UFC Fight Night 95 attendance and bonuses

September 25, 2016

MMA Junkie reports the attendance and bonuses from Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 95 which aired on FS1.

The event drew 8,841 at the Nilson Nelson Gymnasium in Brasilia, Brazil.

In addition, the bonuses went to Eric Spicely, Vincente Luque, Erick Silva and Luan Chagas.  Spicely and Luque drew the performance bonuses while Silva and Chagas drew Fight of the Night.  Each earned $50,000 each.

The numbers were announced by a UFC official.

Payout Perspective:

Notably, the attendance was about the same as UFC Fight Night 51 which drew 8,822 and was held in the same venue.  At that time, it was reported that there were 1,173 comped tickets.  A slight improvement in attendance from the last event although no gate announced, as usual, for a Brazil event.

TUF 24 Episode 4 draws 397,000 viewers

September 22, 2016

The Ultimate Fighter 24 episode 4 drew 397,000 viewers on FS1 Wednesday night per Sports TV Ratings.

The episode scored 204,000 viewers in the 18-49 demo per Sports TV Ratings.  In the fight of the show, Eric Shelton submitted Yoni Sherbatov.

episode-4

A replay of episode 4 on the same night (10pm-11pm PT) drew 32,000 viewers (17,000 A18-49) on FS1.  A replay of last week’s episode 3 which aired prior to the first-run episode 4 drew 89,000 viewers on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

This season’s episode 4 did better than last season’s episode 4 (336,000 viewers).  However, it is down from last fall’s TUF 22’s episode 4 which drew 538,000 viewers.  Notably, TUF went up against the San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers game on ESPN.

Bellator 161 peaks at 966,000 viewers

September 21, 2016

Bellator 161 peaked with 966,000 viewers on Friday per Nielsen.  The adjusted viewership with DVR +3 ratings brought the event up to 758,000 viewers.

The Spike telecast was the #3 live sporting event on cable on Friday behind college football.

The event featured Cheick Kongo and Tony Johnson with Kongo taking the victory.

The event drew 686,000 viewers on Spike TV in live plus same day viewership.  The DVR+3 ratings represents a 10% increase over the live numbers.  The numbers are slightly down from last month’s Bellator show.

Nevada Athletic Commission files complaints against Diaz, McGregor

September 21, 2016

MMA Junkie has obtained the NSAC complaints against Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor as it relates to the dustup between the two and Diaz’s camp at the UFC 203 pre-fight press conference.

As you may recall, the press conference ended abruptly after McGregor showed up late and Diaz left soon thereafter.  Verbal exchanges were made and water bottles were thrown.  The NSAC has filed complaints against the two.

The complaints, which mirror one another, cite NAC 467.885 which governs discipline for licensed fighters within the state.  It also cites NRS 467.158 which gives the commission the power to penalize a licensed fighter up to $250,000 for “disciplinary action [that] does not relate to a contest or exhibition of unarmed combat…”  Since this was a press conference, the commission would use this rule to govern the altercation.  It also cites NRS 467.110 which allows the commission to suspend or revoke the license of a fighter.

Payout Perspective:

Look for these two complaints to be settled and/or a stiff fine for both Diaz and McGregor.  Do not look for a suspension of any kind.  In reality, the commission will not want to suspend either fighter unless its known they will not fight in the state for the next 6 months or so.  While there is a need to penalize the two, it’s clear that the commission will not want to harm itself by suspending two of the top grossing fighters for the UFC.

UFC Fight Night 94 draws 826,000, Prelims 637,000

September 20, 2016

UFC Fight Night 94 held on Saturday night drew 826,000 for the main card on FS1 according to Sports TV Ratings.  The prelims drew 637,000 viewers and the post-coverage drew another 280,000 viewers.

The prelims were delayed slightly due to an overrun from an extra innings baseball game on FS1.

The main card peaked at 905,000 viewers between 11:30pm-11:45pm ET according to Nielsen.

The main card drew 439,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo and the prelims drew 334,000 viewers in the demo.  The post-fight show garnered 137,000 in the demo.

The main card featured Michael Johnson taking on Dustin Poirier.  Johnson scored a KO victory in the first round.

