Cyborg cited for misdemeanor after Magana confrontation

May 23, 2017

MMA Junkie reports that Cristiane Justino has been cited by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police for misdemeanor battery as a result of confrontation with Angela Magana on Sunday.

Both fighters were in attendance at the UFC fighter summit.  Magana indicated that she wanted to press charges.  The information was from an incident report from Junkie reporting.  The Clark County District Attorney’s Office will be sent the report and determine whether to prosecute Justino.

Per Junkie, a charge of misdemeanor assault carries a potential penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Payout Perspective:

We will see if the DA decides to prosecute this case.  It seems like a very small incident that is not worth the time of the attorney’s office.  Despite the fact that Magana wants to “press charges,” that’s not how it works.  Of course, if she wants to file a civil suit for battery she could.  She could also sue the UFC and the JW Marriott for not providing a safe environment and premises liability.  Don’t know if that happens but you can follow the lawsuit that boxer Dominic Brezeale filed against the Wilder brothers and the Mariott.

UFC Athlete Retreat did not go as expected

May 21, 2017

The UFC Fighter Retreat was held in Las Vegas this past weekend and a couple altercations occurred based on social media posts.  First, Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos and Angela Magana were involved in a confrontation in which Cyborg allegedly hit Magana.  Secondly, Kajan Johnson was removed from ta UFC discussion on the Reebok sponsorship.

According to Cyborg’s twitter account, a confrontation occurred:

confronted Angela Magana for her numerous derogatory social media posts and things got heated.

— #UFC214 #LetsGoChamp (@criscyborg) May 21, 2017

According to Ariel Helwani’s report, words between the two were exchanged and Cyborg punched Magana.  The two were separated thereafter.

In another unplanned incident for the UFC this weekend, UFC lightweight Kajan Johnson was reportedly removed from a session on the Reebok policy.  Per his twitter account, Johnson noted he was speaking up during a session about the official outfitter of the UFC.

It appears that he was able to come to an amicable solution with the UFC.


Payout Perspective:

Anyone remember when Matt Mitrione and Tito Ortiz almost came to blows at a UFC retreat. Well, it appears that Cyborg threw a punch at Magan although it’s not known if there will be a criminal charge pending. As for Johnson, his last tweet above appears to me that cooler heads have prevailed and what was a spirited discussion on the Reebok issue has calmed down. Obviously, this weekend was to be a chance for the new ownership to officially meet its fighters and perhaps paint a picture for the future of the company. We will see how the UFC addresses these new dustups.

McGregor applies for Nevada boxing license

May 20, 2017

Further moving the ball toward all of our disappointment, Conor McGregor has applied for a Nevada boxing license.  This past week, Dana White announced that a deal with Conor McGregor was done with the UFC and now Mayweather just has to agree.

MMA Junkie reported the UFC lightweight champion has applied for the boxing license.  Earlier this year, a settlement was brokered with the commission with respect to a fine and subsequent judicial review by McGregor stemming from his pre-fight press conference melee with Nate Diaz.  The settlement allowed McGregor to apply for the license.

It will be of no surprise to anyone that his license will be approved by the commission as soon as possible to start the motion to the possibility of a fight with Mayweather in Las Vegas.

Payout Perspective:

This is just my opinion but all of this week’s maneuvers by the UFC and McGregor is more optics than actual movement toward a fight.  Kevin Iole made the point that most of us already know.  This is far from happening.  Even with the news of White-McGregor coming to terms, they still have to have the “A” side, which includes Al Haymon, to agree to the UFC’s contract.  Do we think that happens?  If Mayweather got 60-40 from Pacquiao, you expect him getting a bigger cut from this fight.  Assuming 70-30, that 30 would be split between UFC and McGregor.  Also, look for Mayweather to look for leverage on each and every revenue point in the contract.  This would be from gate to PPV cut to international rights to distributors to what type of gloves, etc.

