UFC 189 gate predicted at $7 million

March 28, 2015

Dana White is stating that UFC 189 will do a gate of $7 million which would eclipse the biggest gate which would eclipse Silva-Sonnen II on July 7, 2012.  The event is headlined by Jose Aldo defending his Featherweight belt against Conor McGregor

UFC 148 which was the rematch between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen drew $6,901,655 according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  The paid attendance was 13,600 at the MGM Grand.

White is in the midst of a world tour for UFC 189 which will headline the annual International Fight Week this July.  The tour is chronicled through the ongoing “UFC Embedded” online features highlighting the tour from the perspectives of Aldo and McGregor.  In interviews, including this one with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani, White indicates that the gate will be $7 million.

Payout Perspective:

Let’s get this out of the way.  Yes, the gate would pale in comparison to the $74 million gate that is expected at the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight in the same venue.  However, if we are strictly to view this in terms of MMA gates, it would be the second biggest to UFC 129 in Toronto.  Of course, the UFC is spending an unprecedented amount of money on this tour.  While there is no public dollar figure on the investment, the private jets, expensive hotels and extensive traveling would make it a pricey venture.  Still, the promotion has been well done and if it means a big gate and PPV buy rate for essentially a Featherweight title, it is worth it.

UFC Fight Night 62 attendance and bonuses

March 22, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses for UFC Fight Night 62 from Brazil.  There was no Fight of the Night bonus as four fighters were awarded Performance of the Night honors.

The following received $50,000 bonuses.  Gilbert Burns, Godofredo Pepey, Kevin Souza and Fredy Serrano all earned the awards on a night where there were 9 stoppages.  In addition, Dana White stated that Erick Silva and Amanda Nunes would receive an extra check for their performances on Saturday.

The event drew 7,707 fans at the Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The event was less than Mendes-Aldo II from UFC 179.  That event drew 11,415 in the same venue.

Payout Perspective:

It’s not too surprising that this event did not draw as well as UFC 179.  In fact, it’s the lowest attendance for a UFC event in Rio de Janeiro since 2012.  One could have picked any number of the stoppages for Performance of the Night as the event had many entertaining stoppages.

UFC 185: Payout Perspective

March 17, 2015

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 185 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas where two UFC titles were on the line.

RDA wins Lightweight Title

Rafael dos Anjos earned his unanimous decision against Anthony Pettis.  It was total domination by the challenger as he topped Pettis with his striking and grappling.  It was an impressive win considering the complete manhandling of Pettis and the post-fight news that he had a knee injury coming into the fight.

Up next for RDA is the winner of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Donald Cerrone this May.  But with RDA’s knee injury, we may not see this fight until December.

UFC 185

Joanna J destroys Cookie Monster

It was a mismatch. And the Champion looked to be in trouble from the start.  Joanna Jedrzejcyzk controlled Carla Esparza and the “Cookie Monster” did not look like a Champion defending her title. Jedrzejcyk’s Muay Thai background defeated Esparza’s wrestling and it was an easy win for the fighter from Poland.

In the end, the referee was looking for a way to stop the fight in the 2nd round.  Jedrzejczyk has the personality to promote fights in her division.  But, will there be anyone in her division that can match her?

Attendance and Gate

Attendance at the America Airlines Center drew a reported 17,160 fans for a gate of $2.155 million as announced at the post-fight press conference.  Despite the good number, it was still the lowest of the three PPVs held at the venue.

Previous Attendance for UFC PPVs at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX (via MMA Payout Blue Book)

UFC 103 – September 9, 2009 – Rich Franklin-Vitor Belfort Attendance 17,428, Gate: $2.4M

UFC 171 – March 15, 2014 – Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler Attendance 19,324, Gate: $2.6M


For the second PPV in a row, there was no Fight of the Nights.  The four Performances of the Night went to RDA, Jedrzejcyk, Ross Pearson and Beneil Darush.  Each received $50,000 bonuses.  There were a lot of stoppages to choose from but one would have to concur that these four stood out.


