UFC 204: Payout Perspective

October 10, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 204 from Manchester, England which pitted Michael Bisping defending his UFC middleweight title against Dan Henderson.

Bisping outlasts Hendo

The rematch was 7 years in the making and despite the time in between fights, everyone knew the backstory from UFC 100.  Hendo hit an “H Bomb” that knocked out Bisping and then landed on the Brit with another shot while he was on the ground.  This was the story that sold the fight otherwise the matchmaking never made sense aside from Bisping wanting to avenge a loss.

The fight itself was great.  Hendo almost recreated his KO of Bisping in round 1 and picked his spots which stung Bisping and bloodied his eyes.  However, Bisping’s excellent cardio kept him in the fight and staying on top of the 46-year-old appeared to be the critical factor in the decision.

A matchup with Jacare Souza seems like the most logical matchup for Bisping but we’ll see what happens next.


Mousasi stops Belfort

Vitor Belfort’s days as a top-level fighter are over as Gegard Mousasi had little difficulty with the former champion.  Belfort looked much different in terms of body composition than previous fights and for a black belt did not handle being mounted too well.

Mousasi called out Anderson Silva in his post-fight interview in what you can call a “resume builder” for the middleweight.

Attendance and Gate

The event took place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and drew 16,000 for a live gate of $1.96 million.  The attendance was impressive considering the event took place in the middle of the night to accommodate American PPV.

The attendance and gate come in second to UFC 105 held at the same arena.  That event which featured Randy Couture-Brandon Vera drew 16,693 for a $2 million gate.


$50,000 bonuses went to Hendo-Bisping for Fight of the Night and Iuri Alcantara and Jimi Manuwa for Performances of the Night.  Mike Perry and Danny Roberts and Stefan Struve could have won bonuses too.

Promotion of the Fight

The UFC did its usual promotional events for the fight.  As seen on the Embedded series, Dan Henderson visited the Manchester City Football Club.  Bisping is a fan of Manchester United, the rival club.


Monster Energy Drink, UFC Fight Pass and Bud Light were thenotable mainstay sponsors for the night.  In addition, video game Gears of War 4 and “What Now?” the upcoming Kevin Hart comedy also had signage in the Octagon.  Also,  Twinzz.com, a European hat maker was also in the Octagon.  IconicFaceOff.com which features a Conor McGregor commercial on its web site was also on the mat.   Also, UFC 205 signage including it’s “Can’t Wait” tag was in the Octagon.

Odds and ends

UFC 204 had 500,000 plus searches on Friday in the US.  I couldn’t find the number of US searches for Saturday for UFC 204 which might be an oversight or the fact that there were other searches more popular than the event.  However, in the UK UFC 204 registered 200,000 plus searches on Saturday

The post-fight show usually on FS1 was switched to FS2 due to college football.

Brian Stann served as the color commentator in place of Joe Rogan and was fantastic.

The trailer for UFC 205 were shown during the telecast.

Appealing to their apparel sponsor, one of the Embedded showed a picture of a young Michael Bisping wearing a Reebok sweatshirt.  Also, an episode showed Hendo picking out a cup for the fight.

The PPV ended early due to the early stoppages in the first 4 main card fights and the telecast filled it with the Brad Pickett-Iuri Alcintara fight.


Since this fight did not occur in the U.S., it seems that there was less buzz for it.  Then again, if you did not like the main event, there was not much for the casual viewer.  While the Bisping-Hendo fight brought some history and curiosity I don’t think Bisping is a PPV draw unless he’s fighting a name brand opponent.  Hendo is great but he is not a PPV draw.  UFC 199 featuring Rockhold-Bisping drew 320,000 buys.  But, with this happening during college football season, the PPV will likely do 275,000 PPV buys.

UFC 204 attendance, gate and bonuses

October 8, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 204.

Bonuses went to Michael Bisping, Dan Henderson, Jimi Manuwa and Iuri Alcantara.  Each earned $50,000 each.  Bisping and Hendo won for Fight of the Night while Manuwa and Alcantara earned Performance bonuses for their respective stoppages.

The event took place at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England and drew 16,000 for a live gate of $1.96 million.  The attendance was impressive considering the event took place in the middle of the night to accommodate American PPV.

