Alliance MMA cleans house of C-Suite officers according to SEC filing

February 14, 2018

Alliance MMA announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Paul K. Danner III, resigned as an officer of the Company effectively immediately according to a February 7, 2018 SEC Filing.  In addition, it terminated the employment of the Company’s President, Robert Haydak, and its Chief Marketing Officer James Byrne.

Danner will stay on with Alliance MMA as Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors through May 1, 2018.

Alliance MMA announced that Robert L. Mazzeo will serve as the Company’s acting CEO.  Mazzeo had been acting as the company’s corporate counsel and is a partner at Mazzeo Song, P.C.

Alliance MMA is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ.  The stock is currently trading under $0.75 per share.  The company’s 52 week high is $3.38 as of the time of this writing.  It is down 77.46%  over the course of the past 52 weeks.  When it opened on the NASDAQ in November 2016 it started at $4.00 per share.

The company positioned itself as a “feeder” league for bigger promotions like the UFC.  It had acquired several regional promotions

MMA Payout previously interviewed Haydak and Burt Watson about their work with Alliance MMA.

UFC 221: Payout Perspective

February 13, 2018

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at the UFC’s first event in Perth for UFC 221.

Romero misses weight but KO’s Rockhold

Yoel Romero missed weight which threw the main event into question.  Romero was fined 30% of his fight purse which was given to Rockhold.  The awkward stipulation was that Rockhold could win the interim title but Romero could not.  It was expected that Rockhold likely received further incentives to fight Romero.

And hopefully he did because Romero KO’d Rockhold in Round 3 to destroy his chances of winning the interim middleweight title and a showdown with Robert Whittaker.

For Rockhold, it has to be a disappointing result. One might suggest he not go through with the fight since Romero missed weight but I’m sure it was a matter of getting paid for the event.  It sounds as though he is looking to move up to light heavyweight next.

Blaydes earns decision over Mark Hunt

Curtis Blaydes earned a unanimous decision victory over Mark Hunt.  The New Zealander was the fan favorite but the now 10-1 (5-1 in the UFC) Blaydes earned the biggest win of his UFC career.  The good news for Blaydes is that he it was the penultimate fight on his UFC fight contract which means he has some leverage going into negotiations for a new deal.

On the other end, Hunt, who is still embroiled in a lawsuit against the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar indicated that he would be ending his time with the UFC.

The UFC may need Blaydes.  Currently 9th in UFC rankings, the division is suffering from lack of known fighters and/or injuries.  Perhaps he is paired with another UFC 221 star, Tai Tuivasa, who defeated Cyril Asker.

Attendance, gate and bonuses

UFC 221 did well despite the Sunday morning start in Perth.  It drew 12,437 fans for a live gate of $3.6 million Australian dollars (or $2,810,520 American).

The bonuses went to Israel Adesany, Jussier Formiga, Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang.  Adesanya and Formiga earned Performance Bonuses while Matthews and Jingliang drew the “Fight of the Night.”  All received $50,000 bonuses.  There was some controversy in Jingliang’s receipt of the Fight of the Night since he eye-gouged Matthews while attempting to get out of his guillotine.  No foul was called despite calls for at least a point deduction.

Sponsorships

Air Asia, Hudson Shipping Lines, Fetch, General Tire and Monster Energy had the center of the octagon.   I do not believe Modelo was a part of the signage for this event.

Fetch is an independent internet pay television provider.

Odds and ends

The promotion in the U.S. was minimal.  The UFC Countdown Show on Sunday night did register in the Nielsen 150 with 102,000 viewers and 0.04 in the A18-49 demo.  The post-fight show on FS1 drew 188,000 viewers.

The UFC 221 Prelims on FS1 drew 697,000 viewers on FS1.  It was the lowest-rated UFC Prelims event since UFC 216 on FX drew 653,000 viewers.  UFC 216 drew about 120,000 PPV buys.

Luke Rockhold arriving to open workouts on a camel was some Ricky Jarrett from HBO’s Ballers-type stuff.

Tai Tuivasa could be a fighter to watch out for in the heavyweight division.  Drinking out of the shoe was different.

Tyson Pedro also gave a great post-fight promo and Jon Anik was able to catch his attempt at a mic-drop.

There were over 200,000 google searches for UFC 221 on Saturday.

