UFC 227 attendance, gate and bonuses

August 4, 2018

UFC 227 took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles Saturday night.  T.J. Dillashaw and new flyweight champion Henry Cejudo led the list of bonus winners in front of a reported 17,794 in attendance.

Dillashaw, Cejudo, Demetrious Johnson and Renato Moicano earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Dillashaw stopped Cody Garbrandt in the second round with a barrage of punches that earned the stoppage.  Moicano choked out Cub Swanson to earn his Performance Bonus.  Cejudo and Johnson were awarded Fight of the Night.

The event drew 17,794 for a reported gate of $2.848 million according to the UFC post-event.  For comparison, in February 2015, UFC 184 drew 17,654 for a gate of $2.675 million.

Payout Perspective:

The two featured championship bouts lived up to expectations with an exciting back and forth fight between Johnson and Cejudo and the stoppage from T.J. Dillashaw.  The event did slightly better than 3 years ago when Ronda Rousey faced Cat Zingano.

UFC on Fox 30 attendance and gate

July 28, 2018

UFC on Fox 30 drew 10,603 for a gate of $1.3 million Saturday night according to promotion officials post-event.

The gate is U.S. Dollars.  The main event featured Dustin Poirier against Eddie Alvarez with the Louisiana native garnering a second-round TKO.  Poirier earned a Performance bonus for his win.  The co-main event saw the return of Jose Aldo in a surprising stoppage of Jeremy Stephens in the first round.

It was the second event at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  The first occurred in July 2012 when UFC 149 took place in the venue.  It is heralded as the worst PPV ever according to an ESPN article.  However, on that night, UFC 149 drew 16,089 with a $4.1 million gate.

Payout Perspective:

Although we are doing it, its unfair to compare the first UFC PPV in a city to a televised event, but the promotion’s first event in the city did much better in attendance and gate.  While one might negate the gate due to higher prices, the attendance was much more 6 years ago.  Saturday had a much better main card than the PPV card last time around.  For comparison, last year’s UFC on Fox card in New York drew similar attendance and gate (11,198 for $1.08M gate).

UFC Fight Night 134 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 22, 2018

UFC Fight Night 134 took place Sunday morning in the United States as the promotion visited Hamburg, Germany.  The event drew 7,798 fans for a live gate of $750,000 U.S. dollars according to UFC officials post-event.

The main event featured Anthony Smith as he stopped Mauricio Rua in the first round of their Light Heavyweight main event.  Smith earned a Performance Bonus for his quick work of Shogun.

In addition to Smith, Manny Bermudez, Danny Roberts and David Zawada drew the other $50,000 bonuses.  Bermudez earned his bonus via a triangle choke of Davey Grant in his matchup.  Roberts and Zawada earned Fight of the Night in their welterweight fight which saw Roberts earning a split decision.

The event took place at the Barclaycard Arena in Hamburg. It was the second event in Hamburg.  UFC Fight Night 93 took place in September 2016 at drew $913,428 with 11,763 in attendance at the O2 World in Hamburg.

Payout Perspective:

It’s hard to think that Rua was a legitimate contender to challenge Daniel Cormier when you watch this performance.  Smith looks like a fighter to watch and could possibly be a challenger for the light heavyweight title in 2019.  The Barclaycard Arena is a multipurpose arena with a max capacity of 16,000.  Not knowing the composition of the arena for the MMA event, it looks as though the arena was half full for the company’s second event in the city.

UFC Fight Night 133 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 14, 2018

UFC Fight Night 133 took place in Boise, Idaho on Saturday night and drew a sold out crowd at the Centurylink Arena.

The event drew 5,648 in attendance for a gate of $591,575.  It was the first time that the UFC was in Boise and the state of Idaho.

The bonuses went to Chad Mendes, Niko Price, Raoni Barcelos and Kurt Holobaugh.  Barcelos and Holobaugh earned the Fight of the Night while Mendes and Price earned Performance bonuses.

The UFC announced the numbers post-event.

Payout Perspective:

The attendance and gate are pretty standard for Fight Night events considering the UFC tries to do them in smaller arenas in smaller per capita cities.  The Boise event was well-attended considering the small venue.  Notably, Mendes returned from a two-year suspension from USADA and did well in taking out Myles Jury.

UFC 226: Payout Perspective

July 11, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  In this edition we take a look at UFC 226 taking place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cormier is a Champ x2

Daniel Cormier knocked out Stipe Miocic to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship.  Cormier becomes just the second fighter (behind Conor McGregor) to hold titles in two divisions at the same time.  The former Olympian described post-fight that video study showed Stipe drops his hands coming out of the clinch and that is exactly how Cormier dropped Stipe with a short shot to the chin.

