UFC 170 attendance, gate, bonuses and salaries

February 22, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the attendance, gate, bonuses and salaries from UFC 170.  In the main event, Ronda Rousey stopped Sara McMann with a knee to the liver in the first round.

The attendance at the Mandalay Bay was reported at 10,217 for a live gate of $1,558,870.  In his media scrum on Thursday, Dana White indicated that the event would do a $2 million gate (around 19:15 mark).  The numbers were announced at the post-fight press conference and official numbers will be released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission next week.

As for the bonuses, which were $50,000 each:

Fight of the Night:  Rory MacDonald-Demian Maia

Performances of the Night:  Ronda Rousey, Stephen Thompson

No complaints here although Erik Koch could have earned a PON bonus.

In addition, the Nevada State Athletic Commission released the salaries for the event which reveals Daniel Cormier and Ronda Rousey topped the roster which had a total payroll of $843,000.

Via MMA Junkie:

Champ Ronda Rousey: $110,000 (includes $55,000 win bonus)
def. Sara McMann: $16,000

Daniel Cormier: $160,000 (includes $80,000 win bonus)
def. Patrick Cummins: $8,000

Rory MacDonald: $100,000 (includes $50,000 win bonus)
def. Demian Maia: $64,000

Mike Pyle: $96,000 (includes $48,000 win bonus)
def. T.J. Waldburger: $18,000

Stephen Thompson: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Robert Whittaker: $15,000

Alexis Davis: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Jessica Eye: $8,000

Raphael Assuncao: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Pedro Munhoz: $8,000

Aljamain Sterling: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Cody Gibson: $8,000

Zach Makovsky: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Sampo: $10,000

Erik Koch: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Rafaello Oliveira: $14,000

Ernest Chavez: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Yosdenis Cedeno: $8,000

Payout Perspective:

As we reported earlier today, the demand for tickets for low thus despite the proclamation by White on Thursday that it would do $2.1 million was more hope than fact.  The last time a UFC PPV held an event at the Mandalay Bay, it was for UFC 156: Aldo-Edgar, which received 10,275 for a gate of $2.34 million.  So, while the attendance was about the same, it appears that Saturday utilized more comps than UFC 156.  We will learn more when the official numbers are released by the NSAC.  Rousey ends up tied with Daniel Cormier for highest reported earner of the night as she also received a $50K bonus in addition to her show/win purse.  Patrick Cummins received $8K for filling in late.

MMA Payout will have more on UFC 170 in its Payout Perspective.  Stay tuned.

UFC 170 pre-fight presser scrum focuses on fighter pay & sponsorships

February 22, 2014

UFC President Dana White discussed several topics during the UFC 170 pre-fight presser scrum, notably an update on the current status of Gilbert Melendez and recent fighter complains about fighter pay and sponsorships.

 

“It’s not my f— problem,” White told Iole and the media. “Getting sponsorship is a problem. It’s tough. It’s hard to do. That question is ridiculous. If a guy fights on Fight Pass, first of all, he’s getting paid to fight. That’s what he’s getting paid for. That’s what he does. How sponsorship works out for a guy is not my problem. That is not my problem. He’s a fighter, he gets paid to fight, period, end of story. Whatever extra money he makes outside of the UFC with sponsors and all that s—, that’s his f— deal.”

Link: MMAFighting.com

 

Payout Perspective:

Dana White came under a lot of heat during the scrum, specifically on the topics of fighter pay and sponsorships.  During the scrum, White’s insistence that fighters sponsorship money was not his problem troubled a number of fighters and media members.  MMAFighting’s Luke Thomas solid piece in response to White’s tirade titled “Actually, fighter sponsorships are the UFC’s problem” hit the nail on the head.  The UFC is now saying that this is not their problem now, but they have previously trumpeted fighter sponsorship as a rebuttal for fighters not getting paid enough.  They have also created an environment for fighters which makes it very difficult for sponsors to jump on board after paying a sponsor fee and determining how many viewers their brand will actually reach.

At a time when UFC has broken into a certain level of mainstream in the US after monumental TV deals with FOX, Globo, and other major sponsors, fighters are finding it now harder than ever to find sponsors.  As the article points out, there are many contributing factors that led to the current situation, but nearly all were self-inflicted by the UFC.  Specifically, the creation of the sponsor tax  and the banning of multiple lower-end sponsors have really hurt a large percentage of lower end fighters. In addition to the restrictions placed on the fighter-sponsor relationship, the UFC has continued to place it’s product on media platforms that have continued to drop in viewership and exposure throughout the years, such as the move from Spike TV, to FX & Fuel TV, to now FS1, FS2, and Fight Pass.

