July 7, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at the unusual end to the title reign of Anderson Silva at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Silva kisses title reign goodbye
- “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” – Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II
It was relief, not disappointment that seemed to be the emotion from Anderson Silva after his loss to Chris Weidman. It was an unfortunate end to a great reign for The Spider. He elevated the UFC by his complete dominance over a division. Unlike GSP post-Serra, Silva put on some memorable highlight reel finishes. But with his impressive wins came an heir of invincibility and arrogance. This was highlighted by an irritating grandstanding performance at UFC 112 where he denigrated the talents of Demian Maia. Despite threats of cutting Silva after his antics in Abu Dhabi, Dana White did nothing. The Spider was just that good. He added an occasional showboat move here and there since 112 to add a degree of difficulty to his fights. Last July he gave away the first round in his highly anticipated rematch with Chael Sonnen but proceeded to end him in the second.
But Saturday was something Silva’s legacy did not need. A foolish end to what should be a respected title reign. One has to wonder if Silva, who always appears to be in control in the Octagon, chose his own demise. His immediate response to questions of a rematch was that he didn’t want one. While we have to believe he will change his mind, maybe the pressures of being considered the GOAT have weighed him down. Then again, would the GOAT ever do such a stupid thing in the Octagon and actually be a “goat”.
It’s perplexing to understand Silva. He’s a martial artist but shouldn’t a martial artist not disrespect his opponent let alone underestimate him? Moreover, his antics disrespected the event and platform he was given. Yes, the idea was to intimidate Weidman on Saturday. And to a certain extent, I understand the “no sell” of punches and smiling at Weidman. It was part of Silva’s game plan – have Weidman melt under the pressure. But, unlike others, Weidman stayed the course and did not fall into too much of a trap (although he did attempt to no sell punches too).
Weidman’s game plan was not tricky when it came to what to do if Silva clowned him: Punch him in the face. Or in his chest as his corner told him. Not too hard to understand.
The UFC immediate plans go out the window here. Superfights against Jones or GSP are out of the question. An immediate rematch appears to be the only choice for Silva. The Super Bowl card in New Jersey in 2014 appears to be the most practicable time for a rematch. It will be coupled with Fox’s plan for a weekend of events to accompany its rights to the big game.
Looking at it with the glass half full, the UFC gets an American champion from New York with a great backstory. Weidman’s story of having no home after Hurricane Sandy will be eaten up by mainstream media outlets. He can also be the poster boy for another run at legalizing MMA in New York. The UFC will have to build up the Weidman brand in order for him to get at or near the Anderson Silva level. Yet, it can build from the ground up with Weidman although this will take multiple PPVs to get him a following.
Edgar gets needed win against Oliveira
In one of the Fight of the Nights, Frankie Edgar had one of the best performances of the night against a game Charles Oliveira. Both fighters constantly moved through the match and despite losing, Oliveira showed that he’s a threat in the Featherweight division.
Frankie looked sharp and I would suggest a meeting with Cub Swanson to see who gets to face the Featherweight champion.
Munoz transformation complete
“I ate because I was sad, sad because I ate.” Mark Munoz paraphrased from the character Fat Bastard of the Austin Powers movie series in an interview earlier in the week to underscore his battle with depression which caused him to balloon up in weight. Munoz lost over 60 pounds and looked phenomenal at the weigh-ins. Moreover, he dominated a tough Tim Boetsch.
Maybe added motivation for Munoz was the fact that Chris Weidman, the guy who destroyed him about a year earlier, was in the main event.
Attendance and gate
MMA Junkie reports that the attendance for the event was 12,399 for a gate of $4.862 million. These numbers were announced at the post-UFC162 press conference. The numbers are unofficial but White had indicated similar numbers earlier in the week. UFC 160 had attendance of 12,380 for a gate of $2.9 million
Bonuses awarded were given $50,000 each. With no submission of the night, the UFC decided to award two Fight of the Nights. Thus, it paid out an extra $50,000.
