UFC Fight Night 120 attendance, gate and bonuses

November 12, 2017

Dustin Poirier led the list of bonuses at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, Virginia Saturday night.  Poirier’s opponent in the main event Anthony Pettis received a $50,000 bonus for their Fight of the Night.

In addition, Matt Brown and Rapahel Assuncao received the other $50,000 bonuses.  Brown, in his retirement fight, destroyed Diego Sanchez with an elbow for the KO.  Assuncao dropped Matthew Lopez in the third round with a kick to win via KO.

The event from the Ted Constant Convocation Center drew 8,442 fans for a gate of $642,070.  It was the highest-attended event for a UFC event in Virginia although it did not draw the largest gate.

Payout Perspective:

 Saturday’s event is on par with attendance at other Fight Night events in North America.  It was a night of some good fights including the main event featuring Poirier and Pettis in a blood bath.

UFC 217: Payout Perspective

November 6, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 217 taking place at Madison Square Garden in New York.

GSP Returns to win Middleweight Title

Georges St Pierre looked more muscular than ever before in his foray into the middleweight division against champion Michael Bisping.  GSP looked great in the first round but it appeared that he tired.  Bisping was able to open him up with elbows from guard despite being taken down.  But, Bisping was caught by GSP.

We’ll see what happen next for GSP.  He’s not done, but could be in the middleweight division.  Of course, that puts Robert Whittaker’s position in the division up in the air.  If GSP leaves to face Tyron Woodley in the welterweight division, we could see Whittaker-Bisping.

TJ Dillashaw regains Bantamweight Title from Cody Garbrandt

In a heated fight between two former teammates, TJ Dillashaw regained his bantamweight title from Cody Garbrandt.  Cody tagged TJ at the end of the first but it was Dillashaw that got off the shot in an exchange in the second which ended Cody’s night.  Dillashaw says there will not be a rematch for now and is setting his targets on Demetrious Johnson.

Thug Rose upsets Boogie Woman

The stare-down at the weigh-ins and Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s proclamation that she was the “Boogie Woman” made me want to see this fight all the more.  The contrasts between a stoic Namajunas and the bombastic Joanna Violence led many to wonder if Rose was ready or if she knew something.  She knew something as she was able to knock down the strawweight champ twice and with the second make her tap to the strikes.  The loss was surprising to most as Jedrzejcyk looked, on paper, to have the overwhelming advantage out of the 3 title fights of the night.  Yet, Namajunas was able to outstrike the Muay Thai specialist.

If a loss were to ever be beneficial, this one helps the UFC as they can now set up a rematch between the two which could sell much better as a standalone main event for a future UFC PPV.

Attendance and Gate

Madison Square Garden produced a $6.1 million gate drawing 18,201 fans according to the UFC.  The event was the second highest gate in the company’s short history since MMA was legalized in the state.  Last year’s UFC 205 drew astronomical numbers with over 20,000 fans and a $17 million gate.

The secondary market was not as robust as last year’s November event, but still did very well.  Although tickets dropped during the week, the average resale price was still $538 as of Thursday of fight week.

Bonuses

There were no Fight of the Night bonuses as Performance $50,000 bonuses were given to GSP, Rose Namajunas and  TJ DIllashaw.  Ovince St. Preux and Ricardo Ramos drew $25,000 bonuses for their performances.  St. Preux stopped Corey Anderson with a headkick on the UFC Prelims while Ramos’ spinning back fist gave him the win over Aiman Zahabbi.

(UPDATED) Athlete Outfitting Policy Payouts

With 3 title fights, the Reebok payouts was more than a typical card.

Michael Bisping: $40,000
Georges St-Pierre: $30,000

Cody Garbrandt: $40,000
T.J. Dillashaw: $30,000

Joanna Jedrzejczyk: $40,000
Rose Namajunas: $30,000

Stephen Thompson: $10,000
Jorge Masvidal: $15,000

Paulo Costa: $2,500
def. Johny Hendricks: $20,000

James Vick: $5,000
def. Joseph Duffy: $5,000

Ovince Saint Preux: $15,000
def. Corey Anderson: $5,000

Mark Godbeer: $2,500
def. Walt Harris: $5,000

Randy Brown: $5,000
def. Mickey Gall: $2,500

Curtis Blaydes: $2,500
def. Aleksei Oleinik: $5,000

Ricardo Ramos: $2,500
def. Aiemann Zahabi: $2,500

Promotion of the Fight

Sponsors came out in full force for what many believed to be the biggest event of the year thus far.

