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.
— #UFCLondon (@UFCEurope) March 18, 2017
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.
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.
March 12, 2017
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.