FOTN: Edgar v. Oliveira, Swanson v. Dennis Siver
KO of the Night: Chris Weidman
Weidman was the obvious choice, but I would have liked to see Gabriel Gonzaga here too.
Promotion of the Fight
It was interesting that the UFC decided to utilize other fighters to establish the credibility of Chris Weidman by using other fighters to speak about how good he is. The fact that so many fighters picked Weidman (and the UFC sent out a press release stating this) told you that he may be something special. But, the UFC marketing was probably needed considering Weidman had been out for a year and although the Munoz KO was impressive, Munoz was heavy and battling injuries.
Speaking of Munoz, it was interesting how much press Munoz received with his “Husky Boy” pictures. He spoke out about his depression and how he overcame it. Certainly a good story and it almost trumped Chris Weidman during fight week.
Weidman appeared on the Jim Rome Show but there seemed to be little, if any, other national media for Weidman or Silva for that matter.
Octagon sponsors included MetroPCS, TapouT, Ultimate Poker, Xyience, Dodge, Alienware, the 20th Century Fox release of The Wolverine and Bud Light in the center and at the prep point. Dodge had a new logo for the Octagon, its Dodge “Ram” and its signature tag line, “Guts, Glory, Ram” on one of the corner posts. Bud Light also did something new with its logo.
Tyron Woodley introduced The Wolverine clip which was shown right before the main event. Interesting the UFC chose Woodley to do this intro.
Anderson Silva was sponsored by Burger King, Wizard, Nike, Axe Body Spray and Vicks. The Vicks sponsorship is interesting but perhaps he could use it on his chin after being knocked out by Weidman. The Axe Body Spray may explain the weigh-in “kiss”. Silva also had new Nike t-shirts as well as ads for Nike Pro Combat.
Chris Weidman was sponsored by Bad Boy Clothing, Muscle Milk, Profile Performance, Air Force Reserve and American Ethanol.
Other notable sponsorships:
Chris Leben was sponsored by Sisu Mouthgards. Tim Kennedy had RangerUp and RevGear.
It appeared that Frankie Edgar was sponsored by the UFC as his corner wore UFC hats and the UFC was the biggest logo on his fight banner. In addition, he had Alienware and Affliction.
Among his sponsors, Cub Swanson was sponsored by PowerBuilt Golf.
Mark Munoz was sponsored by Lunarpages. The same sponsor for Jake Ellenberger, his training partner. He also donned the Oklahoma State colors. A nice added touch. He was also sponsored by Triumph United, Osiris Shoes and Virus Action Sports Performance clothing.
Post UFC 162 Headlines
Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar, Charles Oliveira, Mark Munoz and Cub Swanson all had impressive nights. Despite Oliveira’s loss, the UFC found a gem and he’s only 23. Edgar and Swanson add some spice to a Featherweight division that just got harder for Jose Aldo.
Munoz has a great story and its a likely “wait and see” on how his path to a title shot occurs (or does not occur). He’ll have to string together a couple more wins before he can be in the picture. And at 35, the window of opportunity may be slight.
Weidman was the star of the night. Regardless of how it was accomplished, he proved the fighters that sung his praises. Now, its up to the UFC to make him a star.
On the flip side, the more compelling story may be what happens with Anderson Silva. The fight will be analyzed and overanalyzed by all of us but whether it was overconfidence, stupidity or boredom with fighting, Silva’s performance was inexcusable. With a 10 fight contract still in place, it will be interesting to see what Silva does from here on out. Its likely that there will be a rematch and we’ll see a more focused, serious Anderson Silva, but he’ll be facing a more confident and experienced Chris Weidman.
Odds and Ends
- Silva was paid $600K with a $200K win bonus if he would have defeated Weidman. Weidman earned $24K and $24K for a total of $48K.
- What would happen to your shin if you tried to check an Edson Barboza leg kick?.
- Fitting that Munoz wore a “Keep Olympic Wrestling” Shirt with his logo and he displayed the best wrestling in the Octagon of his career.
- For Dave Herman last night, BJJ does not exist if you get hit in the face first.