For the second straight PPV in a row Monster Energy Drink had the center of the Octagon moving Bud Light to the Octagon bumpers.  In addition, MetroPCS, Harley Davidson, Corn Nuts, DraftKings, Fram, MusclePharm and Toyo Tires.

Fram also had the fighter checkpoint.

Notably, Pettis was sponsored by Reebok, Corn Nuts, Monster Headphones and Monster Energy Drinks.  Interesting enough, no Wheaties logo worn by Pettis or in the Octagon.

Reebok sold Showtime’s gear prior to the event at UFC 185.  Wonder how sales are post-fight.

Monster Headphones also had a campaign centered on Pettis.

Post-Fight Headlines:

-The UFC saw the crowning of two new champions. Who will have the longest title run? Moreover, who will the UFC be able to sell to fans?

-Does Hendricks get another shot at the title? With the win over Matt Brown, should Hendricks get the winner of Lawler-MacDonald?

-Henry Cejudo made weight and won a unanimous decision over Chris Cariaso. Could he be on the fast track to a 125 pound title shot?

Odds and ends

-Ben Askren and CM Punk were in the corner for Anthony Pettis.

-Interesting enough, Erik Koch made a cameo during the first UFC Embedded which one might think unusual if you read “Thrown.”

-Carla Esparza wore a wrestling singlet which was a nice touch. Both Esparza and Jedrzejcyzk were sponsored by Alienware.

-Alienware, a UFC sponsor, has been active of late with its activation with the UFC.  There is a lot more visibility in sponsoring fighters as well as sponsoring the UFC Embedded online episodes.

-For the first time that I recall, the Embedded episodes had a sponsor, Alienware (“Powered by Alienware”). It was the umpteenth time we saw an Embedded episode where someone was at a barbershop getting their hair cut. This time it was Showtime at his barber shop.

-With Monster Energy as a new UFC sponsor, it appears we will see the return of awkwardly holding a soda can in the Octagon after a fight.

-UFC Prelims was on FX due to college basketball. We shall see whether the network change will affect ratings.

-There were over 100,000 Google searches for the UFC on Saturday which was far less than UFC 184 and Ronda Rousey during the same time frame.

-Texas did not do any “out of competition” drug testing for this event.


Prior to the PPV, we wrote whether Anthony Pettis could be the next big PPV draw for the UFC. If he does, it will be in pursuit of the belt he just lost. The card seemed like one more for the solid base of UFC fans that usually purchase PPVs. Yet, with the solid success of UFC PPVs this year, could we see another good PPV buy rate from the company. There was less buzz for this event than the previous three this year. This could reflect in PPV buys as I would assume that we get a PPV buy rate of around 325,000-350,000.

UFC 185 attendance, gate and bonuses

March 14, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 185. Once again there were four Performance of the Night bonuses but no Fight of the Night bonuses.

The bonuses went to Rafael dos Anjos, Joanna Jedrzejcyk, Ross Pearson and Beneil Dariush. Each stopped their opponents and received $50,000 bonuses. It was the second straight PPV where there was no Fight of the Night.

UFC 185 drew a reported 17,160 fans for a gate of $2.155 million according to Dana White at the post-fight press conference. The attendance was down from the previous two UFC PPV events at the Arena.

Previous Attendance for UFC PPVs at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX (via MMA Payout Blue Book)

UFC 103 – September 9, 2009 – Rich Franklin-Vitor Belfort Attendance 17,428, Gate: $2.4M

UFC 171 – March 15, 2014 – Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler Attendance 19,324, Gate: $2.6M

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate are down from the prior two visits despite two title fights on the card. This is slightly disappointing considering that Hendricks was on the card again and he drew very well last year. The primary market of tickets indicated that much of the lower part of the arena had sold out with a smattering of tickets available in the upper parts of the arena. Still, the official attendance is lower than the previous two times the UFC visited the arena.

There were a couple other stoppages on the card (including Elias Theodorou breaking his opponents arm with a kick) but you cannot deny the four from receiving bonuses.

UFC 184: Payout Perspective

March 4, 2015

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 184 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. In the main event, Ronda Rousey fought Cat Zingano.

