Invicta FC’s Lee tests positive for diuretic

April 2, 2016

MMA Fighting reports that Invicita FC flyweight Andrea Lee has tested positive for a banned diuretic and has been temporarily suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

The suspension relates to a March 11th event in Las Vegas.  A urine test came back positive for the substance canrenone and or spironolactone.  Lee told her followers via social media.

Lee admitted to taking a “fluid pill.”

No date was announced for a hearing that would take place before the NAC.  Invicta issued its own statement which indicated it informs its athletes about “policies and expectations in regard to conduct” which includes the prohibition of banned substances.

Payout Perspective:

With the new NAC guidelines set in place last spring, a first-time offense for a positive finding of diuretics is a two-year suspension and a fine of up to 40 percent of Lee’s purse.  Lee made just $3,000 (reported by the NAC).  This type of penalty can be damaging for one’s career.  Lee is 27 and would be out of action for 2 years.  It might also force Invicta to hold her out of the promotion as well despite the fact her suspension would be with Nevada.

“The Happy Warrior” tops Invicta FC 16 salaries

March 15, 2016

MMA Fighting reports the salaries from last week’s Invicta FC event from Las Vegas.  Former TUF contestant and UFC competitor Roxanne Modafferi topped the salaries for the night with $13,000.

The salary information was obtained from the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Via MMA Fighting:

Ayaka Hamasaki ($6,000 + $6,000 = $12,000) def. Amber Brown ($5,000)
Jennifer Maia ($4,000 + $4,000 = $8,000) def. Vanessa Porto ($8,000)
Angela Hill ($6,000 + $6,000 = $12,000) def. Stephanie Eggink ($3,500)
Irene Aldana ($5,000 + $5,000 = $10,000) def. Jessamyn Duke ($10,000)
Roxanne Modafferi ($6,500 + $6,500 = $13,000) def. DeAnna Bennett ($5,000)
Jinh Yu Frey ($1,750 + $1,750 = $3,500) def. Herica Tiburcio ($3,500)
Sarah D’Alelio ($4,000 + $4,000 = $8,000) def. Andrea Lee ($3,000)
Aspen Ladd ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000)def. Kelly McGill ($2,000)
Ashley Greenway ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Sarah Click ($1,000)

The salaries exclude any “locker room bonuses” and sponsor paymnets.

Payout Perspective:

It’s obvious that the payouts are much less than that of the UFC women’s division.  Invicta FC is the quasi-feeder league for the UFC women’s division and the event featured several former UFC veterans.  Modafferi, Duke and Hill are among the UFC veterans were among the top paid fighters.

Fight Pass to undergo future growth

September 8, 2015

UFC Fight Pass is making moves as recently hired Eric Winter is seeking for expansive growth in the coming months.  In a couple recent interviews he has provided some insight into the future of the digital platform.

MMA Fighting reports that Winter foresees more original content as well as the eventual hope of holding weekly live cards on the over the top platform.  In addition, Winter stated that Fight Pass will go under a technology update which will include an updated search functionality.  He also indicated the signing of more organization as content partners.  Currently, InvictaFC and TitanFC have deals with Zuffa for live streaming of its fights on UFC Fight Pass.

Winter who came over from Yahoo to be the new Senior Vice President and General Manager for UFC Fight Pass plans big things for the digital platform.

In an interview with, Winter and Chief Content Officer Marshall Zelaznik talked about Fight Pass and its future.  Although they were asked, they did not reveal the number of subscribers.  They did infer that subscriptions were exceeding expectations.

In the interview, Winter and Zelaznik stated that they do not see Fight Pass following the lead of the WWE Network (i.e., no PPVs on Fight Pass).  They emphasized the company’s commitment to its PPV distributing partners.

They also inferred that virtual reality would be a part of the future on UFC Fight Pass as well as more original content.  They said to be toiling with Google Cardboard for virtual reality.

