UFC on ESPN +4 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 21, 2019

UFC on ESPN +4 took place on Saturday night from San Antonio, Texas.  The UFC awarded bonuses to Walt Harris, Dan Hooker, Mario Bautista and Jin Soo Son.

The bonus winners won $50,000.  Harris earned the bonus for his quick work in stopping Aleksi Oleinik.  Hooker stopped James Vick and Bautista and Son earned Fight of the Night.  Bautista won via unanimous decision.

The event took place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio and aired on ESPN.  The event drew 9,255 for a live gate of $841,820.61.  The numbers were announced post event.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate are on par with most Fight Night events.  The main event of Rafael dos Anjos and Leon Edwards was a good attraction but not one with much star power despite RDA being a former champion. With Pacquiao-Thurman on Saturday night and a PBC on Fox card, it will be interesting to see the ratings for the UFC event.

UFC on ESPN + 13 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 13, 2019

UFC on ESPN + 13 took place Saturday night in Sacramento, California.  The event drew 10,306 fans for a gate of $938,734.17 according to the company post-event.

The event took place at Golden1Center in Sacramento and featured local favorite Aspen Ladd taking on Germaine de Randamie in a battle of bantamweights.  Also, it featured the returning of Urijah Faber as he had his own bantamweight matchup against Ricky Simon.

Faber’s KO of Ricky Simon earned him a Performance Bonus.  Faber’s first round stoppage of Simon was the quickest KO of his career.  Also receiving bonuses were Josh Emmet with a first round stoppage over Mirsad Bektick, Jonathan Martinez with a 3rd round KO of Pingyuan Liu.  Andre Fili grabbed the final Performance Bonus with a stoppage of Sheymon Moraes.

Payout Perspective:

Interesting to note that all of the bonuses were stoppages and no Fight of the Night was awarded.  The event did well as the return of Faber and Ladd in the feature sold tickets as they were local favorites.

UFC 239 Payout Perspective

July 10, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 239, the annual promotion event held in Las Vegas.

Jones holds off Santos

It was closer than most believed but Jon Jones successfully defended his light heavyweight title over Thiago Santos.  Unlike previous challengers, Santos went after Jones’ legs with kicks but seemed to have tweaked his own knee in the second round.  This may have been the change in the fight as Jones was able to take advantage of Santos’ injury.  Yet, the Brazilian still attempted kicks and attacks but with his knee compromised, his mobility slowed enough for Jones to score on Santos.

With the win, Jones has to wait for another light heavyweight to emerge on the scene to challenge for his title.  But right now, he seems willing to take on the winner of the Cormier-Miocic fight with the possibility of a trilogy with DC a potential money-making fight.  It was later discovered that Santos’ Ls (MCL, PCL and ACL as well as his meniscus) were injured leaving him out for the rest of the year and maybe longer.

Despite the split decision Jones and Dana White scoffed at a rematch.  While this was the initial thought, I would have to think that if Santos is able to recover and scores a win or two after his return he may be able to garner another shot at the title if Jones is still the champion.

Nunes KO’s Holm

Amanda Nunes flexed her muscle and showed that she could finish in different ways.  This time, she used a headkick to stop Holm in the first round of their title fight.  Her slugfest which she came up on top on Cristiane Cyborg may be Nunes’ next fight although contract talks with Cyborg seem strained.  With her win against Holm, Nunes has established herself as the best in the sport of women’s MMA and you might even stretch that to the sport as a whole.  Her dominance against opponents is clear and there does not seem to be many that could hang with her.

Masvidal knees Askren for UFC record

It only took 5 seconds for Jorge Masvidal to take out Ben Askren with a well-timed knee to the side of the wrestler’s head.  Masvidal’s KO earned him the record for fastest stoppage in UFC history.  There was bad blood between the two in leadup to the fight which spurred the showboating by Masvidal afterward.  Masvidal gave a post-fight explanation for the extra punches he landed on Askren after he was unconscious.

For his part, Askren was humble and professional after the event and did not give any excuses about what happened.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

Perhaps the return of Jon Jones spurred the uptick of attendance from last year.  UFC 239 drew 18,358 for a gate of over $6 million.  Notably, last year’s July event drew 7,464 for a gate of $5,677,238.

The bonuses for the night went to Nunes, Masvidal, Jan Blachowicz and Song Yadong.  Blachowicz silenced Luke Rockhold with a solid fist to the jaw and earned him a bonus as well.  Yadong drew the only bonus awarded on the undercard with his KO of Alejandro Perez.

