April 19, 2014
In addition, the bonuses were handed out and were the standard $50,000.
Fight of the Night: Thiago Alves-Seth Baczynski
Performance Bonuses: Donald Cerrone and Alex White
Cerrone used a jab to stun and floor Edson Barboza and immediately took his back for the rear-naked choke.
The attendance and gate figures pleased the UFC since Florida has been a tough sell for the company in past events. The UFC sounded bullish on a return similar to that of its back-to-back returns to Seattle as mentioned in an Orlando Sentinel article. The UFC actually used Shaquille O’Neal’s house for a pre-fight press conference.
As for the bonuses, Cerrone’s seemed the most out of nowhere as Barboza looked sharp until the quick jab by Cerrone. Notably, Cerrone sports the Budweiser logo as one of his sponsors. He was sponsored by the company in the past, but this time around the company was more prominent with his walkout shirt and trunks. Also of note, he was represented by Bell helmets.
April 17, 2014
The event which started Wednesday afternoon took place at the Colisee Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec. Tim Kennedy defeated Michael Bisping in the main event of the card. The official attendance announced at the post-fight presser was 5,029 and a live gate of $340,000. There was no breakdown as to comp tickets.
In addition, the bonuses for the night were announced post-fight and included Dustin Poirier, Akira Corrasani, K.J. Noons and Ryan Jimmo. Each received the standard $50,000 bonus on top of their salaries
Fight of the Night: Poirier-Corrasani
Perrformance Bonuses: Noons and Jimmo
Poirier, Noons and Jimmo all scored stoppages to earn their bonuses. Even in a losing effort, Corrasani was entertaining having fought off a Peruvian necktie attempt late in the first round.
While it may have seemed like the attendance at the TUF fights last night were more than the attendees in Quebec City, the UFC has acknowledged the tough sell to put on fights mid-week. It is especially difficult when the card starts mid-day when most fans are at work. But, these fights are mainly for television (and Fight Pass). It was the first time the UFC traveled to Quebec, so one might question why more people would not come to the fights even if they showed up later. As for the bonuses, Poirier, Noons and Jimmo were all very impressive and there’s no debate with their bonuses.
April 16, 2014
Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at Pacquiao-Bradley II taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Pacquiao ousts Bradley
It was even until the middle rounds when Timothy Bradley began to fade and Manny Pacquiao poured it on. Bradley showboated a little and tried to feign he was not hurt by Pacquiao’s punches. Either he was going to be a genius or he was trying to lose. Even when Bradley invited Pacquiao into skirmishes and attempted to emulate the same strategy as Juan Manuel Marquez with his KO in December 2012, Pacquiao seemed to win them and/or evade the big shot.
Pacquiao now faces the winner of Juan Manuel Marquez-Mike Alvarado on May 17th. Most fans would probably like to see Pacquiao-JMM 5 because of the built-in storylines. Their last battle drew 1.15 million PPV buys and would likely equal or eclipse that number.
Even though Pacquiao should face the JMM-Alvarado winner, the LA Times is reporting that the Pacquiao camp is lobbying for a shot at Mayweather. Will this happen? Don’t hold your breath. However, the bargaining leverage is all with Mayweather. Its Pacquiao with the reported money problems and he has been the one to concede the stricter drug testing and is willing to listen to a less than 50% split of a fight. So, does that put pressure on Mayweather, or is this paragraph wasted time? We have two different promotions and if you are Mayweather, only public perception would lead you to a fight with Pacquiao. Does Mayweather really care about the public?
Top Rank reported a sell out for the MGM Grand Garden Arena with 15,601 in attendance. The weigh-ins a day earlier were at capacity as well with approximately 4,500 witnessing Pacquiao and Bradley weigh in and flex for those in attendance.
On Tuesday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission announced 14,099 tickets were sold for a total gate of $7.9 million. H/t: Steve Kim
— Steve Kim (@stevemaxboxing) April 15, 2014
The gate was approximately $7,865,100 which is the lowest in years for Pacquiao. The gate falls 24th on the list of top boxing gates for Nevada. Pacquiao-Hatton in 2009 received an $8.8 million gate (15,368 in attendance) comes right before Pacquiao-Bradley II.