UFC Fight Night 2016
Main Card Prelims
UFC Fight Night 81 2,288,000 1,767,000
UFC Fight Night 82 1,300,000 1,093,000
UFC Fight Night 83 983,000 829,000
UFC Fight Night 85 1,149,000 766,000
UFC Fight Night 86 781,000 443,000
UFC Fight Night 87 656,000 494,000
UFC Fight Night 88 757,000 469,000
UFC Fight Night 89 964,000 369,000
UFC Fight Night 91 609,000 311,000
UFC Fight Night 92 863,000 662,000

Payout Perspective:

College Football ruled the night as it usually does during the fall.  There was also the PPV event with Canelo Alvarez on during the night as well.  The ratings for these types of events are pretty good considering the abundance of other things you can do on a Saturday night.

AXS TV ANNOUNCES LONG-TERM AGREEMENT WITH LEGACY FIGHTING ALLIANCE AS PART OF EXPANDED MMA LINEUP

September 20, 2016

Los Angeles – Monday, Sept. 19, 2016 – AXS TV FIGHTS and the LEGACY FIGHTING ALLIANCE (LFA) today announced an exclusive, long-term broadcasting agreement. The multi-year pact will see AXS TV FIGHTS broadcast 30 live LFA events in 2017.

The newly formed LFA is the result of a merger between Legacy Fighting Championship and Resurrection Fighting Alliance, both of which rose to national prominence on AXS TV FIGHTS. The merger and new broadcast agreement now set the stage for the LFA and AXS TV FIGHTS to expand on their reputations as the proving ground for the next generation of MMA stars, as evidenced by their heralded pasts where the promotions have combined to place over 100 fighters in the UFC and Bellator.

Based on the strength of talent within the combined organization and LFA’s 30 fight schedule, AXS TV FIGHTS will expand its 2017 lineup to 45 live events—its largest ever, extend its live broadcast window to three hours, and kick off its Friday night broadcasts an hour earlier at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. “The Voice” Michael Schiavello and UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich will be joined by veteran reporter Ron Kruck to form combat sports’ best broadcast team.

“AXS TV is proud to broadcast the LFA to help create MMA’s premier developmental league,” said Mark Cuban, founder and CEO of AXS TV. “AXS TV FIGHTS’ expanded 2017 lineup builds on AXS TV’s 13-year, 336-fight legacy as ‘Your Home for MMA’ with more live mixed martial arts and kickboxing events than any other TV network.”

To accommodate its increased commitment to live MMA events, AXS TV concurrently announced that INSIDE MMA will conclude its historic run on Sept. 30, 2016 when it broadcasts its 433rd and final episode. On the finale, Mauro Ranallo, Bas Rutten and Ron Kruck will be joined by original host Kenny Rice to celebrate and take a look back at the show’s achievements and memorable moments as television’s longest running and only independent MMA news series.

The pioneering program, INSIDE MMA, debuted on Sept. 14, 2007 as the first and only television series devoted to the burgeoning sport of MMA. In the 10 seasons that followed, INSIDE MMA documented the meteoric rise of MMA from a fringe sport fighting for mainstream acceptance to becoming the fastest growing sport in the world.

“INSIDE MMA blazed the trail for mainstream media’s acceptance of MMA,” said Cuban. “Bas, Kenny and Ron were there from the start, introducing the sport and its stars to a national television audience when other networks and newspapers were too afraid and out of touch to recognize its appeal.”axs-tv

UFC 203 PPV buys estimated between 425K-475K

September 19, 2016

MMA Fighting reports that UFC 203 early projections have it between 425,000-475,000 PPV buys.  The numbers would make it the best UFC PPV not featuring Conor McGregor or UFC 200 which brings up the question of whether the CM Punk experiment helped boost the buy rate.

The event’s main event featured Stipe Miocic defending his UFC heavyweight title in his hometown against Alistair Overeem.  But most people were intrigued by CM Punk’s debut against Mickey Gall.

Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting opined that Punk probably brought in an additional 125,000-225,000 extra buys or between $3.75 million and $6.75 million.  This estimate is based on UFC 198’s PPV buy rate which registered slightly under 300,000 PPV buys.