The bigger news came when Brock Lesnar came into the Octagon after the fight and shoved Cormier.  He then cut a promo on the heavyweight division and he weak it was.

Lesnar has been put back into USADA testing program and should be available by the end of the year.  Cormier, who has already announced his retirement plans on a handful of fights left despite just earning the title.  We shall see if one of those is his arch-nemesis Jon Jones.

Lewis-Ngannou turn in Worst Match of Year Candidate

This fight should have been one round.  Not because there was heavy-slugging and someone would have been knocked out, but because it was such a boring fight.  What most thought would be a back and forth home-run hitting fight, turned into one of the lowest striking fights in the history of the UFC.

Derrick Lewis came out as the “winner” although he stated he hurt his back during the fight.  Ngannou was buried post-fight by Dana White who claimed that the guy that was deemed a future superstar had an ego.

With Brock Lesnar coming in, Lewis will have to wait in line for a title shot.  More likely he’ll have to go through Curtis Blaydes before he gets a shot post-Lesnar fight.

Max Holloway pulls out of fight with Brian Ortega

Max Holloway was forced to pull out of his fight with Brian Ortega due to “concussion-like” symptoms.  Holloway’s team decided it best he not fight despite going through media obligations.  Ortega took it in stride but declined a fight against Jeremy Stephens as a replacement.  While Dana White was not pleased with missing a fight, Ortega had trained for Holloway and not Stephens.  A loss by Ortega would be a disaster for his title plans.  Remember Luke Rockhold did not have to take the fight with Yoel Romero when he missed weight.  He did and lost.

Attendance and Gate

Despite the loss of one title fight, it didn’t seem to damper the attendance.

Prior to the Holloway-Ortega fight being scrapped SeatGeek reported tickets on the secondary market being the highest since UFC 205 when the company had its first show in New York.


Daniel Cormier, Anthony Pettis, Khalil Rountree and Paulo Costa all received $50,000 bonuses.


The Nevada Athletic Commission list of disclosed the full list of payouts prior to the event.  Stipe Miocic earned the most with $750,000 followed by Daniel Cormier’s $500,000.

Promotion of the Fight

The Embedded series seemed to have a focus on Ortega-Holloway from the outset and had to refocus and it appeared that there was a pause between episodes 3 and 4 so that they could do extra filming for Cormier, Miocic, Michael Chiesa, Anthony Pettis, Lewis and Ngannou.

Toyo Tires was active leading up to this event as it had a new commercial with former rivals T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz starring and former UFC light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin in a starring role.

The company also ran a marketing campaign with Brian Ortega ads.

Metro PCS ran a social media campaign using Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier in promoting their SuperFight.

Did Drake reference Max Holloway in “8 out of 10” on his new album?  I didn’t think so.  The UFC paid homage to the Scorpion album with an Instagram post hyping the main event.

Next Saturday's OFFICIAL tracklist. 🦂 #UFC226

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Ratings (all on FS1)

UFC Weigh-Ins – 239K

UFC Pre-Show – 254K

UFC Prelims – 668K (peaked at 800K in the 9:45-10:00pm ET quarter hr)

UFC Post Show – 155K


UFC sponsors Harley Davidson, Metro PCS, Toyo Tires, Monster Energy, EA’s UFC 3 and Modelo in the center of the Octagon. It also had signage for EA UFC’s latest version of its video game and the first glimpses of the logo for the company’s 25th Anniversary show in November.

There was an extended promotion for the latest version of EA’s UFC 3 with Tito Ortiz and Kimbo Slice.

Kamaru Usman introduced the promoted movie for this event, Denzel Washington’s

Odds and ends

It was International Fight Week which included the induction of individuals (and a fight) into the Hall of Fame.  Headlining the list was Ronda Rousey.  It also gave us a Chuck-Tito faceoff for a fight that appears to be happening in 2018 or 2019.

Despite an International Fight Week curse of headlining matches scratched, UFC 226 came through with several great main card performances from Khalil Rountree, Anthony Pettis and Daniel Cormier.  Also, the Mike Perry-Paul Felder fight was an entertaining bloodbath with Felder fighting at least 2 rounds with a broken arm or hand.

Dominick Cruz covering the fights during media leadup and as analyst on the PPV broadcast is great.

Chiesa missed weight but wore a Shawn Kemp jersey so he gets some press here.

We are underway in Vegas! #TUF27 #UFC226

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This was the biggest UFC event to date and with the 25th Anniversary Show being announced in November and a possible Cormier-Lesnar fight to end in December the latter half of 2018 could be exciting. The loss of Holloway-Ortega did not hurt the gate, but it may have hurt the PPV. Despite being one of the best ever, Cormier has yet to prove he is a PPV draw without Jon Jones. So, this event likely does above average but still nowhere near Conor/Ronda levels. Look for estimates between 450,000 to 500,000.