- With the craziness of the Weidman-Silva fight, Tim Kennedy must be happy to go through the night unscathed by scrutiny although Dave Meltzer indicated on The Figure Four podcast this morning that Dana White yelled at him in front of everyone at the fighter meeting.
- Steven Segal was sitting next to Mike Tyson last night. It would have been interesting to hear the conversation between the two.
- One of the better things that happened with Silva losing, the talk of him fighting Roy Jones, Jr. in a boxing match should go away.
- The UFC handed out 11,000 towels to fans attending UFC 162 and let them pick between a U.S. flag towel or Brazil. A good promo for the event and a way to highlight the main event.
As we indicated in our PPV History, the event was solely based on Anderson Silva. While Edgar-Oliveira was a great fight, Edgar is not a PPV draw. As Meltzer pointed out, and many logically will conclude, the PPV replay will likely boost PPV sales simply because people who originally passed on the PPV because of the lack of interest will now gladly spend it to see Silva’s knockout and the other exciting fights on the card. With that being said, its likely that the original live PPV buys will be around 600,000.
July 5, 2013
Welcome to another edition of PPV History. This time we take a look at the PPV History of UFC 162’s main eventers. Realistically, the strength of this event’s numbers rests solely on Anderson Silva.
Arguably, Silva is the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), goat can have a dual meaning based on Silva’s whimsical attitudes when it comes to media (e.g., being fined $50K for missing media obligation in LA) and fights (UFC 112). But, Silva has a strong Brazilian following and his skills are second to none.
Father Time always wins (see Kobe Bryant), but he may be starting to look at his watch with Silva. Undoubtedly, Silva is a top draw (if not running a close second to GSP).
|UFC 153||Stephan Bonnar (W –TKO)||10/13/12||410,000|
|UFC 148||Chael Sonnen (W – TKO)||07/07/12||925,000|
|UFC 134||Yushin Okami (W – TKO)||08/27/11||335,000|
|UFC 126||Vitor Belfort (W – KO)||02/05/11||725,000|
|UFC 117||Chael Sonnen (W – Submission)||08/07/10||600,000|
Despite the two events less than 500K, which were both fights in Brazil, Silva is a must-see PPV main event.
The casual MMA fan does not know too much about Chris Weidman although this UFC Countdown help us get to know him and his personal story. Yet, he’s been off since last year so its hard to recall how he will do. He beat Mark Munoz in decisive fashion last year although Munoz states he was not at 100%.
|UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz v. Weidman||Mark Munoz (W – KO)||07/11/12||211,000 (Versus)|
|UFC on Fox: Evans v. Davis||Demian Maia (W)||01/28/12||4.7 million|
|UFC 139||Tom Lawlor (W – Technical Submission||11/19/11||290,000|
|UFC 131||Jesse Bongfeldt (W – Submission)||06/11/11||330,000|
|UFC Live: Sanchez v. Kampmann||Alessio Sakara (W)||03/03/11||681,000/0.67|
It will be interesting to see how Weidman does on Saturday. Aside from the Munoz fight, Weidman has been on the undercard of fights. If he beats Silva, he’ll shoot straight to the top as one of the faces of the UFC.
As for the rest of the card, Frankie Edgar is the only other UFC fighter with a PPV history worth mentioning. But, maybe we shouldn’t given the fact it’s not that good.
UFC 162’s success will depend on one fighter: Anderson Silva. While the marketing for Chris Weidman has been good, it’s relied on other fighters’ (i.e., GSP, Evans, Maynard) recommendations of his gym work to bolster his credibility. If Weidman succeeds, the UFC could have a new star. But Weidman himself is not the reason for the interest in the fight. But, its the intrigue of whether an upstart can dethrone the champion that will carry the fans on the fence to buy this PPV.
July 3, 2013
BoxingScene.com reports that the PPV price point for the Floyd Maywether Jr. v. Canelo Alvarez fight set for September 14, 2013 will be set at $75 for HD and $60 for SD. This is a $5 price increase from Maywether’s May fight against Roberto Guerrero.
