for the event which took place at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
UFC 135 which featured Rampage Jackson versus Jon Jones did better in Denver. Saturday night’s event featured Valentina Shevchenko versus Juliana Pena.
Bonuses for UFC on Fox 23 included Shevchenko, Jorge Masvidal, Francis Ngannou and Jason Knight. All received $50,000 bonuses. There were no Fight of the Night Bonuses.
All bonus winners appeared on the main card on Fox so that helps with the product. It was a very good turnout for fans in Denver as over 13,000 came out to watch the UFC despite no title matches. Cerrone was a major draw for the crowd although he was upset by Masvidal.
January 15, 2017
Yair Rodriguez led the bonus winners after demolishing B.J. Penn.
Aleksie Oleinik, Augusto Mendes and Frankie Saenz were the other bonus winners. Mendes and Saenz drew Fight of the Night while Rodriguez and Olenik won for Performance Bonuses.
UFC 103 in Phoenix drew 11,589 for $913.372. The event took place at the Talking Stick Resort Arena (formerly US Airways Arena).
January 3, 2017
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 207 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rousey finished in 48 seconds
It was the long-awaited return of Ronda Rousey. She looked in top shape but the question was whether she could return to her form pre-UFC 193. The former bantamweight champion that brought women’s MMA to prominence could not. Amanda Nunes broke Rousey’s spirit within seconds of the fight starting.
Rousey’s lone takedown attempt was stuffed and she actually started turning away from punches as if she’s never fought before. It was pretty sad to watch a former champ go down this easy. She was out on her feet and didn’t even realize the fight was over.
For Nunes, it was easy work. As she did at UFC 200, she broke a fighter’s spirit and likely retired another top opponent. Nunes also showed some great promo skills post-fight as she told the media to forget about Rousey.
It will be interesting to see who will be next for Nunes.
I don’t think we can say poor Ronda Rousey. Even though her MMA career should be over, her payday ($3 million) ties her for the highest-ever with Conor McGregor. Rousey is more psychologically damaged than physical and if she doesn’t have her heart in fighting, she shouldn’t do it.
The cover of the UFC 207 program. pic.twitter.com/pltQQxzgoJ
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 31, 2016
Garbrandt showboats to championship
While one championship fight had little promotion, the Dominick Cruz-Cody Garbrandt title match-up had great lead-up. The two verbally sparred throughout the promotion of the fight and Garbrandt attempted to go after Cruz during media rounds. There was even a pull-apart at the ceremonial weigh-ins.
Garbrandt showed no fear and solved Cruz’s awkward, but successful style. It could be that Garbrandt was just quicker or Cruz lost a step but it made it a unanimous decision for the challenger.
This exchange will likely be gif’d to death. In all honesty, I’ve watched it about 50 times.
— UFC (@ufc) December 31, 2016
In a touching moment, Garbrandt put the belt around a kid he befriended that battled back from leukemia. The kid, who walked hand in hand with Garbrandt to the ring, chanbed his life according to the new champ. In the same post-fight interview, he called T.J. Dillashaw a m****f*****. So, he’s still rough around the edges.
Garbrandt could grant Cruz a rematch or go after T.J. Dillashaw.
Attendance and Gate
Ticket demand was still high for Rousey as UFC 207 drew the largest attendance for an MMA event in the state of Nevada with 18,533. T-Mobile Arena sold standing room only seats for the event which likely helped the attendance figure. The gate was $4.75 million.
While the secondary market was not as robust as prior Rousey events, this was the first one in sometime in Vegas.
The fighters taking home the belts earned bonuses: Amanda Nunes and Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt and Cruz won the Fight of the Night. Nunes and Alex Garcia earned a Performance bonus as well. All received $50,000 checks.
Ronda Rousey drew $3 million which ties her with Conor McGregor for the highest-reported salary in the UFC. Amanda Nunes earned $200,000 ($100k win/$100 show) for her defeat of Rousey.
The full list is here.
Ronda Rousey did little pre-fight promotion except for appearances on Conan, Ellen and an ESPN piece with Ramona Shelburne. Dana White stated that this was due to a one-time agreement with Rousey.
There were radio ad buys for UFC 207 to bolster the end of the year event. The ad included the Cain-Werdum fight which did not happen.
Although Rousey did not speak, the faceoff in her return during the UFC 205 event in New York was intense. Also, the ceremonial weigh-in on Friday with Nunes wearing the lionhead was great as well.
Over 103,000 people watched the ceremonial weigh-ins on YouTube and over 59,500 watched it on Facebook Live during the Rousey-Nunes faceoff.
Rousey appeared in 3 of the 6 Embedded episodes although she did not talk that much.
The UFC weigh-ins drew 222,000 viewers on FS1 and 94,000 in the A18-49 category per Sports TV Ratings.