UFC 226 attendance, gate and bonuses

July 7, 2018

The UFC announced its attendance, gate and bonuses for UFC 226 in Las Vegas Saturday night.

The bonuses went to Daniel Cormier, Anthony Pettis, Khalil Roundtree and Paulo Costa.  All were Performance Bonuses and no Fight of the Night was awarded.  Cormier headlined this night as he became the second two division champion when he KO’d Stipe Miocic.

The UFC also announced the attendance and gate for the event and business was up for International Fight Week as it drew 17,464 for a gate of $5,677 million.

The event ranks behind UFC 200 and UFC 207 (Rousey’s return vs. Nunes) in terms of attendance and gate at the T-Mobile.  It comfortably becomes the top grossing event of 2018.

Payout Perspective:

A great night for Cormier who cements himself as one of the best ever in the sport.  The event did well despite the Holloway-Ortega fight falling out.  This may hurt a little in PPV sales, but it looks like the attendance was not affected.  A good night for UFC business and for its annual International Fight Week.

TUF 27 Finale attendance, gate and bonuses

July 7, 2018

UFC reports the TUF Finale 27 attendance, gate and bonuses.

The numbers were disclosed post-event.  The bonuses went out to Israel Adesanya, Luis Pena, Alex Caceres and Martin Bravo.  Each earned $50,000 bonuses.  Caceres and Bravo earned Fight of the Night while Adesanya and Pena drew Performance Bonuses.  Adesanya scored the rare feat of earning a performance bonuses without a stoppage.

TUF 27 was a sell-out of 2,123 as it is gravitating to a smaller venue each year.  The intimate gathering at the Pearl Theatre in Vegas drew a gate of $293,615.50.

Payout Perspective:

As happens with FS1 televised events, the pacing of the fights was very slow.  The fights were ok with the TUF winners being crowned and Adesanya putting on a great performance against Brad Tavares.

UFC Fight Night 132 attendance, gate and bonuses

June 24, 2018

UFC Fight Night 132 took place in Singapore early Saturday for most viewing on UFC Fight Pass in North America.  The event drew 6,419 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.  It was the third time that the promotion has visited the country.

No gate was announced post-event by UFC officials.

Bonuses were awarded to Ovince Saint Preux, Song Yadong, Shane Young and Rolando Dy.  OSP earned his $50,000 bonus for a straight arm bar submission of Tyson Pedro. Yadong stopped Felipe Arantes in the second round.  Fight of the Night went to Young and Dy who had a back and forth fight until Young’s pressure forced Dy to drop after a flurry of punches.

Payout Perspective:

Yves Edwards earned the victory over Cowboy Cerrone in the main event of the card.  I’m a little surprised that there were not more in attendance for the event.  Still, those receiving bonuses definitely earned them.

UFC 225 attendance, gate and bonuses

June 10, 2018

Robert Whittaker successfully defended his middleweight title and received a double bonus for his victory over Yoel Romero Saturday night at UFC 225 from Chicago.

Whittaker earned a split decision over Romero after a back and forth 5 round fight.  Charles Oliveira earned a $50,000 bonus with a 1st round submission over Clay Guida.  Curtis Blaydes received the other bonus for his KO of Alistair Overeem in the third round.

UFC 225 drew 18,117 fans for a gate of $2.55 million.  It was the best attendance and gate for a UFC show in Chicago.  The event took place at the United Center in Chicago.  Dana White said post-event that it was the “highest attended non-basketball event in the arena’s history.”

The numbers were announced post-fight by the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

Romero’s inability to make weight sort of diminished a great main event with Whittaker.  The UFC would have been in a bind if Romero would have prevailed as there were instances where Whittaker looked to be out of it.  But, the main event and the CM Punk fight probably boosted attendance for the event.  Will it transfer to PPV buys is another interesting question.

UFC Fight Night 131 attendance, gate and bonuses

June 2, 2018

UFC Fight Night 131 took place in Utica, New York on Friday night.  Headliner Marlon Moraes led bonus winners for the night with his first-round stoppage of Jimmy Rivera.

Other $50,000 bonus winners included Gregor Gillespie, Ben Saunders and Nathaniel Wood.  There were no Fight of the Night winners as Gillespie, Saunders and Wood earned their bonuses with stoppages.

The event in Utica drew 5,063 fans for a total gate of $322,825 according to the announcement made by the UFC post-event.

Payout Perspective:

The gate and attendance reflect that of a Fight Night on a Friday night.  The attendance and gate are on the low-end of typical Fight Night events.  Friday night was Moraes’ showcase with a quick end to Rivera.

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