So, the news of a license for McGregor is just window dressing to give the appearance that the UFC is ready for the fight and will place the blame/pressure on Mayweather.

Court delays hearing on outstanding fact discovery issues in UFC Antitrust case

May 18, 2017

A hearing that was set for Thursday to discuss outstanding issues in the UFC Antitrust case has been continued until June 1st.

The hearing was requested to determine outstanding discovery issues.  The fact discovery deadline was May 1, 2017.  However, Plaintiffs argued that the UFC had not turned over certain documents that would facilitate the depositions of Dana White and others.  It also indicated that it had yet to receive non-party information from outside parties.   The UFC claimed that Plaintiffs were reopening fact discovery.  It did concede to a 30 day continuation of fact discovery.

A portion of the Order from Pacer reads:

IT IS ORDERED that the [52] Ex Parte Motion to Continue Hearing is GRANTED, and the hearing currently scheduled for May 18, 2017, at 1:45 p.m. is VACATED and CONTINUED.

Motion Hearing set for 6/1/2017, at 9:30 AM in LV Courtroom 3B before Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen.

Payout Perspective:

It looks like the Court would like the parties to “meet and confer” on their outstanding issues themselves and come up with a plan.  The deposition of Dana White is notable as Plaintiffs are seeking text messages from several phones in possession of White.  While the UFC claims to have turned over these records, Plaintiffs have stated that there are more texts not produced.  It does look like that we are in a holding pattern until there is some resolution of discovery issues.

Bisping in court battle with former manager/gym

May 18, 2017

Michael Bisping is embroiled in a lawsuit in the UK with his old gym, Wolfslair.  A trial is ongoing in which his former gym and managers claim the welterweight champion owes them 270,000 pounds (or approximately $350,000).

The UK’s Daily Mail reported that Anthony McGann, owner of the Wolfslair Gym and Bisping’s former manager claims the fighter owes them for management fees dating back 10 years.  Bisping denies the claim and states he never signed a renewed contract with McGann in 2012.

Bisping signed a deal with McGann and the Wolfslair MMA Gym in 2005 but severed ties with them in 2012 claiming they were “violent people.”  He moved to the U.S. to train and found new management. McGann is seeking management fees from the years he was aligned with the gym.

In Court, Bisping denied signing a contract that was presented to him during testimony.  He claimed that it was his signature but the document was not the same.

The contract stated that McGann would receive a 20% commission from the representation of Bisping.

At the time of this writing, a decision has yet to be rendered.

Payout Perspective:

This is another example of why there is a need for an Ali Act in MMA.  I am not familiar with the laws in the UK, but it’s clear that either Bisping did not know what he was signing and that McGann may have taken advantage of him.  20% is a pretty steep commission, if the contract dictated that is what he had to pay.  On the other hand, you have cases like Ronda Rousey and former manager Darin Harvey.  Harvey may have had good intentions, at some point, and advanced costs to Rousey, and never received payment back.  We will see how this plays out.  If it is truly $350,000 in fees I don’t see why Bisping does not attempt to settle the case unless it’s a principal of the matter issue.   Sorry $350,000 so settlement may be out of question.

Owners to hold UFC Fighter Retreat this weekend in Vegas

May 17, 2017

MMA Fighting reports that the UFC’s new owners are holding a retreat this weekend in Vegas for all contracted UFC fighters.  Travel expenses to Vegas will be paid by the company.

The retreat will be held at the new UFC offices in Las Vegas and will kick off with a grand opening of the UFC Performance Institute.  This weekend’s UFC Athlete Retreat will also include “experts across sports, entertainment and business” speaking to the fighters.  The retreat will be a chance for the co-CEO’s Ari Emanuela nd Patrick Whitesell to formally meet the fighters.

According to MMA Fighting,  fighters were sent an email with the invitation.  Fighters with conflicting schedules are exempt from attendance.