One of the biggest concerns right now for fighters is being placed on a Fight Pass card, which typically takes place out of the country with a limited stream viewership.  MMAJunkie’s Steve Morocco got a glimpse of what a fighter has to consider now when taking a fight as he spoke to UFC fighter Zach Makovsky.

“They were like, ‘You can turn it down and we can get you on later, but that could be on a card on Fight Pass in Brazil, against a Brazilian,’” Makovsky said. Such a booking would have brought a hit to his pocket book in the form of flying his coaches to the fight and selling sponsors on the still-developing digital network. “I think this was the best scenario,” Makovsky said. “I always wanted to fight in Vegas.”

There is no denying that the UFC is looking towards the future with the sponsorship tax fee, the rumored uniform, and the the Fight Pass digital network.  It does not appear that they were quite ready yet to make this transition as they are cutting the bottom half assuming that they will reap from the top, which does not appear to be the case yet. It may also not be the case 5 years from now and may take longer than they have anticipated, but they must workout some type of agreement with the fighters before the benefits of becoming an MMA fighter start to appear less and less beneficial for the lower end fighters.

Johnson tops WSOF 8 Salaries

January 23, 2014

The MMA Report reports the salaries for the World Series of Fighting 8 as disclosed by the Florida Boxing Commission.  Anthony Johnson topped the overall payroll for this past Saturday’s event.

Johnson made a reported $75,000 ($40,000 show/$35,000 win) for his KO victory over Mike Kyle ($10,000).  The second highest paid fighters for the night was Justin Gaethje who made $30,000 ($15,000 show/$15,000 win) as he defeated Rich Patishnock ($6,000) and Jessica Aguliar ($15K/$15K) as she defeated Alida Gray ($5,000).

The rest of the card pay is as follows:

Cody Bollinger: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)

Tyson Nam: $6,000

Luis Palomino: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)

Jorge Patino: $8,000

Tyler Stinson: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)

Valdir Araujo: $10,000

Derrick Mehman: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)

Scott Barrett: $5,000

Alexis Vila: $7,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)

Sidemar Honorio: $2,000

Freddy Assuncao: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)

Brenson Hansen: $6,000

Anderson Melo: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)

Jose Caceres: $2,000

Payout Perspective:

Decent pay for Johnson as the ex-UFC welterweight is getting paid like one of the top fighters in the organization.  The mid-card fighters made adequate pay with the lower tier fighters make minimal.

Rockhold, Miller top UFC Fight Night 35 salary list

January 16, 2014

MMA Junkie reports the salaries from UFC Fight Night 35.  Luke Rockhold topped the salary earners according to the disclosed paydays by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission.

Via MMA Junkie:

Luke Rockhold: $80,000 (includes $40,000 win bonus)
def. Constantinos Philippou: $23,000

Brad Tavares: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Lorenz Larkin: $26,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Easton: $14,000

Yoel Romero: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Derek Brunson: $19,000

John Moraga: $34,000 (includes $17,000 win bonus)
def. Dustin Ortiz: $10,000

Cole Miller: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. Sam Sicilia: $10,000

Ramsey Nijem: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Justin Edwards: $10,000

Elias Silverio: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Isaac Vallie-Flagg: $12,000

Trevor Smith: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Brian Houston: $8,000

Louis Smolka: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Alptekin Ozkilic: $10,000

Vinc Pichel: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Garett Whiteley: $8,000

Beneil Dariush: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Charlie Brenneman: $10,000

The disclosed payroll for the event was $530,000.

Payout Perspective:

The two top earners were Rockhold and Miller.  Rockhold earned a total of $130,000 and Cole Miller earned $106,000 including their fight bonuses.  Notably, last year Miller talked about the inability to find sponsors.  If you watched on Wednesday, he called out Donald Cerrone and offered to pay for Mike Dolce to get him to cut down to his weight class.  Now with the story that Cerrone is in need of money, I’m forced to believe that this might actually happen.  Miller-Cerrone and Miller paying for Dolce for Cerrone.  This brings me to the question of whether the UFC should have classes on how to manage money.  Aside from the two top earners, does anything else on the salary list peak your interest?