Its being billed as the biggest fight in years and the promotional tour has been massive in the type of spectator draws its receiving and the amount spent on the tour; an estimated $1 million for the hype alone. It should not be a surprise that the PPV price point would be raised as well.
Richard Schaefer told BoxingScene.com that he had heard that the fact its such a big fight a $100 PPV price tag was not out of the question.
We saw disappointing PPV buys (at least rumored but never confirmed by Showtime) from the Mayweather-Guerrero fight and this year’s Wrestlemania. The common thread was that both were priced at $70 (for HD). Will May-Canelo suffer the same concern? Unlikely. As many have pointed out, Showtime/Golden Boy will still do well even though it may lose a portion of the audience wanting to buy the event. One would think that the higher PPV price may see an increase in closed circuit sales and bars/clubs showing the fight. But this rationale is predicated on the monumental build, marketing and promotions going into this event.
July 1, 2013
Bloody Elbow reports that Invicta FC will be available on PPV through DirecTV. Invicta president Shannon Knapp made the announcement on its Facebook page Tuesday.
In an interview with The Wrestling Observer last week, Knapp indicated that there was an issue with the bandwidth for DirecTV which precluded the Invicta PPV from being on its platform. Invicta’s original announcement indicated that it would be available in the US and Canada on inDemand and Dish Network only.
The July 13th event should get a boost with the availability of the event. How much will it move the dial in terms of PPV buys is still unknown. But, having it available to a wider audience will give it the opportunity to a wider audience to sample the product.
June 21, 2013
MMA Junkie reports that Invicta FC will debut on PPV in the United States and Canada on July 13th. The PPV has a suggested retail price of $14.95 and will feature Cyborg Santos vs. Marloes Coenen.
Via MMA Junkie:
Invicta FC officials today announced the company’s July 13 event will be available on both cable and satellite pay-per-view via iN Demand, DISH and Avail-TVN in the U.S., as well as Bell TV in Canada, for a suggested retail price of $14.95. The night’s main-card broadcast is scheduled for a four-hour slot.
Notably, DirecTV was not included in the list of outlets. As with UFC cards, one would suspect that the card would be around 3 hours rather than all four hours.
A calculated risk? After iPPVs on Ustream, it appears that the organization is ready to step up and take its show to PPV. There will not be a worry about technical issues as it had with iPPV. With the Bernard Hopkins-Karo Murat fight cancelled for Saturday, July 13th, it leaves the Invicta FC card as the only combat sport that night. But will there be enough of an audience that will be willing to pay the $14.95 for the fights? This may be more of trial balloon for Invicta FC (and maybe Zuffa) to gage the interest of women’s MMA.
June 14, 2013
MMA Payout takes a look at the prior PPV history of UFC 161’s main event fighters. This time around we take a look at Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson and Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic
There’s a cliff that some fighters fall off of in their career and Evans’ last PPV appearance against Little ‘Nog could have been the perilous steps before falling off. One might argue that it was Evans that pushed Chuck Liddell to the edge of the cliff with his stunning KO of Liddell at UFC 88. Henderson could provide the punch to make Evans obsolete.
At UFC 108, Silva was a substitute for Rampage and Ortiz was a substitute at UFC 133 at a time when Ortiz had a resurgence of his career. Notably, these two shows had low PPV buy rates. I realize we dip a little deep with Evans’ past history but look at the buys for 92 and 98 where the buys were reported at 635K and 1M. Impressive compared to the buys we see regularly now.
|UFC 156||Antonio Rogerieo Nogueira (L)||February 2, 2013||330,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 145||Jon Jones (L)||April 21, 2012||700,000 PPV buys|
|UFC on Fox 2||Phil Davis (W)||January 28, 2012||4.7M viewer average|
|UFC 133||Tito Ortiz (W – TKO)||August 6, 2011||310,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 114||Rampage Jackson (W)||May 29, 2010||1.05M PPV buys|
|UFC 108||Thiago Silva (W)||January 2, 2010||300,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 98||Lyoto Machida (L – KO)||May 23, 2009||635,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 92||Forrest Griffin (W – TKO)||December 27, 2008||1M PPV buys|
We leave out several of Henderson’s appearances on Strikeforce and focus on mainly his UFC appearances since his return to the company against Rampage. His last fight was a disappointing loss to Lyoto Machida at UFC 157. We recall that the event was headlined by Ronda Rousey and drew well.