Payout Perspective:

It’s not known if attendance is mandatory for those with conflicting schedules.  You may recall this was the issue with Al Iaquinta.  The retreat offers the fighters a chance to see the new campus and the UFC training facility.  Also, it gives the new owners a formal opportunity to address the fighters and quell fighter discontent which has seemingly been on the rise since the sale.

Canelo-Chavez replay draw 769,000 on HBO

May 17, 2017

The replay of the Canelo Alvarez- Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fight drew 769,000 viewers this past Saturday night on HBO per ShowBuzz Daily.

Canelo’s May fight against Amir Khan drew 767,000 for the replay on HBO.  He drew 459,000 HBO subscribers for his September 2016 fight against Liam Smith.  His 2015 fight with Miguel Cotto drew 901,000 subscribers for its replay.

Payout Perspective:
The lower ratings probably did not impact the PPV buys as it is reported that it will be over 1 million buys for the Cinco De Mayo weekend fight.  The ratings might be lower than the Cotto fight for the simple fact that news got around that the fight was a walkover.  In addition, it was on a night with UFC 211 on that night.

Motion to Dismiss Hunt lawsuit delayed

May 16, 2017

On Monday, a Minute Order was issued by the Federal Court in Nevada handling the Mark Hunt lawsuit against Dana White, Brock Lesnar and the UFC.  Due to a conflict a hearing on dismissing the lawsuit filed by Mark Hunt was reset to Monday, May 22, 2017 at 2pm.

Hunt filed the lawsuit in January alleging RICO violations, breach of contract, fraud and other allegations from his fight against Lesnar at UFC 200.  The UFC and White filed a Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.  Lesnar joined the motion and filed one of his own.  Hunt’s attorneys opposed the motions to dismiss.

The “Minute Order” is an official order from the Court but a court reporter may not be present.  Oftentimes, it is a response to a party’s request.  But in this case, it merely is resetting the date of the motion one week.

In the meantime, Lesnar’s attorneys have filed their Reply in Support of its Motion to Dismiss:

Reply Motion by Lesnar by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

UFC 211: Payout Perspective

May 15, 2017

Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective.  This time we take a look at UFC 211 from Dallas, Texas where two titles were successfully defended.

Stipe stops JDS

Stipe Miocic withstood a couple stiff leg kicks to stop Junior Dos Santos in the first round of their Heavyweight title fight.  Miocic dropped JDS after clipping him with a punch.  He followed up with punches over a crumpled former champion.  For JDS, the long layoff did not help and one has to wonder if he still has anything left in fighting.  He looked timid at times in avoiding Miocic despite scoring early with leg kicks.  But, putting his back to the fence was his downfall.

One has to wonder if there is a healthy Heavyweight on the roster that could challenge him at this point.  You can argue that Stipe could wait and face Cain Velasquez or take on Derrick Lewis if he gets past Mark Hunt in June.

Joanna Champion remains on top

She had a huge welt on her forehead but Joanna Jedrzejczyk survived a first round onslaught by Jessica Andrade.  From then on, Joanna outclassed Andrade and secured her spot as the Queen of the Division.  Andrade was game but as Daniel Cormier pointed out she gave away her attacks with a “tell” in that she ducked her head each time she was coming in which gave Joanna a split section to move out of the way.

Joanna was emotional at the end of the fight as she takes being a champion as seriously as anyone with a belt around their waste.

Next for Joanna is a showdown with Rose Namajunas. She was in Dallas doing UFC press and its clear that this was done to promote this fight.

Attendance and Gate

It was the second-most attended event in Dallas.  Only UFC 171, which featured hometown favorite Johny Hendricks against Robbie Lawler, outdrew this card.  Below are the top 3 UFC cards in Dallas.

UFC 171: attendance 19,324, gate $2,600,000

UFC 211: attendance 17,834, gate $2,662,645

UFC 103: attendance 17,428, gate $2,400,000

Bonuses

The bonuses went to Stipe Miocic, Jason Knight and Chase Sherman and Rashad Coulter.  Stipe and Knight earned Performance Bonuses while Sherman and Coulter earned Fight of the Night for their back and forth fight which Sherman eventually won via stoppage.  All earned $50,000 bonuses.