The attendance and gate come in second to UFC 105 held at the same arena.  That event which featured Randy Couture-Brandon Vera drew 16,693 for a $2 million gate.

The numbers were announced post-fight.

Payout Perspective:

It was a very speedy night of fights on the main card as all but the main event ended in finishes.  Bisping-Hendo deserved FOTN as you could argue that Hendo may have won the fight.  Manuwa and Alcantara looked impressive with their respective stoppages.

UFC Fight Night 96 attendance, gate and bonuses

October 2, 2016

MMA Fighting reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 96 in Portland, Oregon.

The event at the Moda Center, home to the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers drew 6,240 for a gate of $501,035.

The bonuses went to Nate Marquardt, Brandon Moreno, Henrique da Silva and Curtis Blaydes.  No Fight of the Night bonus for anyone.  Each earned $50,000 bonuses.

Payout Perspective:

A modest audience for an event that saw several upsets on the card.  The event is on par with a standard Fight Night with modest attendance and gate.

UFC Fight Night 95 attendance and bonuses

September 25, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 95 which aired on FS1.

The event drew 8,841 at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil.

In addition, the bonuses went to Eric Spicely, Vincente Luque, Erick Silva and Luan Chagas.  Spicely and Luque drew the performance bonuses while Silva and Chagas drew Fight of the Night.  Each earned $50,000 each.

The numbers were announced by a UFC official.

Payout Perspective:

Notably, the attendance was about the same as UFC Fight Night 51 which drew 8,822 and was held in the same venue.  At that time, it was reported that there were 1,173 comped tickets.  A slight improvement in attendance from the last event although no gate announced, as usual, for a Brazil event.

UFC Fight Night 94 attendance, gate and bonuses

September 18, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas.

The UFC announced attendance of 5,624 for a live gate of $323,419.  The event took place at the State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas.  The venue holds about 6,800 for concerts.

In addition, the UFC announced bonuses from the FS1-aired event.  Michael Johnson, Chas Skelly, Evan Dunham and Rick Glenn earned $50,000 bonuses.

Johnson and Skelly earned Performance Bonuses while Dunham and Glenn earned the Fight of the Night.  It was Glenn’s debut with the organization.

Payout Perspective:

Saturday night’s Fight Night event is the lowest gate of 2016 and the second-lowest attendance of the year.  Only the Sunday night UFC Fight Night 88 at the Mandalay Bay drew less attendance.  Still, for the venue, the attendance does not seem too bad.  But in comparison to other events, it does look off.

UFC 203 attendance, gate and bonuses

September 10, 2016

The UFC announced the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC 203.

Stipe Miocic, Alistair Overeem, Yancy Medeiros and Jessica Andrade earned the bonuses of the night.  Miocic and Overeem drew the Fight of the Night while Medeiros and Andrade drew the Performance Bonuses. Miocic stopped Overeem in an exciting first round. Medeiros was the featured fight on the Early Fight Pass Prelims as he stopped Sean Spencer.  Andrade earned a victory over Joanna Calderwood.

The event at The Quicken Loans Arena drew 18,875 for $2.6M and was announced as a sell-out.  It was the first time the UFC visited Cleveland.

The bonuses and event attendance and gate were announced post-fight.

Payout Perspective:

From watching the PPV, it was a lively crowd and a pro-Miocic crowd.  The event was a hit with the locals and received a lot of backing from the local sports teams.  The heavyweight champ did not disappoint the crowd as he earned a fight bonus for his first round stoppage.

UFC Fight Night 93 attendance, gate and bonuses

September 3, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 93 from Hamburg, Germany.

The event drew 11,763 for a live gate of $913,428 U.S. dollars.  The UFC announced that the event was a sell-out with 30 percent of ticket sales coming from outside Germany.  It was the first time the UFC has visited Hamburg.

Josh Barnett doubled up on the bonuses as he scored with a Performance Bonus and Fight of the Night along with Andrei Arlovski.  Ryan Bader received the other Performance Bonus.  All received $50,000 each.