Payout Perspective:

Some interesting takeaways from the MMA Fighting and interviews.  The first is that the UFC is not going to move away from its PPV model anytime soon.  Unlike the WWE, the UFC’s business model is predicated on PPVs and it sounds like the company has no plans to change course (like the WWE) when it comes to PPV.  As for the future of Fight Pass, content is king and the challenge Winter seems to have is how to engage its core demo to subscribe when there is so much UFC on television.  The original content should help as well as the live fights.  But, with the fickleness of the demo and cord cutters, the challenge will be having fans pay $10 per month.

Cyborg tops latest InvictaFC payouts

March 6, 2015

For those that may have missed it, Invicta FC announced the payouts for its event last Friday in Los Angeles.  As expected, Cris “Cyborg” Justino was the clear money winner hear making $90,000.

The California State Athletic Commission  revealed the payouts ( via MMA Mania):

Cristiane Justino: $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus)
Charmaine Tweet: $6,000

Alexa Grasso: $5,000 (includes $2,500 win bonus)
Mizuki Inoue: $2,000

DeAnna Bennett: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Norma Rueda Center: $1,500

Irene Aldana: $3,400 (includes $1,400 win bonus)
Colleen Schneider: $3,000

Jamie Moyle: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
J.J. Aldrich: $1,250

Amy Cadwell Montenegro: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
Brianna Van Buren: $1,500

Christine Stanley: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
Laura Salazar: $1,500

Aspen Ladd: $3,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
Ana Carolina Vidal: $1,500

Payout Perspective:

It was a modest payroll for InvictaFC but as expected.  It’s hard to compare the UFC payroll to InvictaFC but it’s clear that Cyborg is being paid comparable to UFC fighters.  The question is whether she will make the move to the UFC.

UFC 184: Payout Perspective

March 4, 2015

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 184 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. In the main event, Ronda Rousey fought Cat Zingano.

Gone in 14 seconds

Zero strikes but a scramble that had Cat Zingano’s arm caught by Ronda Rousey and a straight armbar ended the night very early for the challenger.

It’s too bad considering the Zingano backstory.  Even though she was a huge underdog, you would have like to see more of a fight.

For Rousey, she has received mainstream approval and sports people asking if she’s good for the sport.  Obviously, the fact that people are talking about Rousey is good for the UFC.  The question of who should see fight next is a good question.  With Rousey taking time off to do a movie, it will be interesting to see who will be set up as her next opponent.  Beth Corriea? Jessica Eye?  One fighter not mentioned was Cris Cyborg who fought on the Invicta card the night before.

ufc 184 poster

Holm defeats Rocky

It was not the strongest of debuts for “The Preacher’s Daughter” but she sustained a very good Raquel Pennington for the decision.  Holm was one of the most talked about women’s fighters not in the UFC prior to her debut.  Now, she seems destined to challenge for Rousey’s belt.  Based on Saturday, she’s not ready yet.

Attendance and Gate

According to the post-fight press conference UFC 184 at the Staples Center drew a reported 17,654 fans for a gate of $2.675 million.  Of the UFC events held at the Staples Center, only UFC 60 which featured Matt Hughes taking on Royce Gracie did better (14,802 for $2.9 million).  The Staples Center capacity ranges from 18,000-21,000 depending on the event.


Cat Zingano ($100K) actually had a higher base salary than Ronda Rousey ($65K) although it was reported by Larry Pugmire of the LA Times that Rousey would probably clear $1 million with her cut of PPV revenues.  Also, Rousey was sponsored by Reebok, Monster and Monster Headphones.  All are UFC sponsors (presumably Monster Energy Drink has signed with the UFC).

Rousey did make $65K and $65K plus a Performance of the Night bonus to earn a total of $180,000.

In addition, Jake Ellenberger made $68K and $68K plus a Performance of the Night bonus to earn a total of $186,000.