Payouts

Amanda Nunes and Jon Jones defended their titles and received the Champions purses.  With her $50K bonus, Nunes topped Jones overall with $300,000 to show another $200,000 for her defeat of Holly Holm to earn a total of $550,000.  Jones earned a $500,000 flat fee.

The rest of the payouts can be found here.

The Reebok Promotional Guidelines can be found here via MMA Junkie.

Ratings

The UFC Prelims scored 1.145M viewers on ESPN which was the best since Jon Jones’ last fight at UFC 235 in March.  It ranked #1 in cable viewership for Saturday night.

Sponsorships

The San Manuel Casino In Southern California was the most notable sponsor for this event as it was on the mat and a part of sponsor reads during the event.  I have reached at to them about whether this was a one off or something more and they have yet to respond.  In addition, The Rock’s new movie, Hobbs and Shaw, was prominently featured on the mat and a requisite clip to promote its release was also shown during the PPV.

Additionally, the sponsors in the cage included PariMatch, Devour, Toyo Tires, Hospital for Special Surgery, Buffalo Wild Wings, Body Armor, P3, PokerStars, Modelo, Nemiroff AM/PM, Motel 6 and Monster Energy in the center.

Modelo had the tale of the tape for the main event.  The last three fights were given sponsors for each.

Also, of note, Devour and Monster were featured on some fighters’ Reebok kits.  Jorge Masvidal held a Monster Energy can in the Octagon after his devastating KO of Ben Askren.  He also had Devour on his Reebok kit.  Jones whose had a Monster Energy sponsorship, sported the patch again tonight.

Modelo sponsored a video on Jorge Masvidal and his “Fighting Spirit” which was online via UFC.com.  The phrase “Fighting Spirit” was repeated again and again and there was

The Embedded series was sponsored by Motel 6.

Odds and ends

Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmogomedov almost got into a scuffle as Diaz passed the lightweight champion while getting to his seat.

ESPN + ran a special for those non-plus subscribers ordering the PPV.

Google trends had over 2 million searches for UFC 239 on Saturday night.  There were over 500,000 for “Ben Askren” which is solely due to his quick KO.

It was interesting that the ceremonial weigh-ins gave a backstory lead-up to Masvidal-Askren although it was not considered one of the two main events for the evening.

Darren Rovell stated that Amanda Nunes is not as marketable as Ronda Rousey or Paige Van Zant.  One might infer that the reason Nunes is not marketable is because she is not the blonde hair, blue-eye traditional women that you can market based on looks and attraction.  In fact, Nunes is the opposite since she is Brazilian, English is not her native language and she is openly gay.  These factors could be leveraged to her benefit.  But they are not.  Hopefully, the UFC can rectify this through its partnership with ESPN (in fact, Nunes will be featured in ESPN’s annual nude issue) But, for as forward-thinking that the UFC is with its early adaption to trends and technology, it knows its base.  And those fans don’t believe that Nunes could be perceived as the face of MMA or women’s MMA.  Whether or not the UFC is doing as much as it can to push Nunes and if Nunes wants the push (as the UFC wants her marked) has not been revealed. But one would hope that Nunes receives all the accolades that she should the greatest women’s champion in the history of the sport.


Conclusion

While we will not receive official tallies of buys for this event, all indications is that it did well.  Certainly, Jon Jones can be attributed to the success of this PPV as his continued reign in the UFC is making him the face of the company.  Without Conor McGregor, there is not another fighter out there that can draw like Jones.  If we were to give out a buy prediction, I’d think that this drew a buy rate between 400-450K buys.

UFC 239 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 7, 2019

UFC 239 took place Saturday night at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The promotion awarded four bonuses highlighted by Jorge Masvidal’s record-setting KO of Ben Askren.

Perhaps the theme of the $50K bonuses Saturday were Knockouts.

Masvidal’s knee to Askren’s head ended the fight in just 5 seconds.  In addition, Amanda Nunes garnered a Performance Bonus for her headkick and follow up stoppage of Holly Holm.  Jan Blachowicz silenced Luke Rockhold with a solid fist to the jaw and earned him a bonus as well.  Yadong drew the only bonus awarded on the undercard with his KO of Alejandro Perez.

The event at T-Mobile drew 18,358 for a gate of $6,063,707.11.  The attendance, bonus and gate were announced post-event.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate numbers bested last year’s annual July event in Vegas as UFC 226 drew 17,464 for a gate of $5,677,238.  Perhaps the uptick in attendance may have been due to Jon Jones’ appearance in the main event.  Arguably, last year’s Miocic-Cormier fight looked more competitive on paper.  The bonuses were reflective of the multiple stoppages on the card.