Maybe not a good comparison, but UFC 118 which featured James Toney taking on Randy Couture drew 535,000 PPV buys.  Of course, that event featured Penn-Edgar II at a time that The Prodigy was still a very popular fighter.

Payout Perspective:

One must conclude that the uniqueness of CM Punk’s debut attributed to the buy rate.  While Miocic-Overeem is a good match-up for most hardcore MMA fans, the casual viewer was likely intrigued by the Punk debut.  Does this mean Punk should come back or was this just a one-hit wonder?  We now know Punk’s skills and I would suggest that most casual fans would now pass on Punk’s second fight.  But, the Punk experiment does seem to have paid off for the UFC.

Iaquinta off of UFC 205 due to dispute over pay

September 19, 2016

Al Iaquinta is off of the UFC 205 card in New York due to a dispute over fighter pay according to FoxSports.com.

Iaquinta (7-2 in the UFC) was going to make $26,000 to show and the potential to double that with a win.  In addition, he would receive $5,000 as part of the Reebok deal.  Thus, without any unknown locker room bonuses, he would have made a low of $31,000 and a high of $59,000.  According to the FoxSports.com report, the UFC has deemed him not eligible to receive a post-fight bonus due to infractions which included missing a fighter summit last year.

Iaquinta was scheduled to face Thiago Alves in the organization’s debut in New York.  The native New Yorker decided to turn down his “dream fight” because of a contract dispute.  According to Iaquinta, he signed a four-fight deal with the UFC prior to the Reebok deal.  He stated that he made more from one sponsor in his previous fights than the $5,000 (the amount he would receive based on the number of fights with the company) he would make in his next fight.

Iaquinta has been out of action for over a year due to a knee injury.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Iaquinta stated that he is a real estate agent out of the Octagon.  He also stated that he never signed the bout agreement as he would likely be fighting for free after paying taxes and his team.  Iaquinta did not have nice things to say about Joe Silva who apparently was angered at Iaquinta for backing out of the bout due to money demands.  Iaquinta learned of Silva’s comments through his manager.

Payout Perspective:

Iaquinta has a legitimate issue with fighter pay but since he signed the contract with the company there’s not much he can do.  If there’s anything that can be learned from this situation, it would be for fighters to learn about their worth and market value.  Realistically, Iaquinta may have discovered that his worth is $26K and $26K.  But, he could have made more in Bellator.  This situation is another argument for a fighter association or union to assist lower-to-mid-level fighters.

Bellator 161 draws 686,000 viewers

September 19, 2016

Bellator 161 drew an average rating of 686,000 viewers on Friday night on Spike TV per Sports TV Ratings.  The event ratings represent a slight decrease from last month’s event.

The event which featured Cheick Kongo taking on Tony Johnson drew 330,000 viewers in the adult 18-49 demo.  Kongo earned the majority decision over Johnson.

bellator-through-160

Payout Perspective:

The 2016 average is 736,500 but if you take away the huge tentpole event of 149, it is 642,000.  College Football on Friday night was the big sports event on cable with a game between Baylor-Rice drawing 1.454M viewers on ESPN.  The viewership looks to be on par with what it has been throughout this year.

More details on PFA intent to set up UFC union

September 18, 2016

Jack Encarnacao of the Boston Herald writes about Jeff Boris and his quest for his Professional Fighters Association (PFA) to establish a union for UFC fighters.  In an interview with Boris, he explained more details for his plan for the company.

In the article, Borris states that the PFA will seek to have an executive board of fighter representatives for each weight class and an agent advisory board.  The agent board would be comprised of those that represent a significant amount of fighters for the organization.

Borris states that he hopes to unionize fighters in the next 6 months but it may take up to a year to obtain the requisite number of fighters to command a vote to unionize or for the UFC to recognize the fighter union.

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see whether the PFA can get enough fighters (30% of contracted fighters) on board to sign union solicitation cards.  The intent to set up fighter representative boards is interesting and we will see if and when this might occur how much influence agents and/or other fighters have in the selection to these type of boards.

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