UFC 139 featured Henderson and Rua in a 5 round classic. Wanderlei Silva knocking out Cung Le and Urijah Faber taking out Brian Bowles were also featured on the card. Henderson also appeared in one of the co-mains at UFC 100 with his memorable KO of Michael Bisping after their coaching stint on TUF.
Henderson’s defeat of Fedor ranked fourth all-time in Strikeforce-Showtime history but still has to be one of the biggest fights the company had on the network.
As many recall, UFC 75’s fight versus Rampage Jackson scored 4.7 million viewers on Spike TV. Very good numbers considering that UFC on Fox 2 scored the same rating.
|UFC 157||Lyoto Machida (L)||February 23, 2013||450,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 139||Mauricio Rua (W)||November 19, 2011||290,000 PPV buys|
|Strikeforce: Fedor v. Henderson||Fedor Emelianenko (W – TKO)||July 30, 2011||571,000 viewer average on Showtime|
|UFC 100||Michael Bisping (W – TKO)||July 11, 2009||1.6M PPV buys|
|UFC 93||Rich Franklin (W)||January 17, 2009||350,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 88||Rousimar Palhares (W)||September 6, 2008||480,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 82||Anderson Silva (L – Submission)||March 1, 2008||325,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 75||Rampage Jackson (L)||September 8, 2007||4.7M viewer average on Spike TV|
The only good part about Nelson’s comments about Daniel Cormier this week was that it wasn’t done on twitter. Aside from that, there wasn’t much positive about calling Cormier “Uncle Tom.” At 36, Nelson is still a solid attraction due in part to his KO power. Just look at how most of his fights end.
|UFC 159||Cheick Kongo (W – KO)||April 27, 2013||550,000 PPV buys|
|TUF: Carwin v. Nelson Finale||Matt Mitrione (W – TKO)||December 15, 2012||1.3M viewer avg on FX|
|UFC on Fuel TV 1||Phil De Fries (W – KO)||February 15, 2012||217,000 viewer avg|
|UFC 146||Dave Herman (W-KO)||May 26, 2012||560,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 143||Fabricio Werdum (L)||February 4, 2012||400,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 137||Cro Cop (W – TKO)||October 29, 2011||280,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 130||Frank Mir (L)||May 28, 2011||325,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 117||JDS (L)||August 7, 2010||600,000 PPV buys|
|UFC Fight Night: Florian v. Gomi||Stefan Struve (W – TKO)||March 31, 2010||1.6M viewer avg (via MMA Payout Blue Book)|
|TUF: Heavyweights Finale||Brendan Schaub (W-KO)||December 5, 2009||3.7M viewer avg (via MMA Payout Blue Book)|
Miocic is not really a main event fighter and his UFC resume will not scare Nelson especially since his last fight was a TKO loss to Stephan Struve, someone that Nelson knocked out.
|UFC on Fuel TV 10||Stephan Struve (L – TKO)||September 29, 2012||313,000 viewer avg|
|UFC 146||Shane del Rosario (W – TKO)||May 26, 2012||560,000 PPV buys|
|UFC on Fuel TV 1||Phil De Fries (W – KO)||February 15, 2012||217,000 viewer avg|
|UFC 136||Joey Beltran (W)||October 8, 2011||225,000 PPV buys|
Another summer, another Canadian card that fell victim to the injury bug. But, Renao Barao v. Eddie Wineland and Shogun v. Little Nog probably would not have moved the dial dramatically. Evans-Henderson is a very good fight but there’s no support on this card for a casual viewer to buy this PPV. It will be very interesting to see where the buy rate lands for this card.
