UFC Fight Night 123 attendance, gate and bonuses

December 10, 2017

UFC Fight Night 123 drew 7,605 fans for a gate of $528,290.  Brian Ortega was the star of the night earning two bonuses for his main event submission over Cub Swanson.

Ortega and Swanson received a bonus for Fight of the Night.  Ortega received another for his submission victory in round 2.  Marlon Moraes drew the other $50,000 bonus of the night for his devastating knee of Aljamain Sterling.

The first UFC event from Fresno drew 7,605 fans at the SaveMart Center.  The reported gate, according to UFC officials, was 568,290.

Payout Perspective:

The SaveMart Center was far from a sellout as the capacity for boxing/wrestling events is 16,182.  But, with the Fight Night event, these are the types of attendances to expect.  Notably, the attendance is the same as UFC Fight Night 112 from Oklahoma earlier this year.  The UFC may have found another fighter to put into the mix for Max Holloway’s title as Brian Ortega put on another great performance.

Pacquiao courts McGregor for possible April boxing match

December 8, 2017

Manny Pacquiao has reached out to Conor McGregor for a potential boxing match in April 2018.  Pacquiao has not fought since July when he was upset by welterweight Jeff Horn.

McGregor is one of several opponents Pacquiao is considering but it is the biggest name and probably the biggest payday.

Pacquiao was scheduled for a rematch with Horn in November of this year but the fight was called off after the Filipino fighter’s duty’s as a politician conflicted with the anticipated fight date.  Horn is scheduled to fight Gary Corcoran on December 13th in Brisbane to defend his WBO World Welterweight title which he won from Pacquiao.

McGregor was stopped in a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather this past August.  It was the biggest PPV of all time for combat stops and commanded one of the richest paydays for both Mayweather and McGregor.

Although Pacquiao has reached out, there are no details or formal discussions of an actual fight being set up.

Payout Perspective:

It’s ironic to say that this fight may be a “money grab” for Pacquiao.  The former number 1 boxer in the world is on the downside of his career and may be looking for a couple big paydays before he retires.  For McGregor, he is seeking more money from wherever it may come: boxing or MMA.  A matchup with Pacquiao might give him a fight in Croke Park.  Pacquiao traveled to Australia to fight Horn in front of his home fans and it would make sense that if both parties wanted to fight, McGregor would have more leverage in these negotiations based on the money he was able to draw versus Mayweather.

In all honesty, it’s sad to see Pacquiao hanging on for paydays like this.  But from a business perspective, it would bring the most money for the fighter at this point in his career.

GSP vacates Middleweight title allowing Whittaker-Rockhold fight for title

December 7, 2017

Georges St Pierre has stepped aside and relinquished the UFC middleweight title after winning it last month in New York.  The UFC announced the news in conjunction with the main event set for UFC 221 in Perth, Australia between Robert Whittaker and Luke Rockhold this February.

GSP becomes the first UFC fighter to vacate two UFC titles.  He gave up the welterweight belt after he took a leave of absence from the company following his fight against Johny Hendricks in November 2013.

Whittaker earned the interim title in July when he defeated Yoel Romero in the main event of UFC 213.  Rockhold, a former title holder, dropped the belt to Michael Bisping in June 2016.  He returned to the Octagon in September 2017 and defeated David Branch.

Payout Perspective:

The optics of GSP decision does not look good for either the UFC or St Pierre although its best for business.  The Bisping fight served as nothing more as a handpicked fight for GSP to “ease” back into the UFC without the need to cut down to 170 in his first fight back.  But, with winning the belt, he saw no easy road in defending the belt with the likes of Whittaker, Rockhold, Romero and Weidman waiting for a title shot.  With the UFC lobbying against the Ali Act Expansion, this matchmaking is what proponents of the bill are seeking to stop.  A fight made without care for the rankings.  There’s no real reason for making GSP-Bisping aside from GSP wanting the fight and the UFC needing a huge draw to attract PPV ratings for its New York event.

With its debut in Perth, the company gets a very good main event with the local fighter Whittaker taking on the former champ.