UFC on Fox 21 attendance, gate and bonuses

August 27, 2016

UFC on Fox 21 drew 10,533 for a gate of $995,624 Canadian dollar which equates to $765,482 US dollars.  The event saw all bonuses going to fighters on the main card.

UFC on Fox 21 bonuses went to Joe Lauzon, Jim Miller, Paige VanZant and Demian Maia.  Lauzon and Miller earned Fight of the Night while VanZant and Maia earned Performance bonuses for their work in stopping their opponents.

Of course, Anthony Pettis could have earned a bonus for his guillotine choke stoppage of Charles Oliviera.  It was the other fight on the card.

The numbers were announced post-fight by UFC executive Tom Wright.

Of the 4 events at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, it ranks fourth among the four.  We note that the first 3 were PPV events.

  1. UFC 115: Liddell v. Franklin – 17,669 ($4,221,787)
  2. UFC 131: Dos Santos v. Carwin – 14,685 ($2,800,000)
  3. UFC 174: Johnson v. Bagautinov – 13,506 ($1,140,000)
  4. UFC on Fox 21: Maia v. Condit – 10,533 ($995,624)

Payout Perspective:

The attendance was considerably down as compared to the other events at Rogers Center.  However, the main card produced some great fights.  The ratings will depend on how many people were interested in seeing Paige VanZant fight after returning from her stint on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.  You might recall last month’s Fox show pulled surprisingly good numbers on the strength of Holly Holm.  Could PVZ do the same for this card to help bolster ratings?

UFC 202: Payout Perspective

August 23, 2016

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective for UFC 202.  This time we take a look at Diaz-McGregor II at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

McGregor gains revenge on Diaz

It was a majority decision for Conor McGregor as 2 judges scored the bout for McGregor while the third judge determined it a draw.  It was a solid back and forth fight with McGregor coming out with a solid game plan but despite a crimson mask, Diaz came back and was able to score a 10-8 round (according to 1 judge).  McGregor seemed to tire after round 2 as he attempted to run from exchanges.  However, he was able to muster enough to narrowly escape a second loss to Diaz.

The question of when the third fight shall happen will likely depend on when McGregor will be available as an injured leg may keep him out until 2017.  Could we see Diaz-McGregor III in Vegas in July 2017?

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz represented 82 percent of the reported salary payouts which we detail below.  A definite money fight.

Anrhony Johnson drops Glover

It took one uppercut for Anthony Johnson to end the night for Glover Teixeira.  Johnson should get Daniel Cormier next.  Johnson is on a roll and it looks like Cormier will need to rely on his wrestling to stop Rumble’s power.  This could be one of the main events for the UFC’s debut in New York this November.

Attendance and gate

Although there were reports that the event had trouble selling tickets, it still was a big gate for the UFC.  It drew 15,539 for a live gate of $7,692,010 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  A typical McGregor draw.

UFC 196: 14,697 for $8.1M

UFC 194: 16,516 for $10.1M

UFC 189: 16,019 for $7.2M

Ticket prices were slashed for the event per ESPN.  There were still tickets available the day of the event.


The $50,000 bonuses went to Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Anthony Johnson and Donald Cerrone.  Diaz-McGregor earned FOTN while Johnson and Cerrone drew POTN.  There were a lot of stoppages to choose from and there could have been several fighters that could have drawn the bonuses.


Conor McGregor made history by making the most of any reported payout for an MMA fighter when the NSAC disclosed he would receive $3 million for the fight.  Diaz came in second in payouts with $2 million.  The two drew over 80% of the reported overall payouts.

The full list is here.

Promotion of the Fight

The Pre-Fight Press Conference was a spectacle with bottle throwing and middle fingers everywhere.  With McGregor showing up late, it seemed to make Diaz mad as he got up and left and that’s when the presser went off the rails.

Also of note, Nate Diaz appeared on Conan and Jimmy Kimmel.

Conor McGregor did not do as many appearances but did another CNBC interview.

He also did an ESPN interview post-water bottle throwing and the censors were too slow to catch up with some profanity.

There was also a GQ profile on McGregor.

The promotion of the fight included twitter emojis for Diaz and McGregor when you used their hashtags.  Other fighters and famous folks did videos on twitter holding up the hashtag of they believed would win the fight.