UFC onESPN 3 attendance, gate and bonuses

June 30, 2019

UFC on ESPN 3 took place Saturday night in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Main event heavyweight Francis Ngannou led the list of bonus winners with his first round KO of Junior dos Santos.

Also receiving $50K bonuses were Joseph Benavidez, Alonzo Menifield and Eryk Anders.  There was no fight of the night. All 4 finished their respective opponents.

The event took place at The Target Center in Minneapolis.  The event drew 10,123 for a gate of $952,204.77.

The numbers were announced post-event.

Payout Perspective:

Ngannou has righted himself after a terrible fight against Derrick Lewis last year.  He’s now stopped two former heavyweight champions (Cain and JDS) in his last two fights.  The event was well-attended for a Fight Night event.

UFC Greenville attendance, gate and bonuses

June 22, 2019

UFC on ESPN +12 took place on Saturday from Greenville, South Carolina.  It was the promotion’s first appearance in the area.

The event drew 7,682 fans for a gate of $567,930,80 according to UFC officials post event.  The event took place at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.

The bonuses of the night went to Deron Winn, Eric Spicely, Chan Sung Jung and Jair Rozenstruik.  The Korean Zombie scored his bonus with a first round TKO of Renato Moicano.  Rozenstruik earned the second fastest heavyweight KO in UFC history with a 9 second stoppage of Allen Crowder. Winn and Spicely started the evening with an entertaining fight that won FOTN.  Winn earned the decision.

Payout Perspective:

The event in South Carolina was one of the lowest turnouts in terms of gate and attendance but this may have been anticipated as the UFC enters regional markets across the U.S.  Similarly, the UFC had relatively small numbers when it visited Wichita, Kansas earlier this year.  The original plan as believed by most was for native Stephen Thompson to headline which may have provided an extra boost for fans to attend. However, due to injury Thompson was not ready to return to the Octagon.

NAC releases gate, attendance and comps for Fury-Schwarz

June 20, 2019

The Nevada Athletic Commission released the ticket sales from Saturday night’s Tyson Fury fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The reported gate was $882,145.00 on 5,489 ticket sold.  There were 1,187 comps.

MMA Payout reported earlier this week that Fury made a reported $1 million.

Payout Perspective:

The event was not a big seller and the NAC numbers support this.  The average ticket price per ticket sold would amount to $160.71 which isn’t too bad for a heavyweight fight.  ESPN+ was heavily promoting Fury with hopes that his next fight will summon more fans.  Certainly, the hope is for more at the ticket office.

UFC 238 Payout Perspective

June 12, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 238 taking place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Cejudo dispatches Moraes and becomes double champ

Henry Cejudo recovered from a shaky first round to defeat Marlon Moraes with at TKO in the third round of the main event at UFC 238 to win the vacant UFC Bantamweight title. With the win, Cejudo holds the UFC Flyweight title and the Bantamweight title.

The fight showed Cejudo’s growth and maturity of an MMA fighter. The first round saw Moraes getting worked by Moraes with leg kicks. Cejudo seemed a little tentative in the first round but pressed Moraes in rounds 2 and 3 to get the victory.

Shevchenko leg kick KOs Eye

Valentina Shevchenko showed why she is the Flyweight champion. She almost submitted Jessica Eye with a Kimura in the first round, but used a perfectly timed leg kick to the head to knock Eye out. It was a very scary couple minutes as Eye lay on the mat unconscious.

The broadcast showed how Shevchenko set Eye up for the KO with leg kicks to the body drawing Eye’s guard low. Then, instead of a kick to the body Shevchenko went to the head as Eye braced for a body blow. A perfect setup.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

The event at the United Center drew 16,038 for a gate of over $2 million.  The bonuses went to Cejudo, Shevchenko, Ferguson and Cerrone.

Prefight Hype

UFC 238’s return to Chicago saw Henry Cejudo throwing out the first pitch at a Cubs game. He also showed up at a media luncheon with “bodyguards.” At the face offs during media week, Cejudo wore a costume to face off against Moraes. Shaun Al-Shatti explained it here:

Cejudo’s act may be just that to get him some publicity.  But, if he continues to improve and dominate opponents, he may be bringing a throne to his next fight face-off.

UFC Embedded was sponsored by Toyo Tires.