Tony Ferguson and Tim Means earned the other $50K Performances of the Night.  There was no Fight of the Night.

The rest of the payouts are here.

Promotion of the Fight

The episodes of UFC Embedded were once again entertaining although I would argue that this time around the portion of the UFC Countdown show focusing on Cat Zingano had to be the best

The pre-weigh-in staredowns included the main eventers wearing evening gowns.

Rousey made the usual media rounds including an appearance on Jim Rome.  Something that people picked up on was a dispute between Rousey and Arianny Celeste.


Probably the biggest sponsor for Saturday was the “M” in the middle of the Octagon which replaced the usual Bud Light sponsor.  It appears that Monster Energy Drink has signed on as a sponsor for the UFC.  The former Bellator sponsor was shown prominently in the center of the Octagon as well as ring posts.

In addition, DraftKings announced a new sponsorship deal this week and was also on the Octagon mat.

Rounding out the sponsors on the Octagon mat included, Bud Light, MetroPCS, MusclePharm, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Air Force Reserve and the movie Run All Night.  Harley Davidson had the prep point.

Holly Holm had no sponsors except UFC on her ring gear.  Raquel Pennington had a pretty nice “Colorado Rocky” shirt.

Ronda Rousey had Monster, Reebok and the UFC on her ring gear.  She also donned Monster headphones upon heading to the Octagon.  Rousey also had her jeans sponsor Buffalo on her fighter poster.  Maybe Nissan of Omaha was the best sponsor for Cat Zingano as it was clearly seen as she was being submitted.  Other notable Zingano sponsors included Sepec and Kalapaki Joe’s.

Odds and Ends

The UFC indicated that the social media campaign around Ronda Rousey did well:

Big search numbers for Ronda Rousey:

Darren Rovell took an ad hoc poll on the popularity of the UFC. The fact that Rovell is gaging his followers on its popularity shows that Rousey sparked his interest in the UFC.

Other ends…

Sponsor Mike’s Seafood on Derrick Lewis’ backside was either a good idea or a bad one.

The top three cities on Google Trends that searched for “Ronda Rousey” were Quezon City, Philippines, Los Angeles and New York in that order.

UFC 184 was in theaters once again. There were anecdotal reports of packed sports bars watching the fight.

Mark Munoz did not look good on Saturday. He failed to make weight on his first try at the weigh-ins although he subsequently made it. I would have hoped that he would make it to the Philippines card and then retire. It might be best for him to retire now.

InvictaFC had a card the night before in LA with Cyborg in the main event. Yet no real mention of her after the Rousey fight.

Essentially, the PPV ended at 9:00pm PT due to the quick main event and prelim matches were shown to fill-in time.


Ronda Rousey is one of the big draws of the UFC and based on searches and media coverage she is someone that casual viewers would tune into watch. The fact that ESPN talking head shows and other sports media were talking about her 14 second win on Monday reflects her popularity. But does that mean it equates to people paying $60 to watch her fight? We shall see. The last time Rousey headlined (without another co-main) was UFC 170 which drew 350,000 PPV buys. My guestimate would be somewhere around that mark and perhaps a little more 350,000-375,000 PPV buys.

Cyborg to 135 and Invicta sets new date on UFC Fight Pass

September 22, 2014

The UFC has announced another Invicta event which will take place on UFC Fight Pass on November 1st. The UFC also announced that Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino will make her first appearance on UFC Fight Pass on December 5th.

Cyborg stated that she will move down to Bantamweight which means that an eventual fight with Ronda Rousey should happen in the not too distant future.

The news was announced via a special, “UFC Minute.”

Payout Perspective:

The news of the return of women’s MMA to UFC Fight Pass should peak the ears of many fans that have gravitated to the women’s division.  More important, the news that Cyborg will be returning to Invicta in December should spark more interest since it means an eventual jump to the UFC and fight with Ronda Rousey (possibly July 2015 to headline the annual big UFC show).