Gone in 14 seconds

Zero strikes but a scramble that had Cat Zingano’s arm caught by Ronda Rousey and a straight armbar ended the night very early for the challenger.

It’s too bad considering the Zingano backstory.  Even though she was a huge underdog, you would have like to see more of a fight.

For Rousey, she has received mainstream approval and sports people asking if she’s good for the sport.  Obviously, the fact that people are talking about Rousey is good for the UFC.  The question of who should see fight next is a good question.  With Rousey taking time off to do a movie, it will be interesting to see who will be set up as her next opponent.  Beth Corriea? Jessica Eye?  One fighter not mentioned was Cris Cyborg who fought on the Invicta card the night before.

ufc 184 poster

Holm defeats Rocky

It was not the strongest of debuts for “The Preacher’s Daughter” but she sustained a very good Raquel Pennington for the decision.  Holm was one of the most talked about women’s fighters not in the UFC prior to her debut.  Now, she seems destined to challenge for Rousey’s belt.  Based on Saturday, she’s not ready yet.

Attendance and Gate

According to the post-fight press conference UFC 184 at the Staples Center drew a reported 17,654 fans for a gate of $2.675 million.  Of the UFC events held at the Staples Center, only UFC 60 which featured Matt Hughes taking on Royce Gracie did better (14,802 for $2.9 million).  The Staples Center capacity ranges from 18,000-21,000 depending on the event.


Cat Zingano ($100K) actually had a higher base salary than Ronda Rousey ($65K) although it was reported by Larry Pugmire of the LA Times that Rousey would probably clear $1 million with her cut of PPV revenues.  Also, Rousey was sponsored by Reebok, Monster and Monster Headphones.  All are UFC sponsors (presumably Monster Energy Drink has signed with the UFC).

Rousey did make $65K and $65K plus a Performance of the Night bonus to earn a total of $180,000.

In addition, Jake Ellenberger made $68K and $68K plus a Performance of the Night bonus to earn a total of $186,000.

Tony Ferguson and Tim Means earned the other $50K Performances of the Night.  There was no Fight of the Night.

The rest of the payouts are here.

Promotion of the Fight

The episodes of UFC Embedded were once again entertaining although I would argue that this time around the portion of the UFC Countdown show focusing on Cat Zingano had to be the best

The pre-weigh-in staredowns included the main eventers wearing evening gowns.

Rousey made the usual media rounds including an appearance on Jim Rome.  Something that people picked up on was a dispute between Rousey and Arianny Celeste.


Probably the biggest sponsor for Saturday was the “M” in the middle of the Octagon which replaced the usual Bud Light sponsor.  It appears that Monster Energy Drink has signed on as a sponsor for the UFC.  The former Bellator sponsor was shown prominently in the center of the Octagon as well as ring posts.

In addition, DraftKings announced a new sponsorship deal this week and was also on the Octagon mat.

Rounding out the sponsors on the Octagon mat included, Bud Light, MetroPCS, MusclePharm, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Air Force Reserve and the movie Run All Night.  Harley Davidson had the prep point.

Holly Holm had no sponsors except UFC on her ring gear.  Raquel Pennington had a pretty nice “Colorado Rocky” shirt.

Ronda Rousey had Monster, Reebok and the UFC on her ring gear.  She also donned Monster headphones upon heading to the Octagon.  Rousey also had her jeans sponsor Buffalo on her fighter poster.  Maybe Nissan of Omaha was the best sponsor for Cat Zingano as it was clearly seen as she was being submitted.  Other notable Zingano sponsors included Sepec and Kalapaki Joe’s.

Odds and Ends

The UFC indicated that the social media campaign around Ronda Rousey did well:

Big search numbers for Ronda Rousey:

Darren Rovell took an ad hoc poll on the popularity of the UFC. The fact that Rovell is gaging his followers on its popularity shows that Rousey sparked his interest in the UFC.

Other ends…

Sponsor Mike’s Seafood on Derrick Lewis’ backside was either a good idea or a bad one.

