UFC on ESPN+2 attendance and bonuses

February 2, 2019

UFC on ESPN + 2 produced 4 bonus winners on Saturday night with the main event and co-main event winners drawing 2 of the $50,000 awards.

Marlon Moraes, Jose Aldo, Charles Oliveira and Johnny Walker all won Performance Bonuses Saturday night from Fortaleza, Brazil.  Moraes won via first round submission over Raphael Assuncao in the main event of the evening.  Aldo stopped featherweight contender Renato Moicano in the first round of the co-main event of the night.  Charles Oliveira scored another submission performance bonus with a 2nd round Anaconda choke over David Teymur.  Also on the night, we saw the energetic Johnny Walker as he KO’d Justin Ledet just seconds into the fight.

The event from Centro de Formacao Olimpica do Nordeste in Fortaleza, Brazil drew 10,040 fans.  There was no mention of gate as is the case with most of the Brazilian cards.

The UFC announced the bonus and attendance post-event.

Payout Perspective:

It was a good night of fights for the main UFC on ESPN+2 card with a faster pace of fights and some exciting submissions and endings.  The bonuses reflected the depth of the card with the young and exciting Johnny Walker, the bonus-winner Do Bronx, the veteran Jose Aldo and the title contender of Marlon Moraes.

UFC on ESPN+1 attendance, gate and bonuses

January 20, 2019

UFC on ESPN+1 drew 12,152 fans for a gate of $1.23 million at the Barclay’s Center according to the UFC.  The event was the promotion’s debut on the network.

The main event saw Henry Cejudo retain his flyweight championship by stopping T.J. Dillashaw in the first round.  Also on the card, the controversial Heavyweight debut of Greg Hardy ended in a disqualification against the former NFL player as he landed a blatant and illegal knee to Allen Crowder.  It appeared that Hardy had no idea that it was against the rule.

The event bonuses went to Cejudo, Donald Cerrone and Alexander Hernandez.  Cerrone was a double bonus winner for his stoppage of the up and coming Hernandez.  The two won Fight of the Night for their performance.  Cejudo cashed in a $50K bonus for his KO of Dillashaw.

Payout Perspective:

There were actually several other fighters on the card that could have received a Performance Bonus but Cejudo and Cerrone were the most outstanding.  The event received much-hype and fans seemed to gravitate to it despite a Pacquiao fight on PPV and a flyweight fight as the main event.

UFC 232 Payout Perspective

January 2, 2019

Welcome to another edition of UFC Payout Perspective.  This time around we take a look at UFC 232 which took place at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Jones tops Gus, calls for DC

Inside the Octagon, Jon Jones showed why you may consider him one of the best of all-time.  He thoroughly dominated Alexander Gustafsson and ended the fight by imposing his will on Gus, taking his back and reigning punches down on him to force the stoppage.

However, its outside the Octagon controversy and drama which makes people wince when they hear Jon Jones and USADA.  Moreover, the outright falsehoods and mistruths spewed by the people in control of the promotion makes you want to take a shower to clean off the grime of their words.

Jones made it clear he wants Daniel Cormier and it seems like the most logical fight to make.  While Anthony Smith and Corey Anderson made their overtures to the Champ, it’s clear that Cormier would be the fight that would draw most interest.

Nunes stops Cyborg, becomes double Champ

Amanda Nunes has now stopped, Miesha Tate, Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg.  The latter two Nunes stopped in the first round in impressive fashion.  Perhaps the KO of Cyborg was more impressive considering she had not lost since 2005.  Nunes used her superior speed to stun her with some big shots.

Nunes is now the Women’s Featherweight and Bantamweight champions.  The question is how it will market Nunes.  A lot of online debate took place over why the UFC has not marketed Nunes in the past.  It’s clear that she is the best women’s UFC athlete of all time despite the mainstream notoriety of Ronda Rousey and the dominance of Cris Cyborg.  It seemed as though the demolition of Cyborg validated UFC’s greatness.  Cyborg was the once-feared women’s MMA fighter that was too big and skilled for most women.  But, Nunes’ speed, accuracy and punching power proved too much for Cyborg.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

Despite the short notice, the event was a sell out with 15,862 for a gate of over $2 million.  To be specific, the gate was $2,066,604.  The Fight of the Night went to Chad Mendes and Alexander Volkanovski.  The Performance Bonuses went to Ryan Hall and Amanda Nunes.

The event was moved earlier this week from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood, California for Jon Jones.

Notably, UFC 199 drew 15,587 for a live gate of $2,1687,675 in June 2016.  The fight featured last minute replacement Michael Bisping winning the middleweight title from Luke Rockhold.

Lance Pugmire indicated that his sources said that the attendance would be soft.  But that was not the case.  Let’s read these tweets as this occurred within 30 minutes.

Next tweet from Lance in which the UFC gets to him.

There was also this…

And then after the event…

Payouts

There were 10 fighters that grossed over six figures for UFC 232.  It was topped by the headliners splitting $1M a piece.  $500K for Gus and $500K for Jones for those that were unaware.