Bud Light Canada produced a video and sent it out via twitter with Georges St Pierre

Body Armor, a UFC sponsor, produced bottles of its sports drink with the UFC logo.  Kobe Bryant, a part-owner of Body Armor was in town to speak at a Body Armor press conference making the sponsorship official.  Cody Garbrandt, Cynthia Calvillo, Francis Ngannou and Michelle Waterson were announced as the UFC’s BodyArmor athletes and a new UFC-geared BodyArmor flavor – Knockout Punch.

Air Asia was announced as the company’s very first “Official Airline” of the UFC.  It covers Asia and Australia so the opportunity for a domestic airline is still there.

EA Sports released the official trailer of the UFC’s next game, UFC 3.  It will be released on February 3rd and unveiled some new things to the game.  Conor McGregor will make his second appearance on the cover of the UFC video game.

MetroPCS introduced a new commercial featuring Demetrious Johnson.

The UFC provided a video of Cody Garbrandt preparing for his fight and using TriFecta Nutrition.  The company, which delivers nutritional meals includes Urijah Faber as a part of the company.

Embedded is starting to tie in the UFC sponsors as the episodes featured more Reebok kits (the fighters looked over their kits which they helped design), Body Armor and mouthguard sponsor GuardLab.

Sponsorships

New official UFC sponsor, Air Asia, made its debut in the Octagon.  In addition, MetroPCS, Budweiser, Toyo Tires, Budweiser, Harley Davidson, Performance Inspired, Hospitals for Special Surgery, Wish, Monster Energy and Sheetz shared an Octagon post.  Monster also had the center of the Octagon.  AMC’s the Walking Dead and EA UFC 3 also were in the Octagon

Budweiser sponsored the Embedded episodes and the fighter prep point.

In addition, Toyo Tires sponsored the post-fight interviews which was on the UFC Facebook page.

Wish sponsored the post-fight interviews in the Octagon.  EA Sports UFC sponsored the GSP-Bisping fight.

Odds and Ends

UPDATED:  UFC 217 almost made it without a cancelled fight after all fighters made weight.  But heavyweight Ion Cutelaba was flagged for an out-of-competition test and his fight was nixed from the card.

The Walt Harris-Mark Godbeer fight was called off after a low-blow followed by a kick to the head.  This was the fight that was held over from last PPV after Harris took the Werdum fight.  The way it ended, Godbeer probably wishes that the fight did not happen.

James Vick tied Demetrious Johnson with the latest stoppage of a fight with 4:59 in the third round.  Vick stopped Joe Duffy as the featured fight on the UFC Prelims on FS1.

Notably, GSP is still sponsored by Under Armour as he wore the clothes while working out on Embedded.   Also, some may have noticed the branded mat at TriStar on one of the Embedded episodes.

There were over 1 million searches for “UFC 217” on Saturday which bodes well for the PPV buys.  Dana White noted that it was trending to do 1 million PPV buys but nothing has been confirmed.  Rose Namajunas had over 200,000 google searches.  Cody Garbrandt had 100,000 searches and boxer Deontay Wilder had 100,000.

Conclusion

With over 1 million Google Searches on Saturday for UFC 217 and Rose and Cody getting their own searches, it appears that the return to New York will be a PPV success.  I am not sure if the PPV gets to 1 million buys but it will have the best chance of the PPVs this year to hit the mark.  Look for this to do a strong 825,000-850,000 PPV buys.

UFC 217 attendance, gate and bonuses

November 5, 2017

UFC 217 drew 18,201 for a $6.1 million gate at Madison Square Garden.  Although no Fight of the Night Bonuses, the UFC handed out Performance Bonuses to Georges St Pierre, Rose Namajunas, T.J. Dillashaw, Ovince Saint-Preux and Ricardo Ramos.

OSP and Ramos received $25,000 bonuses while GSP, Rose and TJ drew the $50,000 bonuses.

The event ranks second to last November’s debut at MSG in terms of attendance and gate.  UFC 205 drew 20,427 for a gate of $17.7 million.

Payout Perspective:

The extra bonuses to OSP and Ramos seemed to compensate for a Fight of the Night.  It was a big night for the UFC and while last year’s debut in the state may have overshadowed it in term of gate and attendance, this is the best of the year.  This summer’s showdown between Jones and Cormier drew a $2M plus gate and Saturday’s event tripled it.  The return of GSP and the stacked card helped.