May 27, 2013
Figure Four Online reported over the weekend that the WWE has officially released its first Wrestlemania 29 buy rate. The worldwide buy rate for this year’s annual event was 1,048,000 which is lower than Wrestlemania 28.
The Wrestlemania 28 PPV buy rate was lowered a couple times from an initial 1.3M buys down to somewhere between 1.1 and 1.2M PPV buys. The WWE appeared cautious when it mentioned PPV buys at its First Quarter earnings call which led one to speculate whether the buy rate did not meet expectations.
This year’s PPV buy rate is likely an accurate buy rate and won’t be calibrated up and down too much as what occurred last year. This year the WWE bumped up its PPV $5 to $69.99 (for HD), $64.99 (non-HD). Could the price point be the reason for the less than expected buy rates. Or, was it the card featuring a rehash of last year’s main event, or maybe a combination? The WWE still had a stellar live attendance/gate with 80K plus attending for a gate over $11M. But, it believed that with the event being in the New York area (technically New Jersey), the company would do a better number than last year.
May 26, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at UFC 160 at The MGM Grand where Cain Velasquez made quick work of Bigfoot Silva.
Same time this year
364 days before Saturday Bigfoot Silva wore the crimson mask and bloodied the Octagon canvas at the hands of Cain. This time, the canvas was already bloody from previous fights but the result was similar. Cain owned Bigfoot. This time it was a 1-2 that floored the giant and he could not withstand the rain of punches. A good stoppage despite Bigfoot’s protest.
As most thought the result would be the same, it was quicker work this time around. Cain now gets someone else he owned in their last fight: Junior dos Santos. But, the rubber match is warranted considering JDS’s performance Saturday.
Hunt for Gold ends with spinning heel kick
Two weeks in a row a spinning heel kick gave UFC fans a highlight reel KO. This time, already way ahead on the cards, JDS decided to try to finish Mark Hunt. It gained a lot of respect from the crowd that was deeply behind the underdog. Hunt ate a huge looping right to his ear in the first but got up like it was nothing. JDS wore Hunt down and the kick in the third showed Hunt’s fatigue.
JDS gets the trilogy and fans will wonder which fight will they see: the first or second fight.
TJ Grant crashes Lightweight Title Picture
Its why they have the fight. TJ Grant wasn’t supposed to win and get the next shot at Benson Henderson. But, when Dana White made the promise that the fight would determine the next challenger for Bendo, Grant had a shot and did it in impressive fashion.
Attendance and Gate
As reported at the post-fight press conference, the unofficial attendance was 11,089 for $2.942 million. The Nevada State Athletic Commission will announce the official attendance and gate.
According to Dave Meltzer on the Wrestling Observer podcast, the attendance was relatively low based on the initial sales. He reported that casinos did not purchase as many tickets as in the past.
JDS, Hunt, TJ Grant and Glover Texeira won the bonuses for FOTN, KO and Submission of the Night. According to Dana White, Mike Tyson influenced him to award the KO of the night to Grant instead of JDS. Each received $50,000.
Prestone, which had signage in the octagon for the TUF series was the newest presence inside the Octagon. MetroPCS, UFCFit.com, Harley Davidson, TapouT, Dodge, UltimatePoker.com and Bud Light in the center of the Octagon. Also Affliction returned to the Octagon.
Mark Hunt did not have any sponsors. He came to the ring without a walkout shirt and just UFC shorts. It could be due to the fact that it was unknown if he would get a visa into the country. There is speculation that his reps were trying to get sponsors on the day of the weigh-in. However, the fighters have until Thursday night to turn in their fight shorts for review by the UFC. Its unfortunate that Hunt did not have existing relationships with sponsors to have just in case he received a visa.
A lot of negative reaction on twitter for the “infomercial” on online poker. It was forced, odd and a blatant plug for the site. The comparison of MMA and poker was atrocious. But, it is an official sponsor and owned by the Fertittas. Coupled by the fact the PPV was short on time makes it acceptable as it did not take away from any fights. Still, carving out any time to promote the poker site seems out of place.