Rousey to test WWE waters?

December 6, 2017

According to MMA Junkie, it appears that Ronda Rousey’s next appearance will be in the WWE as the former UFC star is taking her talents to the pro wrestling ring.

Rousey has made an appearance at a Wrestlemania and admits to being a big wrestling fan.  Her friend, Shayna Baszler, is already a pro wrestler and recently signed with the company.  Rousey made an appearance at an NXT event earlier this year.  It is reported that she has been training at the WWE Performance Center in Florida.

Her longtime friend, Gene LeBell said that she may make occasional wrestling appearances as opposed to being on the full-time roster.  When Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE from his first stint with the UFC, he was on a part-time schedule which the company seems to accommodate for bigger stars.  Although Rousey is not a pro wrestling star, she certainly would be the type of personality that would command big money and star accommodations.

Payout Perspective:

Although nothing is confirmed, this move seems likely and the most sensible for Rousey if she still wanted to be involved in “combat sports.”  While she has tried out acting, she could utilize her MMA/Judo and entertainment background in pro wrestling while making good (and likely better) money.

Court allows discovery to continue in part in Mark Hunt lawsuit

December 6, 2017

The Court in the Mark Hunt lawsuit has ordered that discover to continue with respect to all claims except for his RICO claims in his First Amended Complaint until the determination of the Motion to Dismiss filed by Zuffa/Dana White and Brock Lesnar.

The 3-page ruling indicated that discovery (requests for documents and answering of questions) related to Hunt’s RICO claims against the UFC and White.  However, the other claims including breach of contract and battery (for Brock Lesnar) may proceed forward.

Order on Motion to Stay Discovery in part in Hunt case by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

The Court notes the changes made from the original Complaint from the First Amended Complaint including changes in the breach of contract claim and the battery claim.  According to the case law cited by the Court, it may stay discovery from a “preliminary peek,” initially a cursory scan of the Motion to Dismiss to determine whether it might win on the merits and dismiss the need for discovery.

The Court was not convinced from its “preliminary peek” at the motion to dismiss that it will certainly be granted for all claims.

Payout Perspective:

If you think the peek is awkward because it provides foresight into a potential outcome of the actual motion, you are not alone.  However, this is the legal authority that is followed.  A minor win for Hunt as this might precipitate a settlement between the parties so that the UFC will not have to spend money on discovery.  Yet, the Court may decide the Motion to Dismiss at any point.  One might suspect that since the Order was issued for the stay in December for a motion to stay that took place in July, it may take more time for the Court to decide the Motion to Dismiss.

Cotto retirement fight scores 944K on HBO

December 5, 2017

Miguel Cotto’s retirement fight against Sadam Ali drew 944,000 viewers on HBO Saturday night according to Nielsen.  The fight peaked with over 1 million viewers as fans saw Ali score a major upset over Cotto in his final fight.

Via ShowBuzz Daily, the fight drew 0.34 in the Adult 18-49 demo and 0.42 in Males 18-49 during the 12-round fight.  The fight peaked at 1,012,000 viewers.

The other fight of the telecast saw Ray Vargas defeat Oscar Negrete.  The win for Vargas drew 697,000 viewers and 0.23 in the Adult 18-49 demo.  It peaked with 697,000 viewers watching the fight.

Payout Perspective:

Only Terrence Crawford’s win over Felix Diaz this past May did better in peak viewership than Cotto’s last fight.  It was a very entertaining bout despite the feeling that Cotto would outclass his opponent.  The event went up against the UFC 218 PPV and viewership was fairly high which may mean that boxing fans tuned in due to it being Cotto’s last fight.

UFC 218 Prelims draw 694,000 viewers on FS1

December 5, 2017

The UFC 218 Prelims drew 694,000 viewers Saturday night on FS1 according to Nielsen.

According to ShowBuzz Daily, it drew 0.26 in A18-49 demo.  The event fetured Charles Oliviera and Paul Felder.  The Irish Dragon defeated DoBronx via tap to strikes.