Invicta FC announces first card on UFC Fight Pass

July 11, 2014

MMA Fighting reports that Invicta FC’s first card on the UFC Fight Pass will be on September 6th from Kansas City, Missouri.  The announcement was made during a conference call on Thursday in which the promotion was described as part of the “UFC Family.”

Via MMA Fighting:

The show will be the all-female organization’s first in nine months, and is expected to be headlined by duel title bouts, with Stephanie Eggink (4-1) and Katja Kankaanpaa (9-1-1) vying for the vacant Invicta FC strawweight title in the night’s co-main event, and atomweight champion Michelle Waterson (11-3) attempting the first defense of her belt against Yasuko Tamada (15-8-3) as the headlining attraction.

Payout Perspective:

On the conference call, it sounded like the UFC would assist Invicta with further distribution of its product.  We will see how this relationship progresses.

The conference call also included the announcement that the Invicta FC library would be available on the UFC Fight Pass.  It’s a win-win for the UFC and Invicta.  For the UFC, it adds more content for the digital network which has been an overall success.  It also serves as a quasi-lead to the upcoming TUF 20 season which should debut in September.  The 20th season will feature the new women’s straw weight division. For Invicta, it gives it the platform it desperately needed especially with the news that Ustream, its iPPV provider, has gone out of the iPPV business.  Also, the UFC relationship looks like it will help them broker further distribution deals.

Invicta FC-UFC strike deal for Fight Pass

June 6, 2014

Invicta FC is partnering with the UFC to show its live events and previous shows on the UFC Fight Pass digital network.  The deal is a multi-year, multi-event agreement.

The deal reflects the already amicable relationship between the two companies.  It should help both organizations.  Invicta FC gained some traction with its events as it received interest from its UStream PPVs.  However, in its attempt to monetize its iPPV events, it experienced severe issues with its pay wall so much that it had to take it down.  Thus, it lost out on a lot of buys.

For InvictaFC, the deal lands it on what appears to be a reliable digital network and it taps into a dedicated UFC fan base.  For the UFC, it gives it another option for content on its network and expands its library with Invicta’s previous events.  It also keeps its content “fresh” with the addition of live events.

Payout Perspective:

The UFC and Invicta have had a working relationship for some time. Whether it was having UFC fighters involved in Invicta events or granting the UFC its straw weights to create a new division for it, rumors swirled that the UFC would purchase Invicta.  This is close enough.  InvictaFC needed a dedicated platform to show its fights and the Fight Pass will do it for them.

Invicta FC issues refunds for another PPV issue

December 9, 2013

Invicta FC found itself with another issue with its tries at a pay per view. Due to streaming issues on its web site and television issues, it had to take down its paywall on its web site and will have to issue refunds for the event.

To Invicta’s credit, it will issue those refunds and has placed the entire event on its web site for free. But the issue remains with Invicta’s efforts in trying to monetize its product. Invicta FC head, Shannon Knapp, indicated that via twitter that they crashed the pay wall servers causing the issues.

The spin here is that so many people wanted to see the fights that it caused the pay wall issues. The problem is that its business model is not working.

Payout Perspective:

This summer we wrote about the issues with iPPVs and whether a small organization could make money putting on a show. Interesting enough, we spoke with UStream with respect to the issues Invicta FC had with its service with its first iPPV problems.  UStream indicated that the issue was an “overload of requests” to order the event in a short period of time.  Invicta was contacted for the article but did not respond.

On Saturday, Invicta used, DaCast, to stream its PPV.  However the change from UStream did not resolve the issue of having a working pay wall while maintaining a streaming PPV.

While it appears that women’s MMA is gaining interest among fight fans, Invicta must resolve its problems in monetizing its product. Knapp continues to work toward a TV deal and it would benefit the company to find a television partner rather than continue to seep money when its PPVs do not work.

Invicta FC PPV now available on DirecTV

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.

Payout Perspective:

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.


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