UFC Fight Night 119 attendance and bonuses

October 28, 2017

UFC Fight Night 119 took place at Ginásio do Ibirapuera in São Paulo, Brazil.  The event was a sell out although the Brazilian fans left disappointed as Derek Brunson KO’d the returning Lyoto Machida in the main event.

The UFC announced the attendance and bonuses post-event.

For his work, Brunson earned one of the Performance bonuses of the Night.  Pedro Munhoz earned the other Performance bonus with his submission of Rob Font.  The Fight of the Night went to Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos and Max Griffin which aired on the FS2 Prelims. Dos Santos won via unanimous decision.  Each drew $50,000 bonuses.

The attendance was reported as a sellout of 10,265.  As is custom with Brazilian events, the gate was not announced.

Payout Perspective:

It was a disappointing night for Brazilian fans as Machida was knocked out and Colby Covington defeated Demian Maia in the co-main event.  He then trashed the country in a post-fight interview in the Octagon.  The report of a sell-out reflects the fact that Brazil is still a big market for the UFC.  This past March it drew over 14,000 fans in Fortaleza, Brazil for Fight Night 106.

UFC Fight Night 118 attendance, gate and bonuses

October 21, 2017

Darren Till made a splash today by stopping Donald Cerrone in the first round of the main event from Gdansk, Poland.  Till led the bonus winners for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event.

Till, Jan Blachowicz, Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned $50,000 bonuses.  Blachowicz earned a performance bonus for his second-round submission of Devon Clark.  Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned fight of the night.  Kelleher pulled out a third-round TKO of Stasiak.

The event in Gdansk, Poland drew 11,118 for a gate of $677,000. The event took place at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.  It was the first event the UFC has ever held in Poland.

Payout Perspective:

A nice turnout in Poland for a UFC Fight Pass Only card.  With a relatively low gate for the number in attendance, the figure represents that the UFC should likely return to the area with a bigger card.  The performance by Till makes it likely that he may headline another card in the country.

UFC 216: Payout Perspective

October 10, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 216 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ferguson submits Lee

It was not a good week for Kevin Lee.  Not only did he have issues with cutting weight which kept everyone in suspense on Friday.  It appeared that he had a staph infection on Saturday night.  Joe Rogan noticed a mark on Lee’s left pec immediately.  Lee acknowledged the infection which makes one wonder how the commission allowed Lee to fight.

It was a good fight but it looked like Lee had tired in the third and was eventually submitted.  Ferguson should go on to face Conor McGregor if he decides to return to fight.  If not, could we see another setup with Khabib.

DJ makes history with title defense

Demetrious Johnson did it again with another successful title defense of his UFC Flyweight title and another 5th round stoppage.  Johnson had a sensational suplex into an armbar transition to tap out Ray Borg.  It was the 11th title defense which set a record.  DJ stands alone in the UFC Flyweight division.

Despite the remarkable accomplishment Johnson was the co-main event and not the main fight on the show.  This was a subtle sign that despite the remarkable accomplishment, Johnson is not a top of the card draw as he should be.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

This was the lowest attendance and gate for a UFC PPV held at the T-Mobile Arena.  The figures announced post-fight totaled just 10,638 for a gate of $677,999.50.  Of 7 events at the T-Mobile, it was 6th in terms of attendance and gate.  Only this summer’s TUF 25 Finale drew less and that’s due to the fact that there are events on back to back nights.

The bonuses went to Demetrious Johnson, John Moraga, , Bobby Green, Lando Vannatta.  Johnson and Moraga earned the Performances of the Night while Green and Vannatta earned Fight of the Night for their draw.

Payouts

Tony Ferguson was the highest paid fighter of the night earning $500,000 while Demetrious Johnson drew $340,000.  Both Kevin Lee and Ray Borg earned the most of their career with their pay on Saturday.