It was reported that Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley would earn $6 million each. However, Bob Arum indicated that Pacquiao would make no less than $20 million. Both would receive PPV upside as well.
The undercard payouts are as follows via Bad Left Hook:
Ray Beltran ($85,000) vs Arash Usmanee ($80,000)
Khabib Allakhverdiev ($250,000) vs Jessie Vargas ($90,000)
and Bryan Vasquez ($55,000) vs Jose Felix Jr ($40,000)
Promotion of the Fight
As is custom with a big fight, Pacquiao made an appearance on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Bradley made an appearance on the NBA on TNT in which he was interviewed during a Laker game.
Top Rank Boxing also utilized its web site to hype the fight as well as livestream the weigh-ins.
The customary repeats of Bradley and Pacquiao’s greatest fights including their first encounter were shown on HBO and on the Audience network.
It’s notable that less showings of HBO’s 24/7 series occurred over the multiple networks owned by Time Warner. You may recall in past fights that the series could be seen on TNT, TBS and even CNN. This time around, there was little cross-pollination.
HBO added a special on-location, live pre-fight show the Thursday before the fight in addition to its usual 24/7 shows.
One thing that drew the ire of Bob Arum was the fact that the MGM Grand had signs for Floyd Mayweather’s May 3rd fight. The signs were more prominent than those of Pacquiao-Bradley II which was pointed out by Arum whenever he could. Indirectly, this likely upset sponsor Tecate, since Mayweather fights are sponsored by Corona. There’s obvious brand confusion ther. Mayweather has fought at the MGM 9 straight times and it appeared that the loyalty took precedence over the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch. It may also be due to the fact that Mayweather’s promotion has a contractual agreement to hype the fight at the MGM a certain time before the fight which may be the reason.
The sponsors for this event include Tecate, Smart Communications, the leading wireless services provider for the Philippines
Tecate had its usual PPV rebate offer for those purchasing its beer at selected retailers.
The newest and most visible sponsor was Sony with its PlayStation 4 platform receiving high visibility during the fight including trailers of the PS4 gaming experience. An example of this activation had PS4 running trailers in between fighter weigh-ins during the live stream on Top Rank’s web site.
Bradley wore a variety of hats to promote certain sponsors. During his NBA on TNT interview, he wore a SaxonyInvest.com hat. During the 24/7 series, he wore a Pocial hat which is a social networking web site that connects people through polls. I am not sure if this is a great way to brand yourself but certainly Bradley is getting paid for these advertisements.
Bradley is still sponsored by Nike and had custom “Desert Storm” gear for the fight. He also was sponsored by Lexani – a high end car wheel manufacturer. The shirt was on display at the weigh-ins.
Juan Diaz sported a Body Armor hat in the corner of Bradley during the fight.
Pacquiao’s cornermen must have received Mitshubishis as the Cerritos, California and South Coast Dealerships were plainly visible as patches on Buboy and others in Pacquiao’s corner.
Odds and Ends
An interesting takeaway from the 24/7 series is that Timothy’s wife, Monica Bradley, has taken over as his manager. According to the show, she brokered Bradley’s new deal with Top Rank including the financial terms for this fight. Bradley earned $6 million for his second fight with Pacquiao which is $1 million more than he earned in the first fight. It’s a big question as to whether or not it’s a good idea to have your spouse represent you. Negotiations can get heated and while it’s easier to grasp what your client wants, there may be an issue as to if you can separate yourself from the personal relationship.
Some may have noticed that Freddie Roach wore an Under Armour shirt at weigh-ins. It seemed a bit odd considering that Pacquiao is sponsored by Nike and has worn Pacquiao Nike gear in the past.
The LA Times had an interesting article on the enforcement of PPV fees on bars that intend to show fights. The charge is dependent on the size of the bar and the more seats in a bar, the more the bar has to pay. As an example, a 50 seat bar is charged $1,600 for showing the PPV, a 51-100 seat bar is charged $2,200. For those bars that may attempt to evade the fees, promoters employ enforcement that sues bars showing the PPV without paying. Zuffa employs similar enforcement to protect itself from piracy.