The top three cities on Google Trends that searched for “Ronda Rousey” were Quezon City, Philippines, Los Angeles and New York in that order.

UFC 184 was in theaters once again. There were anecdotal reports of packed sports bars watching the fight.

Mark Munoz did not look good on Saturday. He failed to make weight on his first try at the weigh-ins although he subsequently made it. I would have hoped that he would make it to the Philippines card and then retire. It might be best for him to retire now.

InvictaFC had a card the night before in LA with Cyborg in the main event. Yet no real mention of her after the Rousey fight.

Essentially, the PPV ended at 9:00pm PT due to the quick main event and prelim matches were shown to fill-in time.


Ronda Rousey is one of the big draws of the UFC and based on searches and media coverage she is someone that casual viewers would tune into watch. The fact that ESPN talking head shows and other sports media were talking about her 14 second win on Monday reflects her popularity. But does that mean it equates to people paying $60 to watch her fight? We shall see. The last time Rousey headlined (without another co-main) was UFC 170 which drew 350,000 PPV buys. My guestimate would be somewhere around that mark and perhaps a little more 350,000-375,000 PPV buys.

UFC 184 attendance, gate and bonuses

March 1, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from UFC 184 held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  Ronda Rousey led the group of bonus winners for the night.

The event drew a reported 17,654 fans for a gate of $2.675 million according to Dana White at the post-fight press conference.  In comparison to other UFC events at the Staples Center, UFC 60 drew 14,802 (10,347 paid according to Wikipedia) for a gate of $2.9 million. UFC 104 drew 14,892 for a gate of $1.9 million. UFC on Fox 4 drew 16,080 for a gate of $1.1 million.

The capacity at the Staples ranges from 18,000-21,000 depending on event.

Ronda Rousey, Jake Ellenberger, Tony Ferguson and Tim Means all picked up $50,000 Performance of the Night Bonuses with their finishes on Saturday night.

Payout Perspective:

Certainly there could have been other fighters that could have received the $50,000.  Roan Carneiro and Derrick Lewis come to mind.  As for the attendance and gate, it was the biggest attendance for an event at Staples although the number of comps is never reported.  The gate was slightly larger for UFC 60 which featured Matt Hughes and Royce Gracie.

UFC Fight Night 61 Attendance and Bonuses

February 22, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from UFC Fight Night 61 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

The attendance for Sunday night’s event was 5,080 which was a sell out according to the UFC.  The promotion indicated that it would like to hold another UFC event in a bigger venue when it returns.  No gate was announced which is standard for these small Brazilian shows.

The bonuses for the night were awarded to Frank Mir, Sam Alvey, Marion Reneau and Matt Dywer.  All were Performance of the Night as no Fight of the Night bonus was handed out.

Payout Perspective:

An interesting night of fights with several upsets.  Obviously, the attendance was quite low based on the small venue making it one of the smallest crowds in Brazil to attend a UFC event since 2012.

UFC Events in Brazil since 2012

Date Event Location Main Event Attendance Gate
1/14/2012 UFC 142 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Aldo-Mendes 10,605 $2,800,000
6/23/2012 UFC 147 Belo Hor, Brazil WSilva-Franklin 16,643 $1,420,000
10/13/2012 UFC 153 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Silva-Bonnar 16,844 $2,550,000
1/19/2013 UFC on FX 7 San Paulo, Brazil Belfort-Bisping 9,116
5/8/2013 UFC on FX 8 Jaragua, Brazil Belfort-Rockhold 7,642
6/8/2013 UFC on Fuel TV 10 Fortaleza, Brazil Nogueira-Werdum 6,286
8/3/2013 UFC 163 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Aldo-Korean Zombie 13,873 $1,500,000
9/4/2013 UFC Fight Night 28 Belo Hor, Brazil Teixeira-Bader 5,126
10/9/2013 UFC Fight Night 29 Barueri, Brazil Maia-Shields 6,621
11/9/2013 UFC Fight Night 32 Goiania, Brazil Belfort-Hendo 10,565
2/15/2014 UFC Fight Night 36 Jaragua, Brazil Machida-Mousasi 7,511
5/31/2014 TUF Brazil 3 Finale San Paulo, Brazil Miocic-Maldonado 8,986
9/13/2014 UFC Fight Night 51 Brasilia, Brazil Bigfoot Silva-Arlovski 8,822
10/25/2014 UFC 179 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Aldo-Mendes 11,415
12/20/2014 UFC Fight Night 58 Barueri, Brazil Machida-Dolloway
2/21/2015 UFC Fight Night 61 Porto Alegre, Brazil Bigfoot Silva-Mir 5,080