Junior dos Santos had new Nike gear and his performance had Nike execs breathing a sigh of relief considering his last fight wearing the Swoosh was with Cain. JDS was sponsored by TNT energy drink, a Brazilian energy drink. You may recall it being the center of the Octagon for UFC on Fox 8. Its web site also list Jose Aldo has an endorser.
A lot of bumpers for the UFC App which is trying to catch-up to the Bellator and WWE Apps.
In addition to the Online Poker plug, there was a plug for the city of Las Vegas featuring Dana White and Ronda Rousey.
Cain’s one flaw: social media
Is Cain using his twitter the wrong way? His twitter timeline is littered with sponsors. Cain even plugged Harley Davidson in his post-fight Octagon interview. Usually there is a healthy bit of insight on the fighter’s life, fighter/fan interaction as well as the sponsor plug.
Here’s a sampling of Cain’s twitter feed:
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) May 25, 2013
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) May 25, 2013
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) May 25, 2013
— Cain Velasquez (@cainmma) May 24, 2013
While Cain’s use of twitter is not wrong (one need only took to Nate Diaz among others for examples), its not engaging and its an overt commercial for his sponsors. Yes, social media campaigns are based on receiving celebrity endorsements but Cain’s is straight copy. If there’s a flaw with Velasquez its his marketability and we’re not talking about his “Brown Pride” tattoo either. But, we’ll leave that for another post.
UFC 160 has some intriguing post-fight headlines. First, when and where will they hold JDS-Cain III. While Vegas is always the old standby, the possibility of Mexico or Brazil are definite possibilities. The UFC is looking to hold an event in Mexico by the end of this year and what a better way to make a splash into a new market.
TJ Grant-Benson Henderson for the
TV Title Lightweight Title is rumored be on the Boston card for UFC on Fox Sports 1: 1. There is also the possibility its on an event in the fall.
Glover Texeira continues his ascent in the Light Heavyweight division with a first round sub over a very good James Te Huna. Texeira could be a fight or two away from Jon Jones.
Donald Cerrone v. Josh Thomson? I’ll set the DVR.
Odds and Ends
- With the NHL and NBA Playoffs running opposite UFC 160 Prelims on FX, it will be interesting to see its ratings.
- Unless you were on Facebook/YouTube, you probably missed the fight that caused all that blood on the canvas. There was no way to try the clean the mat between fights like it does when the UFC is on Fox?
- After the initial controversy with the UFC rankings, are we starting to accept them in looking at title contenders and matchups?
- At the post-fight press conference, it was announced that Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin were going into the UFC Hall of Fame. I understand their first match being a “Hall of Fame” type moment but I can see arguing against either one having a HOF career. Bonnar is the most suspect here especially since he was caught taking PEDs his last fight. What type of message does that send?
- George Roop doesn’t look healthy at 135. Yet, he keeps winning so we’ll likely see more of him at this weight.
- Will Bloody Elbow use the shot of Cerrone showing Noons his elbow on its front page from hereon out?
- It seemed like Mike Tyson received more camera time than anyone this weekend. He looked like he was genuinely having a good time and each fighter was appreciative that he was there. Its good to see that he’s turned his life around.
The attendance and gate seem to infer that UFC 160 might not draw as well as past Heavyweight cards featuring main events. However, based on the previous PPV history of Cain and JDS, we’re probably looking at a buy rate of around 550-575K.
May 24, 2013
MMA Payout takes another look at the prior PPV history of UFC 160’s main event fighters. The quick conclusion is that the UFC Heavyweight Division is a big draw for fans.
|UFC 156||Alistair Overeem||February 2, 2013||330,000 PPV buys|
|UFC on FX||Travis Browne||October 5, 2012||1.1M viewers|
|UFC 146||Cain Velasquez||May 26, 2012||560,000 PPV buys|
It’s a surprise that Silva is in this position – a shot at the Heavyweight title and a rematch with Cain Velasquez. Everyone thought that Alistair Overeem would have destroyed Silva and we would be looking at a dream matchup with Overeem vs. Cain this weekend. But, Overeem gassed and Silva’s humongous hands spelled the end to the Demolition Man. Silva will have to avoid a rerun of last year’s bloodbath where Cain mauled him.