UFC 168: Payout Perspective

December 30, 2013

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at the last UFC event of 2013 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Weidman retains belt after Silva breaks leg

Corey Hill. That is what went through my mind as Anderson Silva’s shin was shattered on a Chris Weidman leg check.  Many may recall the lanky TUF competitor breaking his leg on an eerily similar

Leg checks are gruesome as it is and Silva’s kick that broke his leg looked like it was right on Weidman’s knee.

It appeared that Weidman may have knocked out Silva in the first but Silva was able to survive round 1 and even bloodied Weidman.  Although Weidman likely won round 1, the fight was still up in the air before the kick despite folks concluding that Weidman would have won the fight.  Weidman did look much improved from July and solidified his standing as the division’s champ.  It appears that Vitor Belfort may be next.  The question is will it be in Vegas or Brazil?

As for Silva, it’s likely the end to his career.  At 38, Silva has had a successful run and should be financially set for the rest of his life.  We may see him in the UFC in some sort of emeritus role but never again in the Octagon fighting.

UFC_168_event_poster

Rousey armbars Tate to retain title

Ronda Rousey submitted Miesha Tate although the challenger put up a fight and was the crowd favorite throughout.  Rousey refused a Tate handshake at the end which solidified her as the heel.

Tate was a heavy underdog and it seemed that surviving the first round was a victory in itself.  Despite not getting armbarred in the first or second round, Rousey was still dominating the match.  Her Judo was exceptional and one has to wonder why attempt to take Rousey to the ground when Tate scored with shots on her feet.

Rousey has a quick turnaround as she fights Sarah McMann on February 22nd.

Some have speculated that the Rousey-McMann fight was made to coincide with the Winter Olympics.  Both were medalists in the Olympics.  The only problem with this theory was that Rousey and McMann competed in the Summer Olympics.

Browne KOs the Warmaster

Travis Browne used his elbows to KO Josh Barnett in what was a mini-upset.  Browne propels himself to a fight with Fabricio Werdum with the fighter likely getting Cain Velasquez.

Attendance and Gate

As announced at the post-fight press conference, it was the second-highest gate for an MMA event in MGM history with 15,650 for a gate of $6.2 million.

Bonuses

Rousey, Tate and Browne were the recipients of the fight night bonuses.  Instead of the standard $50K each, the UFC upped the bonus to $75K.

FOTN – Rousey-Tate

Sub – Rousey

KO – Browne

As we previously pointed out, Jim Miller should have received the Submission of the Night with his slick setup and eventual arm bar of BJJ Black Belt Fabricio Comoes.

Salaries

The Nevada State Athletic Commission revealed the pay of the top 3 fights on the card (via MMA Junkie).  The rest of the card should be made public later this week.

Chris Weidman received a big pay increase in pay in his first title defense.  He received $200K to show and another $200K for the win for a total of $400K.

Silva received $600K and would have made another $200K if he won.

Rousey made $50K/$50K but with another $150K in bonuses she tallied $250K for the night.  Tate made $28K and another $75K for $103K.

Josh Barnett made $170K and Travis Browne made $56K ($28K/$28K) plus his $75K win bonus for a total of $131K.

Raise in PPV Price

One of the surprises that came before the fight was the $5 bump in price for the last PPV of the year.  UFC 168 was the first at $59.99 (HD) and $49.99 (SD).  White indicated that this would be the only time it would raise its price.  However, there is some confusion as to whether the $59.99 will remain in 2014 as the current prices on the UFC web page list UFC 169 an 170 at $59.99 although there are reports the listed price is a mistake.

There were many promotional commercials leading up to 168 that still promoted the PPV as $54.95 although you were likely made known of the price change when you went to order.

The rise in the price could mean more people went to bars to watch the PPV and maybe more fight parties.

Promotion of the Fight

The UFC went all out for UFC 168 with branding all over the MGM Grand including the key cards, slot machines and gaming felt.  I can attest the UFC has done the gaming felt back in the Tito Ortiz days (circa 2006).  Still, the constant reminders of the fight likely helped out.

ESPN got in on the action as it let Dana White take over its twitter and Instagram accounts on Saturday to hype the fight.  The obvious conflict is that White’s company is featured on ESPN’s newest competitor, Fox Sports 1.  The fact White is allowed to promote on ESPN and that ESPN wants White to promote the UFC infers that MMA is legitimately making strides as a sport that is newsworthy (well, except that ESPN got rid of the over the air version of MMA Live).