UFC Fight Night 60 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 15, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from Saturday Night’s UFC Fight Night 60 from Broomfield, Colorado.

The event which took place at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado drew 5,807 for a gate of $382,875.  There was not a breakdown of comps based on the announcement post-event.

The numbers make it the third-watched UFC event in the venue.

UFC Fight Night 13 in April 2008:  Attendance: 6,7402, Gate: $753,429

UFC on Versus 1 in March 2010:  Attendance: 6,443, Gate $568,125

UFC Fight Night 60 in February 2015: Attendance 5,807, Gate $382,875

In addition, Benson Henderson, Brandon Thatch, Neil Magny and Ray Borg earned the bonuses of the night.  Henderson and Thatch won Fight of the Night while Many and Borg won for their respective stoppages.  Henderson (with toothpick in mouth) did sub Thatch with a rear naked choke.

Payout Perspective:

Kenny Florian defeated Joe Lauzon at the first event in Broomfield, Colorado.  It also was the first meeting between Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar. One might recall that UFC on Versus 1 introduced us to Jon Jones as it appeared he broke Brandon Vera’s face.  The attendance and gate are quite low but it was “Fight of the Night” card which usually does not feature top-UFC talent.  Of course, the insertion of Henderson to the card helped.  Obviously holding a card on Valentine’s Day night may have hurt the attendance as well.

UFC 183 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 1, 2015

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate and bonuses from Saturday’s UFC 183.  Thales Leites was the big winner of the night taking away two bonuses.

UFC 183 drew 13,114 fans for a gate of $4.5 million which, when verified, makes it the 9th best gate ever in the state of Nevada.  It surpasses Rampage Jackson-Chuck Liddell ($4.3) from May 2007 and right behind Brock Lesnar-Randy Couture ($4.7M) from 2008.

The bonuses handed out for UFC 183 included Thales Leites, Tim Boetsch and Thiago Alves.  Leites and Boetsch put on the Fight of the Night and Leites also scored a Performance of the Night.  Alves stopped Jordan Mein to earn the other Performance of the Night.  The bonuses were the standard $50K with Leites earning $100K for his two.

Payout Perspective:

Despite the fact that there were still tickets available via Ticketmaster as of Thursday, the attendance and gate were very strong with it cracking the top 10 in top MMA gates in Nevada.  Its the first card since UFC 168 that has made it into the top 10.  Even though there was less runup than UFC 182, the return of Anderson Silva facing Nick Diaz seemed to have been a big enough draw to garner a strong gate.

UFC on Fox 14 draws record gate

January 24, 2015

MMA Junkie reports UFC on Fox 14 reportedly drew a record 30,000 in attendance for a gate of $3.1 milion.  It was the biggest European attendance and gate in the company’s history.

Perhaps most remarkable about the attendance was that the event occurred during the middle of the night in Sweden.  UFC General Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa David Allen announced the attendance and gate post-event.  The UFC on Fox broadcast indicated that 26,000 were in attendance at the Tele2Arena in Stockholm but Allen stated that there was a strong walkup for tickets.

There were no reports of comps.

Payout Perspective:

When the stadium show was announced, we had our skepticism about whether the show could draw 30,000 people.  This is partly due to the fact that attendance over the past 3 UFC events in Sweden had decreased.  Moreover, the event would be held in the middle of the night to accommodate the North American audience.  But with the country backing Alexander Gustafsson, the UFC fans came out to support him.  It was an entertaining card and a good indicator that the UFC could hold stadium shows in select countries.

Next Page »