Via MMA Junkie:

 

Tony Ferguson: $500,000 (includes $250,000 win bonus)
def. Kevin Lee: $250,000

Demetrious Johnson: $370,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ray Borg: $100,000

Fabricio Werdum: $400,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus)
def. Walt Harris: $28,000

Mara Romero Borella: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Kalindra Faria: $12,000

Beneil Dariush: $48,000*
vs. Evan Dunham: $40,000*

Cody Stamann: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Tom Duquesnoy: $23,000

Bobby Green: $24,000*
vs. Lando Vannata: $25,000*

Poliana Botelho: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Pearl Gonzalez: $10,000

Matt Schnell: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Marco Beltran: $14,000

John Moraga: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus)
def. Magomed Bibulatov: $17,000

Brad Tavares: $74,000 (includes $37,000 win bonus)
def. Thales Leites: $57,000

The official Nevada Commission’s pay sheet had Godbeer receiving his show money.  Notably, the Nik Lentz-Will Brooks fight was scrapped due to an illness which hospitalized Lentz.  Although the Nevada Commission may not have paid Brooks, a social media post infers that he was still compensated.

The commission did not have purse payments for Lentz, Brooks and Derrick Lewis.

Promotion of the Fight

With the horrible events that happened the Sunday before the fight the event hype was muted for obvious reasons.  Dana White did not have any fight hype on his twitter timeline until Wednesday.  The Embedded episodes that usually kick off the week were held until that Wednesday.  With this event being a hard sell even before the tragedy, the lack of last minute buzz certainly did not help the buys for this event.

Sponsorships

Although not exactly related to this event, it was announced this week that longtime sponsor Bud Light would be replaced in the U.S. by Modelo Especial staring in 2018.

We are starting to see a lot subtler sponsor promotion on the Embedded series as we see the fighters getting their Reebok gear and visiting the UFC Performance Institute.

Aside from Budweiser, Toyo Tires, Metro PCS, Performance Inspired, Harvey Davidson, 7 Eleven and Monster Energy had the center of the Octagon.  One may have noticed that 7 Eleven had its own signage post whereas in past events it shared one with Monster Energy.  It also had the prep point.  The twitter hashtag Vegas Strong was also in the Octagon.

Odds and ends

It was a different opening for the UFC 216 PPV as Dana White invited over 1,500 first responders to the event and brought some of the survivors of the devastating shooting to the octagon.  Everlast, from House of Pain fame, also sang “America the Beautiful.”  There were cold openings for both the Exclusive Fight Pass Prelims and the Prelims on FX.

The festivities were strained by Dana White’s public scorn for Jason Aldean.  He claimed that Aldean did not want to perform (Aldean was the performer on stage during the shooting).  But, he showed up on Saturday Night Live the same night.  Let it go Dana.  It’s petty to mess up a nice night by getting mad at this.

Derrick Lewis and Fabricio Werdum were taken off last minute with Walt Harris taking the fight against Werdum.  The good news is that Godbeer was paid despite being taken off the card.  Brooks was not although his social media account infers he may have been compensated by the UFC.

Prelims were on FX this time around to compensate for College Football on FS1.  It drew just 653,000 viewers Saturday night.

The commission had some explaining to do with the one hour allowance for Kevin Lee to cut the pound he was over.  Apparently, the rules allow it for championship fights.

There was also the issue of how the UFC Anti-Doping Policy allowed exemptions to Kalindra Faria and Mara Romero Borella.  Yet, it took Andrea Lee off the card due to her prior issues with drug testing.

It appeared as though the upper bowl of the T-Mobile Arena was cordoned off which reflects the attendance was low for the event.  Ticketmaster had seats available up until Friday (and likely Saturday) of the event with the get-in price going for $55.

The UFC sold Vegas Strong T-shirts with 100% of the proceeds going to victims of the shooting on October 1st.

The PPV ended before 10:00pm on the west coast and the broadcast crew was forced to stretch instead of trying to fill in a fight from earlier in the evening.  It did provide some comedy as Daniel Cormier had problems with his headset cords.

There were over 500,000 searches for UFC 216 on Saturday.

Conclusion

This will be one of the lower-purchased PPVs of 2017.  While Lee and Ferguson is a good fight, it is not one you’d pay $60 to see as the main event.  Johnson is one of the greatest fighters ever, but fans do not want to pay to watch him fight.  While it was a good night of fights, its hard seeing this event doing more than 170,000 PPV buys.

UFC 216 attendance, gate, bonuses and payouts

October 8, 2017

UFC 216 attendance, gate, bonuses and payouts were disclosed on Saturday.  Notably, it was the lowest turnout for a UFC PPV in the history of PPV events at the T-Mobile Arena.

The bonuses of the night went to Demetrious Johnson, John Moraga, Bobby Green, Lando Vannatta.  Johnson and Moraga earned the Performances of the Night while Green and Vannatta earned Fight of the Night for their draw.