With this fight, it’s likely that Pacquiao solidifies his spot as PPV royalty as he moves closer to the second spot of all-time top PPV performers. Oscar de la Hoya currently owns second while Floyd Mayweather tops the list.
And yes, there was Pacquiao’s mother.
This fight had more storylines yet seemed to lack the hype or buzz of previous Pacquiao fights. Nevertheless, this is one of those fights that people will find and would be willing to pay the $70 to watch. Industry experts estimated the buy rate at 700,000 while Arum suggests a more optimistic buy rate of somewhere over 1 million. Their last fight was 890,000. Notwithstanding Pacquiao-Rios this past November, Manny is still a valued commodity in the boxing PPV landscape while Bradley is still an entertaining fighter on the rise. We may just throw out that fight in Macau as an anomaly. Perhaps I may be just bullish on Pacquiao and refuse to see the writing on the wall, but I believe that this fight will do better than their first fight and hit 1 million PPV buys.
April 11, 2014
MMA Junkie reports the performance bonuses for today’s UFC Fight Night 39 from Abu Dhabi. Clay Guida, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Ramsey Nijem and Roy Nelson nabbed the $50,000 bonuses. In addition the attendance and gate were announced during the post-UFC press conference.
Fight of the Night: Guida-Kawajiri
Performance Bonuses – Nijem and Nelson
Both Nijem and Big Country earned their performance honors by ending their opponents in the first round. The bonuses served as bookends for the main card as the former TUF competitor, Nijem finished Beneil Dariush in the main card’s first fight and Nelson knocked out Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the main event.
At the post fight press conference, it was announced that the event was a sellout with 7,963 tickets sold for a gate of $1.8 million. UFC Fight Night 39 took place at the du Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Most of us in North America were likely at work for this Fight Pass event occurring during the day so at least you know what fights to pay attention to when watching later tonight. It’s interesting to note that there were no submissions on the card as well as three stoppages in the first round.
March 23, 2014
MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses for UFC Fight Night 38 held on Sunday from Ginasio Nelio Dias in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Dan Henderson became the second fighter under the new performance bonus structure to win two bonuses.
The Fight of the Night was Henderson and Shogun Rua with Henderson also getting a performance bonus for his KO of Rua who looked like he was winning the fight at the time. The other $50,000 performance bonus went to Godofredo Pepey who won via flying knee over Noad Lahat in the first bout of the night.
In addition, UFC executive Grace Tourinho announced the attendance of 6,828 which took place for the first time in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil.
How does everyone feel about holding fights on Sunday nights? Although it is the busiest day for television and Sunday’s event went up against NCAA March Madness, it is a throwback to watching WEC events on Sundays. We will see if the UFC thinks about Sunday events in the future.
Henderson-Rua II was another instant classic and Pepey’s KO (which most may not have seen) were solid choices for bonuses. Of course, there were a lot of good performances on Sunday card including Kenny Robertson, C.B. Dolloway and Rony Jason
March 17, 2014
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time well be taking a look at UFC 171 at the American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas.
Hendricks wins vacant title
A scare with not making weight did not matter for Johny Hendricks as he defeated Robbie Lawler in the Fight of the Night. For Hendricks, it was redemption from a controversial loss to GSP last time out. Lawler was impressive in defeat but just didn’t have enough to win the title.
Hendricks was the top welterweight of the night as he will now look to a smorgasbord of challengers to the title which may include a couple fighters (Lombard, Woodley) on the card and one (Nick Diaz) that was in attendance.
Woodley upsets Condit
Tyron Woodley may have moved to the top of the contender’s list for the welterweight division with his victory over Carlos Condit. While the knee injury to Condit caused the stoppage, it should not take away from the fact that Woodley was impressive and can argue he is next in line for a title shot at Hendricks.
Attendance and Gate
As we reported on Sunday, the UFC announced its attendance at 19,324 for a live gate of $2.6 million. The numbers reflect the largest U.S. crowd to see a UFC event. The numbers bested the UFC’s last event in Dallas which did 17,428 for a $2.4 million gate at UFC 103.