The UFC 207 Prelims drew 1.511 million viewers on Friday night making it the fourth-highest rated PPV prelim of 2016.
The pre-fight show on FS1 drew 572,000 viewers and the post-event drew 404,000 viewers.
Overall, very strong numbers despite the fact it was a Friday night.
MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, the WGN series ‘Outsiders’, Geico, Twinzz.com, IconicFaceOff.com, Geico, Budweiser, the movie XXX and Monster Energy had the center. XXX is the latest in the Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) series.
Rousey was sponsored by Monster Energy drink as she had the logo on her shorts. The same for Dominick Cruz.
Pantene also had the Rousey commercial during the PPV. The company activated a new campaign around Rousey in lead-up to this event.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) December 7, 2016
Toyo Tires sponsored the Embedded series.
Odds and ends
Yahoo Beauty found a way to mention Ronda Rousey by doing a story on why women MMA fighters braid their hair.
Johny Hendricks looked better against Neil Magny, but missed weight again. The issue seems to be in his head as he challenged media to cut weight.
Cain Velasquez was taken off the UFC 207 card and his fight with Fabricio Werdum after discussing his injuries in an interview. The NAC took Cain off the card without his knowledge according to the former heavyweight champion. He responded via a lengthy Facebook post.
Embedded was a good time for Dominick Cruz to show-off his branded t-shirts.
A big faux pas occurred when cable and satellite distributors advertised that UFC 207 was happening Saturday. As we know, it was Friday. Based on the Friday night ratings, people knew the correct time.
Nunes had the “Island of Dr. Moreau” look with the lion head at the ceremonial weigh-ins.
If you noticed a man in a wheelchair at the weigh-in, he had cashed in his UFC Reward Points for the opportunity to be on stage at the weigh-ins. A pretty nice payoff considering he saw an almost fight right in front of him and Rousey-Nunes.
The bad news about Rousey’s fame was that she was covered in most of the mainstream news outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Sports Illustrated and ESPN.
“Ronda Rousey Fight” drew over 5 million google searches on Friday which should indicate a huge PPV gate. But, a portion of those probably were searching for the fight after learning the news that Rousey was KO’d in less than a minute. Interesting enough, there were no copyright warnings as there were for UFC 193.
All the indicators (google searches, ratings, etc.) reflect a huge PPV buy rate. While we may want to discount some of those google searches, there were still a healthy amount of people that knew the fight was going to be Friday and that Ronda Rousey was returning to the Octagon. For those that though there was “lack of buzz,” they underestimate the Rousey demo and are stuck in their old ways of thinking of what “MMA fans” want to see. It would not be surprising to see this PPV hit 1 million buys.
December 31, 2016
UFC 207 drew 18,533 and a live gate of $4.75 according to UFC officials post-event. The gate set an attendance record in Nevada but lands 14th on the list of biggest gates in Nevada.
The event was a sell-out according to the UFC. As we reported on Friday morning, there were just scattered tickets available through the T-Mobile Arena. It was announced that they were also selling standing room only tickets.
The numbers narrowly beat out UFC 200 (18,202) for attendance but UFC 200 had the bigger gate $10.7 million.
(h/t: MMA Junkie)
In comparison UFC 141, the last Friday night show in Vegas for the company did 13,793 and a $3.1 million for Lesnar-Overeem.
Dana White indicated that he predicted the gate to be $4.5 million and the numbers did slightly better perhaps due to the standing room only seats. The sell out on a Friday night before New Year’s Eve shows the star power of Ronda Rousey.
December 30, 2016
Thus, on September 1st the sport became legal and regulated by the state.
Assembly votes shown in this picture. Green is good.
— jim genia (@jim_genia) March 22, 2016
After much lobbying, time and effort, the UFC opened up with the first major card at Madison Square Garden on November 12th.
Notably, the UFC 205 Countdown show included a part dedicated to showing Sheldon Silver indicted on corruption charges. He is currently appealing his prison sentence. It was one final shot at the individual that Dana White blamed for not allowing a vote on the bill for years.
The UFC debut did not disappoint as it enjoyed the richest gates in company history.
Not long after the initial joy of legalizing the sport, boxing promoters began to complain about the hefty tax needed to insure fighters for events. A new insurance premium that would cover $1 million for each fighter on the card would be required for operation in New York.
In October, Promoter Lou DiBella canceled the remaining cards he was planning in the state due to the new requirement that has a $1 million minimum for each fighter in the event the fighter suffer a traumatic brain injury. The UFC paid approximately $1,675 per fighter and approximately $44,000 overall. It paid $40,200 for the Albany, New York show on December 9th. This does not include the standard $50K medical and $50K accidental death insurance policies.
Of course, one has to wonder whether or not boxing lobbied against the MMA bill due to the new insurance requirement. The new requirement does stem in part from a 2013 post-boxing incident in the state which left boxer Magomed Abdusalamov fighting for his life and a commission report found issues with the handling of the event.