Attendance announced by the UFC post event was 10,638 for $677,999.50.  Of the 7 events at the T-Mobile Arena since the UFC become one of the anchor tenants for the venue, it landed 6th on the list with just this past July’s TUF 25 Finale having a smaller attendance

Payouts were disclosed by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Saturday night with Tony Ferguson earning the most on the roster.

Via MMA Junkie:

Tony Ferguson: $500,000 (includes $250,000 win bonus)
def. Kevin Lee: $250,000

Demetrious Johnson: $370,000 (no win bonus)
def. Ray Borg: $100,000

Fabricio Werdum: $400,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus)
def. Walt Harris: $28,000

Mara Romero Borella: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Kalindra Faria: $12,000

Beneil Dariush: $48,000*
vs. Evan Dunham: $40,000*

Cody Stamann: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Tom Duquesnoy: $23,000

Bobby Green: $24,000*
vs. Lando Vannata: $25,000*

Poliana Botelho: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Pearl Gonzalez: $10,000

Matt Schnell: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Marco Beltran: $14,000

John Moraga: $68,000 (includes $34,000 win bonus)
def. Magomed Bibulatov: $17,000

Brad Tavares: $74,000 (includes $37,000 win bonus)
def. Thales Leites: $57,000

Payout Perspective:

Johnson’s submission of Borg was unbelievable.  The attendance and gate were not surprising considering the card did not have any big names.  Tickets were still available on Ticketmaster.  Lee and Borg had career high payouts.  It’s not known if Mark Godbeer will be compensated after losing his spot when Walt Harris filled in for Derrick Lewis against Fabricio Werdum.  Looking at Werdum’s pay, I’d assume that he wanted to fight and not want to sit out and lose out on a nice payday.

UFC Fight Night 117 attendance and gate

September 23, 2017

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 117 in Japan.  It was the lowest-attended UFC event from Japan.

Ovince St. Preux, Gokhan Saki, Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha earned $50,000 bonuses.  OSP stopped Yushin Okami in the first round via Von Flue Choke.  Gokhan Saki stopped Henrique da Silva in a wild back and forth striking match.  Saki looked like he was in trouble but landed a punch right on the button knocking da Silva down and ending the fight.  The Fight of the Night went to Jessica Andrade and Claudia Gadelha in a bloody three round affair that went to Andrade.

It was the fifth UFC event in Japan and drew 8,571 fans.

UFC 144:  Edgar-Henderson – 21,000

UFC on Fuel TV 8:  Silva-Stann – 14,682

UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt-Nelson – 12,395

UFC Fight Night 75 Barnett-Nelson – 10,137

UFC Fight Night 117:  St. Preux-Okami – 8,571

Payout Perspective:

No issues with the bonus winners as each deserved the bonus.  Andrade and Gadelha was a great affair and one of the best ever in the 115-pound women’s division.

UFC Fight Night 116 attendance, gate and bonuses

September 18, 2017

UFC Fight Night 116 drew just 7,005 fans for the event at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  UFC officials announced the attendance and gate post-event which took place Saturday night.

In addition, the $50,000 bonuses went to Mike Perry, Uriah Hall, Gregor Gillespie and Jason Gonzalez.  Perry and Hall earned Performance Bonuses while Gillespie and Gonzalez earned Fight of the Night.

The attendance at the event was the lowest for a UFC event this year with just 7,005 fans and the gate drew $396,190.  The figures were announced post-event by the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

UFC Fight Night 112 this past June in Oklahoma City had similar attendance figures but this past Saturday’s event was the lowest gates of the year.  With Canelo-GGG on the same night as well as college football, this may have been a tough sell for the UFC.  But, this is what to expect of the lower-tier Fight Night events.

UFC 215 draws sellout

September 10, 2017

UFC 215 on Saturday was a sellout with 16,232 in attendance at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The event created a live gate of $2,028,307.14.

The event was headlined by Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko after the original main event of Demetirous Johnson and Ray Borg was scratched due to the challenger’s health issues.

It was the second time that the UFC made it to the province.  UFC 149, which featured Urijah Faber versus Renan Barao drew 16,089 for $4.1 million.  The UFC 149 event took place in Calgary.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the controversy with the death of Tim Hague, the UFC is willing to come back to Edmonton after a sell-out on Saturday.  The attendance reflects the popularity of the sport in the area and the gate shows that it makes business sense to return.

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