UFC used FS1 to promote the fight and showed Weidman-Silva I and also aired “Fighting Words” which was an interesting look at the first fight that included audio of the corners that caught what each said to their fighters.  It also included interviews by both fighters and audio from Jon Jones and Urijah Faber at the fight.  While UFC Primetime has been shut down, this show did a great job in recapping events leading up to the rematch.

The Saturday morning edition of Good Morning America did a spot on Ronda Rousey which is a pretty big even if it was the weekend crew of GMA.

Fight Pass

The UFC held a press conference prior to the fights to announce the UFC’s new digital network, the UFC Fight Pass.  More on this later but the sweetener for UFC fans is that it is giving users 2 months free before it charges your credit card $9.99 per month.

Sponsors

Sears was the newest “big” sponsor to the Octagon.  Maybe a “one off” but I’m sure the UFC hopes that it can bring it in as an official sponsor.  Tapout, MusclePharm, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Cinemax’s “Banshee”, Peter Berg’s movie, “Lone Survivor”, WarGaming.net, MetroPCS and Bud Light with the center.

UltimatePoker.com had the prep point outside the cage and AXS TV had the official weigh-ins.

Harley Davidson ran a promotion for its Project Rushmore motorcycles in which the winner of Weidman-Silva would win a motorcycle.

MetroPCS also had a unique activation for this event where twitter users could obtain a “personalized” digital photograph of Ronda Rousey.

Interesting sponsor of the night:  Autoshopper.com.  It was on a number of fighters including Miesha Tate.

1Law.com, a law firm out of Utah picked the right fighter to sponsor as it was on the front of the shorts of Travis Browne as he KO’d Josh Barnett.  It has sponsored Browne in the past.

Monster (an official UFC sponsor) headphones are going to be around more and more heads in the Octagon so get used to them having them on and not listening to anything.

Nike was noticeably absent from Anderson Silva.  When asked by Ariel Helwani in a pre-fight interview, Silva told him to ask Dana.  White deflected comment but it was clear that Nike did not pay or would not pay the sponsor fee for Silva this time around.  To be clear, Nike still sponsors Silva, it’s just that he was not on Silva’s shorts, shirt or banner.

Rousey was sponsored by the UFC in what looked like signature gear.  She was also sponsored by Xyience.

Tate had a number of sponsors including Autoshopper.com, Venum, Affliction and Training Mask.

Silva did have less sponsors this go round.  He had Wizard, Burger King, computer maker Lenovo and soccer club Corinthians Paulista.

Weidman had an assortment of sponsors including Bad Boy Club, Oak Grove Technologies, American Ethanol, Monster and investment firm InCapital.

Post-UFC 168 Headlines

The new faces of the UFC.  Saturday we saw the two new faces of the UFC in Ronda Rousey and Chris Weidman.  With GSP and Anderson Silva gone within weeks of each other, Weidman should be marketed as the top UFC guy.  Even though Jon Jones has a fair argument here, his last couple of fights have not equated to PPV success.  Weidman took down the GOAT twice and we will see how long he can defend the belt in this division.

Despite being the “heel” against Miesha Tate, Rousey has the “it” factor that draws people to watch her.  She is brash, dominant and that look of determination walking to the ring would have anyone hiding their arms around her.  The question is whether the fame and time obligations may catch up to her.  With her next fight so close to this one and coming off of shooting two movies, we will see if it catches up with her.

Odds and Ends

-The UFC offered closed circuit of the fight at the MGM for $60 per person.  I do not believe the UFC put this PPV in movie theatres.

-There were over 5 million Google searches for Anderson Silva on Saturday night.  Most searchers likely wanted to see an image of his broken leg.

-It was the first time I recall the main event fighters coming out from different sides of the curtain at the weigh-ins.

-Over 14.6K people were on YouTube at the start of the very first fight which bodes well for viewership for the rest of the card.

-Rumors of Brock Lesnar in Vegas during UFC 168 is reminiscent of the two guards that sat in the courtroom that unnerved Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men.”  In other words, the UFC could have just flown Lesnar out to Vegas and create a story that wasn’t there.

-Rousey and Tate are complete opposites and this was most telling in their walkout songs.  Katy Perry (Tate) vs. Joan Jett (Rousey).