There were no information yet on comps and the Texas Department of Licensing will confirm the numbers later this week.
The bonuses were awarded to Hendricks-Lawler, Ovince St. Preux and Dennis Bermudez.
Fight of the Night – Hendricks-Lawler
Performance of the Night – OSP (Von Flue!) and Bermudez.
Each fighter earned an extra $50K. In addition, Harley Davidson ran a promotion in which one of the bonus winners could win a Harley Davidson based upon a fan vote on the UFC’s Facebook page. Hendricks won the fan vote and a new motorcycle.
The usual suspects were in the Octagon including the official UFC sponsors of MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Alienware, Corn Nuts as well as Bud Light taking the center of the Octagon. Fram Auto Filters was the latest addition to Octagon signage. In addition, Robbie Lawler’s sponsor, the Air Force Reserve also had signage in the Octagon.
The most notable sponsor for Hendricks was Reebok. Hendricks wore a shirt with the hashtag Reebokzquick. Hendricks co-starred in a commercial featuring the Reebok fitness line in a recent commercial It was the second time that the clothing brand has sponsored him in the Octagon. With Hendricks as champ, we can expect that Reebok will extend its sponsorship deal. Hendricks was also sponsored by two official UFC sponsors: Corn Nuts and Alienware.
Diego Sanchez had a product tie-in where he wore a Training Mask during his workouts on the UFC Countdown show.
Tyron Woodley signed on with Affliction Clothing prior to UFC 171 (via FighterxFashion). He also snagged a deal with Monster Headphones.
— Monster Products (@MonsterProducts) March 17, 2014
The UFC had a “Vote for the T” Contest where fans had a chance to design a t-shirt for the UFC to market and sell for $30.
Who’s next for Johny Hendricks? A lot of debate swirling that Woodley, Hector Lombard or even Nick Diaz should face Hendricks next. Diaz, who flew to Dallas courtesy of the UFC, was featured on the company’s Instagram account mocking Hendricks when it appeared he had missed weight and needed to retry. Despite the showings of the other welterweights on the card, the appeal of Diaz is that he can sell a fight without even trying (i.e. we’re not talking Wolf Tickets). But, the bottom line is that the show revealed that the welterweight is a very competitive division with many challengers to face Hendricks.
Odds and Ends
Unfortunately, the UFC 171 Prelims were on FS2 due to college basketball tournament action as the prelim fights were probably the best in recent memory.
The Von Flue Choke will be the most demonstrated move in BJJ gyms across the nation this week.
Hendricks marketed “BeardHeads” riffing off of his trademark facial hair. There was a sponsor giveaway associated with the gimmick as well.
I am not clear why Diego Sanchez was eating quail egg and steak tartare before a fight. It seems very suspect.
The top cities that searched the name Johny Hendricks on Google were Oklahoma City and Montreal.
Google trends revealed that Johny Hendricks was not getting as many searches as when he fought Georges St. Pierre but UFC 171 was getting significant traffic.
If GSP does come back against Hendricks, it could be the Cowboy Stadium show that the UFC wants and a 1 million PPV buy event.
While the attendance and gate numbers are impressive for a show not featuring GSP/Anderson Silva or Cain Velasquez (note we excluded Ronda Rousey based on her last outing), it’s hard to conclude a big buy rate. There was nothing that stood out in the promotion of this event despite it being for the vacant welterweight title. Still, the Hendricks win puts him in a position to be groomed to be the next big draw for the UFC. With the lack of a big name at the top, and the minimal buzz for the event, a buy rate of 300,000 would be solid.
March 16, 2014
The attendance and gate announced at the post-fight press conference was 19,324 for a live gate of $2.6 million. The numbers will be verified by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation later this week. The figures represent an increase from UFC 103 when the promotion was last at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. It did 17,428 for a gate of $2.4 million with Rich Franklin-Vitor Belfort and Cro Cop-Junior dos Santos as the headliners.
In addition, the Performance Bonuses were handed at and were as follows:
Fight of the Night: Hendricks-Lawler
Performance Bonuses: Ovince St. Preux-Dennis Bermudez
Each received $50,000 for their respective performances.