Sponsorships

Octagon sponsors included Toyo Tires, Motel 6, P3, Nemiroff, Modelo, Poker Stars, Devour, PariMatch, Monster, Hudson Shipping and Monster Energy in the middle.

Modelo had the fighter checkpoint.

Interestingly enough, no real signs of the UFC’s newest sponsor, Aurora Cannabis.

Despite his loss, Donald Cerrone is one of the few UFC fighters with his own Monster Energy sponsorship with

Ratings

The UFC Prelims on ESPN did its best since March scoring 964,000 viewers.  It served as a lead-in for Top Rank Boxing.  The UFC main card went up against the return of GGG on DAZN.

Odds and Ends

The Tony Ferguson-Donald Cerrone fight was everything you could have wanted until Cowboy blew his nose.  Ferguson looked sharp and if the fight have lasted longer, probably would have won a decision over Cerrone.  He should face the winner of Khabib-Dustin.

Tai Tuivasa was likely the star of the Embeddeds based on his outgoing personality.  However, he’s now lost two in a row as he lost a unanimous decision to Blagoy Ivanov.

There were some great performances on the undercards including Eddie Wineland, Calvin Kattar and Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling had a good week:

It was interesting to see Moraes get upset at a heckler at media day face offs.  It seemed over the top although you may believe that he was thrown off by it considering this was supposed to be media at the event.

Jessica Eye did not have a good start to fight week as she had problems with here airline.

The broadcast crew is using more technology in explaining a lot of the strategy and moves going on in the Octagon.  A prime example saw Daniel Cormier go step-by-step explaining how Shevchenko was able to get a clear headkick over Eye.

Is this good or bad?

UFC 238 google searches drew over 500,000 for Saturday and another 500,000 on Sunday.  Tony Ferguson had 100,000 himself on Saturday night

Conclusion

UFC 238 was a very entertaining show.  It went up against Top Rank Boxing on ESPN and the return of GGG on DAZN.   But the prelim ratings were up which may equate to a better PPV buy rate.  Reports indicate that the buys since going to ESPN+ have been lower than when on satellite and cable providers.

UFC 235 (pre-ESPN+ only PPVs):  520K-650K

UFC 236:  >100K buys

UFC 237:  ~70K buys

With that being reported, its hard to think that UFC 238 did better than UFC 236 although one might be generous and state that the buys were likely around 100,000.

UFC 238 attendance, gate and bonuses

June 9, 2019

UFC 238 drew 16,038 fans for a gate of $2,034,387.49.  The attendance and gate were announced post-event.  The event took place at the United Center in Chicago in what is becoming the annual event taking place in the city.

UFC 225 last June drew 18,177 for a gate of $2.55 million.    The event featured Robert Whittaker taking on Yoel Romero for the middleweight title.

Saturday night’s event had two title fights as well as Donald Cerrone taking on Tony Ferguson.

The bonus winners for Saturday night were Henry Cejudo, Valentina Shevchenko, Tony Ferguson and Donald Cerrone.  Ferguson and Cerrone earned FOTN while Cejudo and Shevchenko won Performance bonuses for their respective stoppages.

Payout Perspective:

A good night of fights and Henry Cejudo showed that despite the antics, he is one of the elite fighters in the sport.  Shevchenko showed that she may have the 125 title for a while with the vicious KO of Jessica Eye.

UFC on ESPN +11 draws 14,319 for gate of $2M, Smith leads bonus winners

June 2, 2019

UFC on ESPN + 11 took place on Saturday in Stockholm Sweden with the hopes of watching Alexander Gustafsson get back in the win column versus Anthony Smith.  However, the fans saw Gustafsson retire in the ring in a surprise of events.

The Performance Bonuses went to Smith, Aleksandar Rakic, Makwan Amirkhani and Leonard Santos.  Each of the fighters earned the $50,000 bonus after their respective finishes.  Coming off of a PPV loss to Jon Jones, Smith came back to submit Alexsander Gustafsson in the fourth round of their main event.  Rakic, also announced his presence into the UFC light heavyweight title picture with a picture perfect KO kick to Jimi Manuwa.  Amirkhani submitted Chris Fishgold in the second round of their bout.  Finally, Santos KO’d Stevie Ray in the lightweight matchup.

The event took place at the Ericcson Glob in Stockholm Sweden.  The event drew 14,319 for a gate of $2 million.  The information was provided post-event.

Payout Perspective:

An unexpected ending to this event as Gustafsson looks to have retired in front of his hometown fans.  The event was well-attended as the Swedish fans came out to support Gustaffson.

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