-Due to the short fights, there was a lot of downtime and “commercials” and the live fights ended at 9:30pm PT.

-Buried by the main event stories was the second straight impressive win by Michael Johnson on the Prelims.

-Uriah Hall saved his job, while Chris Leben likely heads to retirement.

-Marc Jacobs is selling a Ronda Rousey t-shirt.

-Anyone else notice that the broadcast team kept pumping up the odds including right before the Tate-Rousey fight.  That might not be new, but what was new was that it directed people interested in odds to the UFC web site.

Conclusion

The hype for this fight was the biggest this year and the women co-main event had a lot to do with it.  It may be one of the highest HD PPV buys ever.  There was a lot of mainstream buzz for the fight which not always transfers into PPV purchases. But I think the buzz helped.  Despite the protests about the price increase, it will likely not affect the final PPV buys.  An estimation of around 750K PPV buys should be attainable if not surpassed after all is said and done.

Weidman receives pay bump for UFC168

December 28, 2013

MMA Junkie reports the initial reported payouts for UFC 168 of the main and co-main events this Saturday.  Notably, Chris Weidman is receiving a huge raise in his first defense of his Middleweight crown against Anderson Silva.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the “show” and “win” salaries for UFC 168 which was obtained by MMA Junkie.

Anderson Silva will receive $600K (plus an additional $200K if he wins) in his first fight since dropping the title in July.  Weidman, who received just a base of $24K (and another $24K) for the win gets $200K to show and $200K.

Ronda Rousey will receive $50K plus another $50K if she defeats Miesha Tate.  Tate is scheduled to make $28K and another $28K if she pulls off the upset.

Josh Barnett is slated to receive $170K flat with no win bonus while his opponent, Travis Browne will receive $28K and $28K for a win.

Payout Perspective:

Weidman gets the biggest salary boost as he receives almost an 85% increase in pay from his July base salary.  Perhaps this is a sign of valuing the champions more as we saw Demetrious Johnson’s pay rise dramatically after his win earlier this month.

Rousey’s pay represents a $5K increase from her debut at UFC 157 where she received $45K/$45K.   Silva’s base salary is the same as it was at UFC 162.  Josh Barnett received a $10K bump in pay since his fight in August.

Payouts & bonuses for UFC on Fox 9

December 14, 2013

MMA Junkie reports the fighter payouts for Saturday night’s UFC on Fox 9.  Demetrious Johnson and Urijah Faber topped the $1,082,000 payroll.

Updated_UFC_on_FOX_9

Via MMA Junkie:

Demetrious Johnson: $250,000 (includes $125,000 win bonus)
vs. Joseph Benavidez: $42,000

Urijah Faber: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus)
vs. Michael McDonald: $17,000

Chad Mendes: $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus)
vs. Nick Lentz: $29,000

Joe Lauzon: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
vs. Mac Danzig: $32,000

Ryan LaFlare: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
vs. Court McGee: $20,000

Edson Barboza: $52,000 (includes $26,000 win bonus)
vs. Danny Castillo: $31,000

Bobby Green: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
vs. Pat Healy: $25,000

Zach Makovsky: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
vs. Scott Jorgensen: $26,000

Sam Stout: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
vs. Cody McKenzie: $12,000

Abel Trujillo: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
vs. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Alptekin Ozkilic: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
vs. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

In addition, bonuses were announced at the post-fight press conference and were as follows:

Fight of the Night:  Edson Barboza-Danny Castillo

KO of the Night:  Mighty Mouse

Submission of the Night:  Faber

Each received $50,000 (via MMA Junkie)

Payout Perspective:

Huge raise for Mighty Mouse (and well-deserved) as his last reported payout was $29K/$29K at UFC on Fox 8.  He now is $125K/$125K.  He also received the $50K KO of the night bonus for a total reported takeaway of $300K.  Faber also received a pay raise as he previously made $60K/$60K at UFC Fight Night 26 and now makes $100K/$100K.  Faber also benefited with the bonus tonight getting the Submission of the Night.  Thus, total earnings for Faber of $250K for Saturday.