The UFC 196 replay featuring Diaz-McGregor I was shown on FS1 Thursday night before the fight and drew over 200,000 viewers despite Olympics and NFL Preseason on the same night.  The first fight was available for free online too.

The UFC weigh-ins drew 173,000 viewers on Friday night and was followed by a replay of the “Bad Blood” special on Diaz-Conor which drew 162,000 viewers.


The regular UFC sponsors were in the octagon including MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Bud Light, 7-Eleven, UFC Fight Pass and Monster Energy Drink had the center of the octagon.  The movie “Hands of Stone,” which is about the Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard fight.  Bud Light had the fighter prep point.

The octagon also included the twitter hashtags for Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor.

Conor McGregor, who has an individual sponsorship with Reebok, did posts and a video for Reebok promoting himself and UFC 202.

Donald Cerrone had a Monster Energy Drink logo and Bud Light sponsorship on his shorts.  He also held the Monster can post-fight after  his stoppage of Rick Story.

Odds and Ends

No “Face the Pain” music intro to the PPV.  Perhaps a call by the new owners.

Conor McGregor claimed that he spent $300,000 on his training camp in preparation for Nate Diaz.  That’s 10% of his reported payout for his fight with Diaz.

Cerrone said that it was his last fight on his contract but his reps stated otherwise.  Regardless, he seemed set on re-signing with the UFC instead of testing free agency.

Despite the payout for Nate, Nick remains suspended due to the fact he has yet to pay his fine from the settlement with the commission.  As a result, he was banned from the arena and precluded from cornering Nate.

We’ll probably talk about Nate and his post-fight vaping later this week.

The Dominick Cruz-Alpha Male feud continues as Cody Carbrandt stopped Takeya Mizugaki in the first round.  Cruz stopped Mizugaki in the first round in his return from injury.  Post-fight Carbrandt turned his attention to Cruz who was in the FS1 booth.

Was that Eva Marie or Rando Markos with the red hair?

New thing for fighters.  They get to see tweets in the locker rooms:

Mike Perry may be the most-hated UFC fighter already.  Not only did he fake a handshake with his opponent at the televised weigh-ins.  There is audio of his corner possibly using racial slurs.  This, in addition to having a long fingernail going into the Octagon and then, without a clipper in site, he attempted to chew it off.

Gordon Ramsey, Skip Bayless, Dwight Howard and Kanye West were all in attendance at UFC 202.

It was Neil Magny’s last fight on his contract but his upset loss to Lorenz Larking probably does not help his cause when negotiating with the UFC.

No post-fight press conference as fighters had individual scrums.  A sign of the times for the new ownership?

The Pro Fighter’s Association held a press conference in Vegas during fight week to establish its potential roll in a fighter’s union for the UFC.  It will be a long, hard road for this to happen but we shall see.


5 million google searches on Saturday for UFC 202 might infer that the PPV buy rate will soar over 1M buys.  Certainly, the lack of tickets sales may be a concern but realize that the UFC moved into T-Mobile Arena versus most of their other big events taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.  T-Mobile holds more people so maybe the UFC overestimated the attendance.  While the event seemed to lack the buzz of a typical McGregor fight, it will still produce PPV buy rates.  I would expect this event to hit 1M buys.

UFC 202 attendance, gate and bonuses

August 20, 2016

Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz led the list of bonus winners for UFC 202.  The event drew the 5th highest gate in Nevada.

UFC 202 drew 15,539 fans for a live gate of $7,692,010 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Below are the last 3 events prior to Saturday’s event featuring Conor McGregor.

UFC 196: 14,697 for $8.1M

UFC 194: 16,516 for $10.1M

UFC 189: 16,019 for $7.2M

In addition to the main event participants, Donald Cerrone and Anthony Johnson earned bonuses for their stoppages during the main card.

Payout Perspective:

While it was an impressive gate, tickets for the event were still available the day of the event.  This could be due to the fact that the T-Mobile Arena can house 20,000 whereas the MGM Grand Garden Arena holds a little over 17,000.  It still was a bigger gate than last July’ s UFC 189 and had more in attendance than UFC 196.

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