The attendance and gate reflect a reported sellout for this event. With Hendricks as the hometown favorite, many came to support him in the main event. Earlier in the week secondary market ticket seller Seat Geek reported that the average ticket on the secondary market was $260 which was up 28% from UFC 170. Thus, there was quite a demand for this fight which is a positive sign that Hendricks is someone that the UFC can start to market around and get ready for a potential rematch with Georges St. Pierre if and when he returns.
MMA Payout will have more on the event in its Payout Perspective.
March 8, 2014
MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC Fight Night 37 which occurred Saturday afternoon in London, England. Alexander Gustafsson scored two bonuses as he defeated Jimi Manuwa in the main event.
Dana White announced attendance of 14,604 and a gate of $2,000,056 which occurred at London’s O2 Arena. It placed fourth out of the 5 UFC events held at the venue (the other 4 were PPVs) in attendance and gate.
The fight bonuses were awarded to Alexander Gustafsson, Jimi Manuwa and Gunnar Nelson. Each received $50,000 each. Gustaffson and Manuwa earned FOTN and Nelson and Gus received Performance Bonuses.
It was the first major event on Fight Pass so there was a portion of UFC fans that did not witness the fights. The event featured Alexander Gustafsson which was somewhat controversial as he is next in line for a shot at the Light Heavyweight title. I say controversial since if the UFC is to promote top fighters it should make the fighters marketable and have them fight to the biggest available audience. With a paywall (despite the opportunity to sign up for a free week trial), some UFC fans probably didn’t see UFC Fight Night 37. Thus, most fans will only recall his loss to Jon Jones as his last fight and not his impressive victory Saturday.
Of course, the UFC has its reasons for putting Gus on Fight Pass. He’s a quality fighter and with Fight Pass now available internationally, it would attract more fans to give Fight Pass a try.
March 1, 2014
As reported after the event from Macau, China, Dong Hyun Kim and Matt Mitrione won the Performance Bonus and Nam and Tokudome won Fight of the Night. Kim and Mitrone both had KOs of their respective opponents.
In addition, Executive VP and Managing Director of UFC Asia Mark Fischer announced an attendance of 6,000 which the UFC has classified as a sell-out. The attendance is down from its November 2012 visit to China at the Cotai Arena as UFC on Fuel TV 6 received attendance of 8,415 for a gate of $1.4 million.
Interesting that this is being deemed a sell-out although 2012’s event at the same venue had over 2,400 more in attendance. This may be due to seating configuration for this event although I do not see an explanation for this. Regardless, Fischer already announced another trip to Macau this year for August 23rd and a return to Japan on September 20th. Thus, it appears that the UFC is making headway into the Asian market. As for the bonuses, it’s good that the UFC changed its definition of the bonus system otherwise Matt Mitrione probably would not have received a bonus.
February 23, 2014
After UFC 170 concluded, UFC President Dana White held a post fight scrum where he briefly fielded questions from the MMA media, which included the gate discrepancy, performance bonuses, Cyborg, Cormier, Will Smith, and Rousey’s stardom.
Link: MMA Fight Corner
One odd observation from the post fight scrum is the media asking Dana White about the UFC 170 gate and attendance. Earlier in the week, Dana White stated that the gate for UFC 170 would be around $2M dollars. During the post fight press conference, the attendance and gate was announced as 10,217 for a live gate of $1,558,870. White stated “Are you f*cking sh*tting me? It’s $1.5M?” He did not know why there was a discrepancy but stated that it was a good question. Later in the video, he stated that this was still a good gate and said it was “a quarter of a million” more than her debut. As a note, UFC 157: Rousey vs Carmouche at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California officially drew 13,257 in attendance for a $1,350,191 live gate.
As for comparison, UFC 157: Aldo vs Edgar in the same Mandalay Bay venue in Las Vegas drew 10,275 for a gate of $2.34 million, though it is notable that the ticket prices for this event were scaled back, which may explain the lower gate. There is also an expectation of a high number of complimentary tickets, as MMAPayout expected yesterday.