|UFC 155||Junior dos Santos (W)||December 29, 2012||590,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 146||Bigfoot Silva (W)||May 26, 2012||560,000 PPV buys|
|UFC on Fox 1||Junior dos Santos (L)||November 12, 2011||5.7M viewers|
|UFC 121||Brock Lesnar (W)||October 23, 2010||1,050,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 110||Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (W)||February 21, 2010||240,000 PPV buys|
Disregard UFC 110 and you can see that Cain is a top tier draw for the UFC. He’s averaged 733,000 PPV buys since UFC 121. Factor in the great ratings for the UFC’s first network show and its obvious he’s slightly behind GSP and Anderson Silva in drawing power.
Junior Dos Santos
|UFC 155||Cain Velasquez(L)||December 29, 2012||590,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 146||Frank Mir (W)||May 26, 2012||560,000 PPV buys|
|UFC on Fox 1||Cain Velasquez (W)||November 12, 2011||5.7M|
|UFC 131||Shane Carwin||June 11, 2011||325,000 PPV buys|
|UFC 117||Roy Nelson (W)||August 7, 2010||600,000 PPV buys|
JDS falls in the Cain Velasquez category of UFC fighters that can draw. UFC 117 was more Silva-Sonnen than dos Santos and UFC 131 was going to be JDS-Brock except for Brock having to bow out due to his diverticulitis. So, perhaps that’s why 131 did not do as well. Still, JDS averages about 583,000 PPV buys excluding UFC 131 (518K if you include the Carwin fight).
|UFC on Fuel TV: Silva v. Stann||Stefan Struve (W)||March 3, 2013||485,000 viewers(record for Fuel TV)|
|UFC 144||Cheick Kongo (W)||February 26, 2012||325,000 buys|
|UFC 135||Ben Rothwell (W)||September 24, 2011||520,000 buys|
|UFC 127||Chris Tuschscherer (W)||February 27, 2011||260,000 buys|
|UFC 119||Sean McCorkle (L)||September 25, 2010||295,000 buys|
Hunt’s rise to semi-main event status came in part due to an impressive knockout of Stefan Struve. The fight card, headlined by Wanderlei Silva versus Brian Stann from Japan garnered the biggest rating for a UFC on Fuel TV event.
Hunt defeated Cheick Kongo in Japan at UFC 144. One recalls that was the return of the UFC to Japan and featured a 4 hour PPV with Benson Henderson defeating Frankie Edgar for the Lightweight title. UFC 127 featured Jon Fitch v. BJ Penn from Australia in what turned out to be a draw. We may want to throwout UFC 119 as the headliner was the ill-timed Mir v. Cro-Cop fight in which everyone was a loser.
The numbers reflect the popularity of the Heavyweight division. JDS and Cain are at the top of this list as attractive draws for the UFC. With Hunt and Bigfoot looking to make inroads into the top tier of the Heavyweight division, the recent signing of Josh Barnett and Daniel Cormier and Alistair Overeem still around we can see another resurgence of this division. This annual Memorial Day card is a great way to feature this division and a good way to kick off the Summer.
May 8, 2013
MMA Fighting reports that the initial PPV estimates from UFC 159: Jones v. Sonnen were in the 520-550K range. If the numbers hold up it would make it the second highest PPV in 2013 behind GSP v. Diaz.
According to MMA Fighting, the UFC had predicted that the show would do at least 500K PPV buys. It is significantly better than the 410,000 PPV buys in his last defense against Vitor Belfort. That fight was somewhat tainted considering Belfort was a late fill-in after the UFC 151 debacle.
Could you attribute the buy rate to the salesmanship of Chael Sonnen or the building fan base of Jon Jones? If the numbers hold up, one would think that the card was a success. Unless you were a Michael Bisping fan, there were no other fights on the card that would compel a casual fan to purchase this event.