TUF 18 salaries: Losers make more than winners

December 2, 2013

MMA Junkie reports the TUF 18 salaries from Saturday night.  Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz were the top earners in a payroll of only $312,000 disclosed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Via MMA Junkie:

Nate Diaz: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Gray Maynard: $45,000

Julianna Pena: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Jessica Rakoczy: $8,000

Chris Holdsworth: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Davey Grant: $8,000

Jessamyn Duke: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Peggy Morgan: $8,000

Raquel Pennington: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Roxanne Modafferi: $8,000

Akira Corassani: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Maximo Blanco: $17,000

Tom Niinimaki: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Rani Yahya: $20,000

Jared Rosholt: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Walter Harris: $8,000

Sean Spencer: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Drew Dober: $8,000

Josh Sampo: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ryan Benoit: $8,000

Payout Perspective:

It turns out  that Ryan Benoit was the top earner of the night with $108,000.  He received Josh Sampo’s FOTN bonus due to Sampo missing weight.  A lot of $8K/$8K contracts here with Diaz’s $30K being the top winning payout.  Interesting to see that Maynard made 3x more than Diaz’s base ($45K v. $15K).  Diaz made $50K flat at UFC on Fox 5 last December but now is only making $15K to show.

Payout Perspective: Pacquiao-Rios

November 25, 2013

Welcome to a special edition of Payout Perspective where we take a look at the return of Manny Pacquiao as he took on Brandon Rios at the Venetian Hotel on the island of Macau off the coast of China.

Pacquiao outclasses Rios

As many had expected, the speed of Manny Pacquiao was too much for Bam Bam. While the threat of the one punch KO was there, the movement and angles of Pacquiao muted any thought of a left hook from Rios.

Let’s pump the brakes on any talk of Floyd Mayweather. First, there’s the Top Rank/Golden Boy-HBO/Showtime schism which would prevent any such fight from happening  Pacquiao looked impressive and it appears that the 11 months away has helped.  Rios is a dangerous fighter but nowhere near the skill level of a Mayweather.  However, a Timothy Bradley fight seems the most logical and reasonable next fight for Pacquiao.

Bradley’s career has ascended since he won that controversial fight over Pacquiao in June 2012.  Most recently, he dispatched of Pacquiao’s arch-nemesis, Juan Manuel Marquez.  Thus, promoting this fight should not be too hard considering this would be a rematch of a controversial decision.  With his post-Pacquiao fights, Bradley has proven that he belongs in the upper tier of boxing.  A return match against Pacquiao could serve as “passing the torch” to Top Rank’s next superstar or will serve as another reason for all parties to wait out Floyd’s Showtime contract.

10-the-clash-in-cotai

Zou Shiming Shines

In terms of importance of a boxer winning Saturday, Shiming was a close second behind Pacquiao.  The reason for this is the overarching theme of tapping the Chinese market.  Shiming has the amateur credentials but has not really showed whether he could be a star as a pro.  He dominated his 6 round fight over Juan Tozcana in which the announcing crew questioned whether the fight should have been stopped.

If Shiming could show continued improvement, he has a built in audience and could ascend quickly.  Of course, at 32 years of age, the plan is for him to ascend quickly.

Attendance

Attendance at the Venetian Hotel in Macau where the event was held was a sellout of 13,200.  No gate figures yet although front row seats were selling for three times the amount that it usually would in Vegas.

In comparison, Pacquiao’s last fight in December 2012 against Marquez had an attendance of 15,430 for a gate of $10.8 million.  However, based on the front row seats going for three times what they do in Vegas, we can see a comparable gate here.

Paydays

Manny Pacquiao will receive a guaranteed $18 million with the potential for $30 million and does not have to pay the 39.6% U.S. tax since the fight did not happen in the states.  Rios, however, will receive $4 million but will need to pay Uncle Sam because he’s a U.S. citizen.

Pre-Fight Promotion

The incident in the gym between Freddie Roach, Robert Garcia and Alex Ariza provided some “propaganda” for the fight.  Was the dustup manufactured?  It received press and drew some emotions but looked bad for both camps. But, we all can assume the Roach-Ariza bad blood is genuine based on how Pacquiao’s team dispatched of Ariza and he was picked up by Rios.

The 24/7 series was well-done as always.  It seems hard to come up with angles to cover Pacquiao each series although the typhoon and the aforementioned ill-will between camps provided some topics.  We also learned that Rios curses a lot.

Sponsorships

The ring sponsors included Smart Communications, a Philippines mobile phone and internet carrier, the movie “Grudge Match” starring DeNiro and Stallone and Tecate. Tecate ran its usual promotion of offering rebates with a purchase of its product.  What was not present was the usual run up for a Pacquiao fight in the states which usual includes in-store promotions and sponsor activation.