Conclusion

One might expect that this PPV to do very poorly.  Romero not making weight may have added some intrigue to the matchup.  This card would have been an interesting FS1 card but to pay $65 for the card is very hard to reconcile if you are a casual viewer.  Moreover, the fact that there is another UFC card next weekend makes skipping a PPV like this easier.  One might expect a buy rate of around 125,000.

UFC 221 Prelims on FS1 draw 697,000 viewers

February 13, 2018

The UFC 221 on FS1 drew 697,000 viewers Saturday night per Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The telecast featured Dong Hyun Kim earned a split decision over Damien Brown.

Also on the telecast, Israel Adesanya stopped Rob Wilkinson, Alex Volkanovski stopped Jeremy Kennedy and Justin Formiga submitted Ben Nguyen.

The two-hour telecast drew 0.21 in the A18-49 demo.

Also, the post-fight show on FS1 drew 188,000 viewers.  The 52-minute wrapup show which started a little after 1:00 am on the east coast drew 0.08 in the A18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

Predictably, the event drew lower than UFC 220 last month.  This is likely due to the Olympics as well as the less-than-stellar hype for this PPV.  This ratings may mean that the PPV buys did not do well domestically despite the local excitement for the event in Perth.

UFC 221 attendance, gate and bonuses

February 10, 2018

The UFC made its promotional debut in Perth for UFC 221 and fans were happy to see the fighters in action.  It drew 12,437 fans for a live gate of $3.6 million Australian dollars.

The US equivalent is $2,810,520 for the gate for a Sunday afternoon in Perth.  According to UFC exec David Shaw it was the largest gross ever earned in a sporting event at Perth Arena.

The bonuses for UFC 221 went to Israel Adesanya, Jussier Formiga, Jake Matthews and Li Jingliang.  Adesanya and Formiga earned “Performance of the Night” while Matthews and Jingliang earned “Fight of the Night.”

Payout Perspective:

The gate has to be promising for the company as it tries to expand its reach in the region.  While the card may not have been PPV-worthy, there were some good matchups on the show.  Of course, Yoel Romero did not earn a bonus due to not missing weight.

UFC 221 weigh ins: Romero misses weight, Rockhold agrees to fight

February 9, 2018

Yoel Romero missed weight during the UFC 221 weigh-ins and the main event for an already thin PPV card was put in jeopardy as Luke Rockhold considered not fighting Romero tomorrow in Perth, Australia.

Romero weighed in at 188 pounds and was not able to cut down to the limit of 185 pounds within the time given him.  Rockhold was less than pleased with the outcome.  According to sources, he has agreed to fight Romero with Rockhold having the chance to win the interim middleweight belt.  Romero, if he were to win, would not be able to win the belt.

Romero was a replacement for Robert Whittaker, the interim champion that defeated Romero this past July.  Whittaker has been suffering from an illness.  Georges St Pierre, who defeated Michael Bisping to gain the middleweight championship in November, vacated the title.

Payout Perspective:

For a card that did not have a lot of mass appeal, Romero missing weight may deter even more fans from sitting out this card. The good (or bad) news is that the UFC is making its debut in Perth and the fans in a new market are generally excited to see the UFC regardless of who is fighting.  However, with prices raised to $65, the card looks, at best, like a UFC Fight Night card rather than a PPV.

UFC raises its PPV prices $5

February 8, 2018

Although most have not talked about it, you will notice that your cable and/or satellite bill might be a little more if you purchase UFC PPVs as the suggested price has been raised $5.00 to $64.99.

The last time the UFC raised its PPV prices was 2015.

UFC 220 started 2018 with two title fights.  The PPV sold for $64.95 HD and $74.95 for 4K.  There was no indication if this was just a one time price adjustment from the standard $59.95  HD price.

But, at least two carriers have priced UFC 221 this Saturday at $64.95.

Miesha Tate also unofficially confirmed the new price.

Payout Perspective:

The question is whether $5 more will detract the casual fan from purchasing PPVs like this Saturday where there is not a whole lot of big names on the card.  Similarly, UFC 222, a card which was sold for one fight, Holloway-Edgar fell through and the company scrambled to replace the main event.  It has Cyborg fighting on the card and Edgar staying on to face Brian Ortega.  Still, February and March seem like very low PPV buy rates.  One has to wonder if the new strategy is to load up on big cards and see what happens with cards without big drawing names or fights.