Of those clearing six figures, Andre Arlovski ($300,000), BJ Penn ($150K) and Carlos Condit ($115K) are well-paid fighters that aren’t living up to their pay scale at this time.  Chad Mendes, who just came back from a USADA ban, made $87K plus $50K for Fight of the Night.  But then stated he would retire.

Sponsorships

Perhaps the most noticeable for UFC 232 was a new “cryptocurrency sponsor” Litecoin.

Also, of note PokerStars continued its sponsorship and it appears it will be the official fight odds for the UFC.  Pari Match, an overseas book for the UFC, was also present in the Octagon.

There were a lot of sponsors in the Octagon for this end of the year event.  They included Monster and convenience store AM/PM sharing a post.  Another post included Pari Mutual, Toyo Tires, TriFecta Nutrition, Nemiroff Vodka, EA’s UFC3 video game, Modelo, Metro PCS, P3, Air Asia, Pari Match, Harley Davidson, Poker Stars, the movie “Happy Death Day 2U,” and Monster had the center.

It was announced that TriFecta Nutrition would be used in helping athletes with its nutrition.  P3 also appeared on the fighter shorts.

Nemiroff is spending a lot on its UFC sponsorship from the outset.

Cyborg signed an individual deal with Monster Energy.  Jon Jones also was sponsored by Monster Energy.

It was interesting to note that Amanda Nunes had to place tape over her headphones (likely Beats) because the UFC has Monster Headphones as its sponsor.

Ratings

The UFC Weigh-Ins drew 123,000 viewers on FS1.  The UFC Countdown Show on ESPN2 Friday drew 99,000 viewers.

The UFC Pre-fight show on FS1 drew 198,000 viewers according to Nielsen (via ShowBuzz)

The UFC Prelims scored just its second rating over 1 million when the UFC 232 Prelims drew 1.148 million viewers.

The UFC Post Fight Show on FS1 drew 227,000 viewers.

Odds and ends

$6 Million.  The amount that Dana White claims the UFC spent to switch the event from Las Vegas to Inglewood, California.  One has to wonder when they put a deposit on the building.  Or, does the UFC have a practice of securing other sites just in case.

As the UFC begins its partnership with ESPN, the Worldwide Leader aired the UFC 232 Countdown show on ESPN2.

With Carlos Condit taking on Michael Chiesa, I noticed that both fighters had cats on their right oblique.  Chiesa had some new ink with a Tiger and Condit has had his lion on his side for some time.

UFC announced a lot of original and new content for UFC Fight Pass in 2019.  This includes a gambling show which will be interesting to see how that goes.

Notably, Chuck Liddell was in attendance at UFC 232.  White had revealed Liddell’s pay in a Kevin Iole article earlier in the month, but I guess there is no hard feelings when you are comped tickets.

Anyone else notice that Conor McGregor’s Proper Twelve Whiskey was a sponsor and ran commercial during the PFL’s Championships on New Year’s Eve.

Cris Cyborg was a champion in defeat as you can see with the troll job of Ronda Rousey. She took the KO in stride and congratulated Nunes for her victory.

The UFC announced its events for the second quarter of 2019 and there’s a lot of them.  Most on ESPN+

There were over 2 million google searches on Saturday night for UFC 232 which was behind Alabama vs Oklahoma in North America.  Jon Jones vs. Gustafsson drew 200,000 searches the same night.  Cat Zingano had an additional 100,000 searches likely due to the toe poke she received.

Conclusion

It was a strong ending for the UFC on FS1 with over 1 million viewers and the google searches on Saturday looks as though there was above average interest in the event.  Whether it was due to Jon Jones’ issues or the title fights, UFC 232 probably made out well even though the last minute change of venue really hurt fans.  I would expect a buy rate of between 350-375K total buys including traditional and digital.

 

 

UFC 232 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 29, 2018

Aaron Bronsteter of TSN Sports tweeted out the attendance and gate for Saturday night’s UFC 232.  Despite the short notice, the event was a sell out with 15,862 for a gate of over $2 million.

To be specific, the gate was $2,066,604.  The Fight of the Night went to Chad Mendes and Alexander Vokanovski.  The Performance Bonuses went to Ryan Hall and Amanda Nunes.

The event was moved earlier this week from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to The Forum in Inglewood, California for Jon Jones.

Notably, UFC 199 drew 15,587 for a live gate of $2,1687,675 in June 2016.  The fight featured last minute replacement Michael Bisping winning the middleweight title from Luke Rockhold.

Payout Perspective:

It was a good night at the gate for the UFC.  They were on par with UFC 199 with little time for ticket sales and promotion in the area.  We will see what the CSAC breakdown of tickets (and comps) says, but tonight’s numbers were impressive considering the last-minute change.  Hall had an impressive submission over the BJ Penn and of course Nunes solidified her legacy as the UFC’s best women’s fighter by KO’ing Cyborg in the first round.

Few tickets remain for UFC 232 this Saturday

December 28, 2018

Despite the last-minute change by the UFC, ticket sales for UFC 232 at The Forum in Inglewood have done well.