Rios wore a Sigue Corporation shirt at weigh-ins. Sigue is a money transfer company specializing in US-Mexico transaction.

As always, Nike sponsored Pacquiao however this article by footwear blog Sole Collector details the little buzz from the swoosh over the Macau fight.  In fact, the online Nike store only has one shirt (from last year) from Pacquiao on sale.  This from a company that rolled out shirts, sweats and shoes for the boxer before past fights. This time, it seemed like the brand was in a “wait and see” mode.  Of course, it also could be due to Pacquiao’s newfound faith in which media outlets have interpreted (or misinterpreted dependent on how you view it) Pacquiao’s stance against gay marriage. Nike supports gay marriage. There were also the comments made by UFC president Dana White claiming the Beaverton, Oregon Company had dropped Pacquiao.

Odds and Ends

As predicted, the price point for Pacquiao in HD was $70.

Due to the time difference, the fight actually took place around lunchtime local time on Sunday which made fight day customs a little skewed.

NY Times writer Greg Bishop had a great piece preceding the fight correlating Pacquiao’s in-ring downturn with the rejuvenation of his religious faith and commitment to his wife.  There is something to be said for the lack of perceived hunger in Pacquiao if you were to compare him now as opposed to pre-Oscar de la Hoya.  Pacquiao was young and reckless socially which mirrored his fighting style.  The style in the ring amounted to interest and success, the style outside of the ring nearly cost him his marriage. After “returning to form” on Saturday, can we say that Pacquiao is born again boxing-wise?

Bishop also wrote an informative article on the logistical obstacles HBO and Top Rank faced in producing a PPV abroad.  This included bringing 300 cases of equipment by air and water to the location.

There were some that thought that the Carl Froch-George Graves fight should have been picked up by HBO to use as an appetizer for the fight later that night.  It would have been nice but would have run the risk of being “UFC”-like in having too much boxing on in one day.

Conclusion

Despite the lack of buzz and usual American “over the top” promotion, “The Clash in Cotai” had a purpose.  First, it was to reintroduce the world to Manny Pacquiao. The statement was that he was back to his “old” self.  More importantly, it was an opportunity to enter the fertile Macau market with its casinos bringing in $38 billion in 2012  and likely more this year.  Bob Arum would like to open up this region as a way to leverage it against Vegas as an option to hold a fight here.  Certainly, it would benefit Pacquiao as its closer to home and he saves on paying U.S. taxes if his fights are held outside of the U.S.  That being said, the costs for HBO/Top Rank to hold a show outside of the U.S. along with Pacquiao’s hefty payout may be something it needs to consider before committing time, money and resources to another fight in Macau.

For its first time holding a PPV overseas,  it’s likely that Pacquiao’s return will grab at least 850,000-950,000 buys.

Pacquiao could make $30M Saturday in HBO PPV first event overseas

November 23, 2013

The NY Times reports that Manny Pacquiao could earn close to $30 million on Saturday night when he fights Brandon Rios in his return to the ring.  The article also addresses the many obstacles on putting on a PPV abroad.

Pacquiao is guaranteed $18 million with “an upside closer to $30 million.”  More important is that unlike his U.S. fights, he will not have to pay U.S. taxes.  Pacquiao would have been taxed in the highest U.S. tax bracket (39.6 percent).

The scheduling is the biggest change from American events as the fight will take place Sunday around noon.  Thus, the fighters will have to change their usual customs on fight day.

HBO “shipped in 300 cases of equipment.”  This included even makeup for on-air talent in the event they could not get it locally.  Instead of the regular 100 employees used for fight night, 40 employees were flown in to deal with logistics of engineering and production.

Payout Perspective:

Pacquiao’s salary pales in comparison to Floyd Mayweather’s payout of over $40 million in his last fight with Canelo Alvarez.  Still, Pacquiao will not have to pay taxes on almost 40 percent of his earnings.  With all of the investment HBO is doing for this PPV the payoff is the potential future it may have in China.  Chinese boxer Zou Shiming who main evented Top Rank’s rehearsal in the area with two fights this year will be on the undercard and will likely grab almost as much fanfare as Pacquiao.  If the card does well, it will provide an alternative that Bob Arum can use as leverage in the future.  Certainly if Pacquiao wins, his next fight may be closer to home.

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