The event also featured one of the fights of the year as Yancy Medeiros scored an upset victory over Cowboy Alex Oliveira.

UFC 218 took place at Little Caesar’s Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

Payout Perspective:

The Prelims rating is a usual indicator of how the PPV will do and based on this outcome, we might expect something in the mid-150s.  The PPV Prelims did air against College Football Championship Saturday with the Big 10 and ACC Championship games on the same time.  The good news for the UFC is that last December’s PPV later replayed on Fox on Christmas Eve and scored surprisingly good ratings.  This was a good PPV card and if you throw in Cowboy-Yancy, it could do well on Fox again.

Bellator 189 draws 439,000 viewers on Spike

December 4, 2017

Bellator 189 drew 439,000 viewers on Spike TV Friday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.

The event featured Julia Budd defending her Featherweight championship against Arlene Blencowe.  It was Budd’s first title defense as she defeated Blencowe for the second time.

The event took place in Thackerville, Oklahoma.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC edged out Bellator on Friday night with its TUF Finale.  Bellator ratings were down slightly from last week’s event in Israel.  The event did not draw as much interest as the UFC which might be due in part to the TUF season and the lack of promotion for the Bellator event.  This is the 6th event this year which has drawn less than 500,000 viewers.

 

TUF 26 Finale draws 501,000 on FS1; Prelims draw 361,000

December 4, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter 26 drew 501,000 viewers on FS1 Friday night.  The prelims which preceded the event drew 361,000 viewers.

The TUF 26 pre-fight show drew 148,000 at 7pm ET on FS1.  The one-hour precursor to the fights drew 0.06 in the A18-49 demo.  The prelims drew 0.12 in the A18-49 demo starting at 8pm ET.  The main card drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo starting at 10pm ET.

The main card featured Nicco Monsanto and Roxanne Modafferi fight for the inaugural women’s Flyweight title.  Monsanto earned the victory.

In the final bout of the prelims, Montana De La Rosa defeated Christina Marks.

Payout Perspective:

On a night when it went up against Bellator and the Pac 12 College Football Championship game on ESPN, TUF 26’s main card fared well.  Notably, Bellator drew just 439,000 viewers in the 9pm ET time slot.  The A18-49 demo increased steadily throughout the night and so did the viewership.  Friday’s ratings pales in comparison to last December TUF 24 which featured Demetrious Johnson defending his title against Tim Elliott.  The event drew over 1 million viewers.  This year did not feature a top name like Mighty Mouse and thus did not do as well.

Flyweight title fight draw top salaries for TUF 26 Finale

December 4, 2017

The TUF 26 Finale finalists earned $100,000 for their efforts Friday night.  Nicco Monsanto and Roxanne Modaferri earned $100,000 each.

Monsanto, the inaugural 125-pound women’s champion, did not earn a win bonus for her victory.

Via MMA Junkie:

Nicco Montano: $100,000 (no win bonus)
def. Roxanne Modafferi: $100,000

Sean O’Malley: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Terrion Ware: $10,000

Lauren Murphy: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Barb Honchak: $10,000

Gerald Meerschaert: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Eric Spicely: $14,000

DeAnna Bennett: $10,000*
vs. Melinda Fabian: $10,000*

Brett Johns: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Soto: $31,000

Montana De La Rosa: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Christina Marks: $10,000

Ryan Janes: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Andrew Sanchez: $28,000

Rachael Ostovich: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Karine Gevorgyan: $10,000

Shana Dobson: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Ariel Beck: $10,000

Gillian Robertson: $20,000 (includes $ win bonus)
def. Emily Whitmire: $10,000

Bennett and Fabian’s fight resulted in a draw.

Payout Perspective:

The $100K salaries for the finalists is much more than the $30K ($15K win/$15K show) purse for TUF 25 winner Jesse Taylor and runner-up Dhiego Lima ($15K).  TUF 24 challenger Tim Elliott received $100K for his chance to challenge Demetrious Johnson.  Thus, it appears that $100K is the threshold pay for a title fight for the TUF series.

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