Promotion of Fight

The UFC once again direct messaged people that follow it on Twitter to encourage them to order UFC 211.

Stipe Miocic threw out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers baseball game.  He also appeared with Junior Dos Santos before a Mavericks game earlier this year.

The UFC Countdown show took a look at Miocic and how he’s revered in Cleveland including attending a Cavaliers basketball game.

MetroPCS also had a sponsorship activation which included Stipe Miocic doing an interview with Megan Olivio on behalf of the company.

Sponsorships

The usual UFC sponsors were in the Octagon including Toyo Tires, MetroPCS, Budweiser, Monster/7-11, Harley Davidson, UFC Fight Pass and Monster Energy in the middle.  Also, the new Alien movie, Audience Network’s Kingdom and upcoming video game Injustice 2 and the UFC’s own new version of its EA video game were in the Octagon.

With the Audience Network unveiling the third season of its MMA original series, “Kingdom,” we once again had the show work with the UFC.  This included showing the actors in the crowd during the PPV and there was also a Pre-Fight Party in Dallas.

In a pre-recorded video, Rose Namajunas introduced the trailer for the new Alien movie during the PPV.

Eddie Alvarez was overheard saying “Goddamn Reebok” prior to the official weigh-ins as it appeared that he had to have non-Reebok sponsors patched over.

Odds and Ends

Dustin Poirier is auctioning off his gear from his fight with Eddie Alvarez to aid a Second Harvest Food Bank in his local Lafayette.  He is making a new tradition which is an admirable way to give back.

Speaking of Poirier, it was a disappointing end to his fight with Eddie Alvarez as the issue of rules relating to a downed opponent was confusing once again.

Due to NASCAR on FS1, the UFC Prelims were pushed to FX which is in more homes so there’s a chance we could see a better number than usual.

500,000 google searches on Saturday for UFC 211 which made it the top searched subject in the US Saturday.

Jason Knight is your next big thing.  “Mississippi Mean” will be one to watch in the Featherweight division.

The UFC Summer Kickoff on Friday will likely have several fighters fined as a result of getting physical at the news conference including Amanda Nunes, Michael Chiesa and Kevin Lee.  Do the kickoff events do anything for anyone except make everyone cringe?

Michael Johnson said he ate shit.  This makes no sense.  But considering Lyoto Machida drank his own pee, it’s no wonder this is a niche sport.

Conclusion

Look for this PPV to do slightly better than this year’s PPV buys but not near the 450,000 buys the Stipe Miocic-headlined UFC 203 did when CM Punk was on the show.  Despite how good the card was including two title defenses, there is a lack of interest in fthese ights from the casual fan.  While the google trends search was encouraging, I would think 350,000-375,000 PPV buys would be how much we see this event do.

UFC 211 attendance, gate and bonuses

May 14, 2017

UFC 211 drew 17,834 fans for a live gate of $2,662,645 per UFC officials post-fight.  In addition, $50,000 bonuses went to Stipe Miocic, Jason Knight, Chase Sherman and Rashad Coulter.

The event did not outdo UFC 171 with Hendricks-Lawler drawing 19,324 for a gate of $2.6 million.  UFC 103 drew 17,428 for a gate of $2.4 million for an event which featured Rich Franklin-Vitor Belfort.

Ticket sales for UFC 211 went well despite the fact the secondary market plateaued.

Miocic stopped Junior Dos Santos in the first round of his Heavyweight title defense.  Knight stopped Chas Skelly in the third round of their fight and Sherman and Coulter won a Fight of the Night Performance for their bout on the FX Prelims.

Payout Perspective:

It was a very good night of fights and the city of Dallas appreciates the UFC.  Although it did not outdo UFC 171, homestate favorite Johny Hendricks was on that card.  But, with two titles on the line and a good undercard, fans appreciated the event.

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