New York set a tax of 8.5% on gross receipts in addition to other tax terms for MMA events. Thus, the state collected approximately $1.5 million in taxes from UFC 205 according to the reported gate of $17.7 million.
Despite the hefty tax paid by the UFC, it reported the best merchandise sales ever for an event.
Look for the UFC to hold big events in the New York to offset the insurance and taxes it needs to pay. Notwithstanding the cost, the final hurdle to legalize the sport in the state was a monumental hurdle the company overcame. One might consider it a factor in the sale of the company.
16 for 16
5. UFC 200
14. Bellator 149
15. CM Punk debuts
December 30, 2016
The average resale price for a ticket for today’s UFC 207 is $348. According to Nate Rattner at SeatGeek, it is nearly 3x hotter than a ticket to UFC 206 in Toronto (the average resale price was $124).
Per SeatGeek, here are the average resale prices for the top 5 UFC fights since 2010:
- UFC 205: $1233
- UFC 200: $1137
- UFC 202: $929
- UFC 194: $843
- UFC 189: $741
In comparison, here are the prices for Ronda Rousey fights on the secondary market per SeatGeek. Note that the last two UFC Rousey fights are not included here since SeatGeek does not track international events.
- UFC 184: $263 (vs. Zingano at Staples Center)
- UFC 175: $411 (vs. Davis, Weidman-Machida co-main)
- UFC 170: $205 (vs. McMann at Mandalay Bay)
- UFC 168: $545 (vs. Tate, Weidman-Silva II)
- UFC 157: $186 (debut vs. Carmouche at Honda Center)
According to Rattner, the median price on the secondary market dropped 5% from $417 to $389.
In comparison, per Julia Litz at Vivid Seats, the minimum ticket price on the secondary market is $152 and the median ticket price is $525.
A look on Ticketmaster as of 8:00am PT, had scattered seats available with the get-in price being $605.
Per Kevin Iole, T-Mobile Arena will sell standing room tickets which will be the first time the arena has done it in its short history. Iole also reported on that Dana White told him that the gate looks to be about $4.5 million and roughly 19,000 in attendance. Of course, with standing room sales, this could go up.
The ticket sales show you that the Ronda Rousey return is a big seller despite her media blackout. While the median price may have dipped a little on the secondary market, the news that they will sell standing room only tickets reflects the demand. The resale market does indicate that the tickets are “affordable” for a Rousey fight. This might be due to it being a Friday event, New Year’s Eve and not a strong co-main (although Cody-Cruz should be fun). Still, the demand for Rousey is there for her return.
December 28, 2016
Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor were thought to be shoe-ins for this event at one point. But, a set of circumstances had Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes as the headliners for the biggest event in company history.
Rousey was not ready to come back to the Octagon for UFC 200 due to scheduling and her want to take time away from the sport. McGregor lost at a power play with the Fertittas as he attempted to broker less media for the event. Instead, he claimed to have retired and the UFC moved to Jon Jones versus Daniel Cormier as the headliner. Also, Brock Lesnar returned to the Octagon.
This all sounded good as there would be two title fights plus Brock Lesnar.
The only problem was that a Jon Jones out of competition USADA test was flagged just days before the event and Jones was provisionally suspended due to the test. In a hastily put together press conference, Jones proclaimed his innocence despite the failed drug test.
Dana White was upset as Jones’ drug test failure caused the company extra expense to repackage UFC 200 and scramble to find an opponent for Daniel Cormier. Embedded caught up with White when he broke the news to Cormier and the light heavyweight champ was devastated. White got Anderson Silva to take the fight without any preparation. Maybe a couple years ago, Silva would have drawn interest, but he was more of an afterthought and did not do much in his fight with Cormier.
Lesnar was impressive against Mark Hunt and even showed some humanity in his post-fight speech, unlike his rant 100 UFCs ago. Of course, this did not have a happy ending as Lesnar USADA tests were flagged and the only reason he was able to compete was that the results were not made known until after the fight. It brought up the issue of USADA allowing a waiver to Lesnar of being a tested UFC athlete.
Lesnar made $2.5 million for his fight against Hunt. After news of Lesnar’s drug test failure, Hunt was outraged and demanded a portion of Lesnar’s purse. Hunt made $700,000 at UFC 200.
The event drew criticism as there were reports of a lot of empty seats for the prelims and then people leaving before Tate-Nunes.
UFC 200 was the debut for the company at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and was the culmination of International Fight Week. Despite the pre-event issues, the attendance and gate were record-setting making the event the largest MMA gate in Nevada history. It drew 15,154 for a gate of $10,746,248.
It was a landmark event for the company as it had produced 200 PPV events. An unthinkable achievement several years prior. And as we now know the big announcement didn’t occur until Sunday after the fights.