Hunt allowed to include removal from UFC Fight Night 121 in his lawsuit against UFC

February 8, 2018

The court in the Mark Hunt-UFC/Dana White/Brock Lesnar lawsuit has granted Hunt the opportunity to Supplement his lawsuit to include facts about his removal from UFC Fight Night 121.

   Order on Supplemental Complaint by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

In finding for Hunt, the court stated that Defendants’ argument in precluding the filing a supplemental complaint was that the allegations were false.  Secondly, they argue that the accusations are distinctly different from the lawsuit.  The Court denied both arguments.

Payout Perspective:

As we stated, this was the likely result as the Court would be willing to include the additional information in order to properly litigate the entire case rather than piecemeal.  The factual claims serve as to bolster Hunt’s causes of action.  It also forces Defendants to address the allegations as it tries to dismiss the lawsuit.

UFC Fight Night 125 draws 839,000 on FS1; Prelims on FS2 361,000

February 6, 2018

UFC Fight Night 125 on FS1 drew 839,000 viewers on Saturday night according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The Prelims, which aired on FS2, drew 361,000 viewers.

The main card was highlighted by Lyoto Machida defeating Eryk Anders via split decision in the main event.  The prelims feature bout saw Sergio Moraes defeat Tim Means via split decision.

The post-fight wrap-up show on FS1 drew 231,000 viewers and 0.09 in the A18-49 demo from 10:26pm-11:26 pm PT

The Prelims rating on FS2 improved over this past October’s UFC Fight Night 119 prelims when it was also pre-empted on FS1.  Notably, that post-fight show drew 265,000 on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

The main card ratings improve upon October’s UFC card in Brazil which drew just 558,000 viewers for Machida against Derek Brunson.  The card went up against the NBA on ABC and boxing on ESPN.  Good ratings for the Prelims as well for it being on FS2 due to college basketball.

Bantamweight accepts one-year sanction from USADA for banned diuretic

February 5, 2018

Carls John de Tomas has accepted a one-year sanction for testing positive for a diuretic prohibited by the UFC anti-doping policy.

The Filipino fighter tested positive for furosemide on December 8, 2017 before his bout at the UFC Fight Night event in Fresno, California.

Via USADA:

Furosemide is a Specified Substance in the class of Diuretics and Masking Agents and prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.

De Tomas’ one-year period of ineligibility began on December 29, 2017, the date his provisional suspension was imposed. The athlete’s positive test also falls under the jurisdiction of the California State Athletic Commission, which has also sanctioned De Tomas with a one-year suspension and a $2,500 fine.

Pursuant to the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all UFC athletes serving a period of ineligibility for an anti-doping policy violation are required to continue to make themselves available for testing in order to receive credit for time completed under their sanction.

The 21-year-old lost to Alex Perez at UFC Fight Night 123 on December 9th.

Payout Perspective:

It was just the second fight for De Tomas in the UFC which may be another reason to wonder if fighters just starting in the UFC are more susceptible to failing a drug tests due to lack of knowledge or education of the UFC anti-doping policy.  De Tomas was also fined $2,500 by the California State Athletic Commission which is harsh for a fighter that just made $10,000 from his loss.

Dillashaw rebuffs rematch with Garbrandt on short notice

February 4, 2018

T.J. Dillashaw has turned down a rematch against Cody Garbrandt at UFC 222 after it was announced that Max Holloway had to pull out of the main event against Frankie Edgar.

Dillashaw was hoping for a potential fight against Demetrious Johnson this July prior to the news of Holloway’s injury.  He has turned down the offer from the UFC.

Payout Perspective:

Its not the fault of Dillashaw that the UFC planned for a PPV with just one quality fight and while you may argue he is doing it out of spite, there’s nothing to gain for TJ in taking this fight.  If he loses, his fight with Johnson is likely out and he will have to seek a rematch for the title.  If he wins, there’s always the possibility of getting injured and not being able to fight in July.  Moreover, the fact that he has not been training for a fight would be the biggest in-Octagon factor.  At his point in his career, Dillashaw should have the ability to control the direction of his career.  This means he no longer has to take fights on short notice unless he wants to and he is compensated accordingly

« Previous PageNext Page »