Per Dana White’s tweet yesterday, he stated that the event was a sellout:

According to a review of Ticketmaster seats on Friday afternoon, the get in price for the event is $76.00 in the upper reaches of the arena.  There is a smattering of tickets on the floor near the cage going for $900.  But the sales have gone well with a limited window for tickets.

SeatGeek, a secondary market ticket broker has seats available for $113 to get in with floor seats going for $398.

In November, Golden Boy MMA held its event at The Forum and drew 7,839 for a gate of $732,288.

The last event at The Forum, UFC 199, drew 15,587 for a total gate of $2,168,675.

Payout Perspective:

The drug test debacle has done nothing to hurt ticket sales for this event.  It also shows that MMA fans are not offended by the Jon Jones USADA issue which says a lot about the state of MMA fandom.  This event should do much better than UFC 199 even with what the UFC says are reduced ticket prices.

UFC on Fox 31 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 15, 2018

Al Iaquinta led the list of bonus-winning fighters on the very last UFC on Fox card this Saturday from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The event was the very last on the network as it will move to ESPN in January.

Iaquinta soundly defeated Kevin Lee and won via unanimous decision to earn a $50,000 bonus.  Also earning bonuses were Charles Oliveira, Jared Gordon and Joaquim Silva.  Do Bronx submitted Jim Miller in the very first round.  Silva and Gordon earned Fight of the Night which Silva won.

The event drew 9,010 fans for a live gate of $616,000.  The event took place at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. UFC officials announced the information post-fight.

Payout Perspective:

Not a lot of fans turned out for the last televised network event on Fox.  In fact, the gate is on par with most Fight Night events this year.  Iaquinta showed that he should be given another challenge at 155 before the hopeful return title bout against Khabib.

UFC 231 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 10, 2018

UFC 231 took place this past Saturday in Toronto and Max Holloway came out the big winner with two bonuses for the night.

Holloway’s TKO finish of Brian Ortega gave him a Performance of the Night.  The main event also drew Fight of the Night.  Thiago Santos earned the other $50,000 bonus in a hard-hitting first fight of the PPV with Jimi Manuwa.  Santos won via TKO.

Toronto continues to show it should be an annual stop for the UFC as it was an announced sellout of 19,039 for a $2.4 million live gate.  The event took place at the Scotiabank Arena.

The numbers were announced post-fight by UFC officials.

Payout Perspective:

An impressive return for Max Holloway at 145 as there were whispers of health issues and a move up in weight class.  But, “Blessed” was remarkably impressive in his dismantling of Ortega.  A great night for the UFC as Toronto seems to be an anchor city in Canada for the promotion.

UFC Fight Night 142 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 2, 2018

UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide, Australia took place on Saturday night in North America.  An old face led the bonus winners.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua won a Performance Bonus after his upset victory stunning local favorite Tyson Pedro.    In addition, newcomers Sodiq Yusuff and Kai Kara-France earned bonuses.  Yusuff had a first-round finish of Suman Mokhtarian.  Kara-France and Elias Garcia earned Fight of the Night.  Each received an additional $50,000.

The event at the Adelaide Entertainment Center drew 8,652 in attendance with a gate of $1,026,937 USD.

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

Payout Perspective:

A good turnout for what turned out to be a disappointing night for local fighters as Mark Hunt, Tyson Pedro and Tai Tuivasa all lost on Saturday.  Yet, it did produce some good performances such as the ones from newcomers Yusuff and Kara-France.

Usman heads up TUF 28 Finale bonuses

December 1, 2018

The TUF 28 Finale took place on Friday at The Pearl Theater in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Kamaru Usman defeated Rafael Dos Anjos in the main event and Usman also scored with a performance bonus.

There was no fight of the night which but Usman, Benavidez, Juan Espino and Roosevelt Roberts earned $50,000 performance bonuses.  Notably, Espino won the TUF 28 Heavyweight bout with Justin Frazier to become this season’s Ultimate Fighter.  In the other TUF event of the evening Macy Chiasson defeated Pannie Kianzad to be the women’s featherweight Ultimate Fighter.

The event took place at the intimate Pearl Theater which drew 2,020 for a gate of $204,600.

The numbers were disclosed by the UFC post-event.

Payout Perspective:

Seven stoppages on the evening which made the bonuses a little hard to choose from but also a quicker evening than usual.  Usman should be in line for a major fight after dominating the former lightweight champion.

UFC Fight Night 141 attendance and bonuses

November 24, 2018

UFC Fight Night 141 took place in Beijing, China on Saturday.  The event drew over 10,000 fans at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing.

The event featured Curtis Blaydes taking on Francis Ngannou with Ngannou breaking a two fight skid scoring an impressive first round KO of the heavyweight contender.

According to UFC officials post fight, the event drew 10,302 fans at the Cadillac Arena Saturday.

In addition, the bonuses went to Ngannou, Li Jingliang, Alex Morono and Song Kenan.  Morono and Kenan earned Fight of the Night while Jingliang won the other Performance Bonus.  Each earned an additional $50,000.

Payout Perspective:

Ngannou’s knockout lends another challenger to the heavyweight division and a sorely needed win to forget about his last two fights which were abysmal.  It was a good gate for this event as the UFC tries to make inroads into the country.

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