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


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.


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.


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.

UFC-McGregor could agree to bout with Mayweather by Sunday…but Mayweather has to accept

May 13, 2017

The New York Times reports that Conor McGregor could agree to a deal with the UFC to fight Floyd Mayweather by Sunday.  Of course, that just leaves out one big party to the fight to agree to the deal…Floyd Mayweather.

Dana White set an artificial deadline of Sunday to come to terms with McGregor to do a boxing match with Floyd Mayweather.  Notably, Mayweather has not named his price for the fight.  Moreover, even if a deal is struck with McGregor, White must broker a deal with Mayweather.

One of the bigger hurdles that White and the UFC must come to terms with is that the PPV will most likely go through Showtime.  You might recall that White has had his issues with Showtime in the past.  But, this is a big money fight so you can see White, and the new owners, overlooking this past beef.

Yet, Mayweather will undoubtedly look for “A” side money leaving less of a pie for McGregor and the UFC to split.

Payout Perspective:

Even if a deal is struck with McGregor, is this really news until Mayweather agrees to the terms?  White coming out last week to say that GGG-Canelo took their date of September 16th seems puffery than truth.  Why?  There’s no deal in place.  So, by stating that a date was taken (and by the way, fighting Mexican Independence Weekend is not unique) is mere ploy to negotiate through the media.  White is pressing McGregor and Mayweather to a fight despite the fact no one has anything on the table yet.  So, while the UFC may announce McGregor accepting terms to a deal with Mayweather post-fight UFC 211, we should not celebrate until we hear Mayweather say it’s a final deal.

UFC 211 ticket sales going well

May 12, 2017

UFC 211 attendance should be good for Saturday’s event as the event nears a sellout.

As of Friday night, the get-in price through Ticketmaster is $400.00 per seat.  On the secondary market the get-in price is $114.00 for the upper level while it is $264 for the lower level according to SeatGeek.

According to the secondary market ticket vendor, the get-in price has been steady over the past week although the median listing price has fallen by nearly 40 percent over the past week ($265 t.o $165).

The average resale price for a ticket is $230.  In comparison, the tickets for UFC 210 in Buffalo sold on average for $156 on the secondary market.  However, the ticket is not the hottest in Dallas UFC history as UFC 171 commanded $258 on the secondary market.  The main event that time was Lawler-Hendricks.

Payout Perspective:

The ticket sales reflect the popularity of the sport in Dallas.  It also shows that the fans recognize that this is the biggest fight card in the UFC thus far this year.  Will PPV buyers think the same?  The PPV comes a week after Canelo-Chavez which did 1 million buys we will see how many combat sports fans will buy PPVs two weeks in a row.

UFC announces new Dana White Fight Pass show

May 12, 2017

The UFC announced a new, live UFC Fight Pass show, “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” which starts Tuesday, July 11, 2017.  The show will feature live fights in each episode.

According to the press release, the fights will be filmed in The Ultimate Fighter gym in Las Vegas.

Via UFC press release:

Contender Series bouts will feature both male and female athletes and be officially regulated by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). All 11 UFC weight classes will be considered for the show and bout results will count towards athletes’ professional records.

Payout Perspective:

The show occurs the week after the big International Fight Week in Vegas.  You might recall the last couple years they have had a mid-week Fight Night after the big Vegas weekend.  Instead, this year we will get White’s show.  The show looks to be similar to PBC’s weekly, weeknight fights which features up and coming talent.  It also serves as a way to bolster content on Fight Pass with an exclusive series that is not on television.

Notably, the release sounds familiar to how they pitched The Ultimate Fighter.  Whether the new show means that TUF will be repackaged or at some point end is something to look at down the road.

Gastelum’s USADA suspension reduced to 3 months

May 12, 2017

Kelvin Gastelum has accepted a 3-month suspension from USADA as a result of an in-competition sample finding of marijuana.  However, Gastelum will be ready to fight this summer and a rumored bout with Chris Weidman may headline July’s UFC on Fox event in New York.

Originally, Gastelum was suspended 6 months but it has been reduced to 3 months.  Gastelum defeated Vitor Belfort at UFC Fight Night 106 in Brazil in March.  He settled with the Brazilian Sports Court adjudicating the failed drug test in Brazil in which the middleweight paid 20% of his fight purse (in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour he refrained from disclosing how much the fine was) and the decision was reversed to a no-contest.  He was also handed a 90-day suspension although he has vowed never to fight in Brazil again.

The USADA suspension runs concurrent with the Brazilian court penalty.  It was reduced by USADA as he completed a drug awareness program.

Payout Perspective:

The reduction seemingly makes everything right (except for the 20% purse fine) as Gastelum does not have to sit out a great length and does not have to spend money on an appeal of the decision.  We should know on Friday when Gastelum is fighting although headlining a UFC on Fox event should be a nice present for the trouble he has gone through with the finding.  Obviously, Gastelum must be aware of the USADA rules with the finding of marijuana metabolites so he has to be careful.

TUF 25 Episode 4 draws 348,000 viewers

May 11, 2017

TUF 25 episode 4 drew 348,000 viewers on Wednesday on FS1 per ShowBuzz Daily.  The episode is up in ratings from last week.

The fight of the episode featured James Krause and Jonny Nunez.  Krause, a UFC veteran, defeated Nunez.  The episode also featured appearances by Miesha Tate and Clay Guida.

The episode drew 0.14 ratings in the adult 18-49 demo.

Payout Perspective:

The NBA Playoff game between Washington and Boston drew 3.756 million viewers on TNT.  Game 7 of the NHL Playoffs between Pittsburgh and Washington drew 2.480 million viewers on NBC Sports Network.  Notably, the ratings in the adult 18-49 demo was down from the prior week.

UFC issues statement on Anderson Silva

May 11, 2017

The UFC has officially taken Anderson Silva off of the UFC 212 card on June 3rd.  In an interview with The MMA Hour last week, Silva expressed his frustrations with the UFC and Dana White for not making an interim title fight for the middleweight title.

Silva, who spoke in English despite a translator on the line, used a lot of expletives when talking about the issues in waiting for a title shot.  “Tired,” is how he explained his feeling about the UFC.

Silva talked about losing his contract with Nike due to the Reebok deal.  He also said that he may be done with his fighting career if he doesn’t get an interim title fight with Yoel Romero.

A portion of the May 11th statement with the UFC reads:

“Following the April 6 removal of Kelvin Gastelum from his UFC 212 bout against Anderson Silva, UFC officials attempted to find a replacement to meet Silva on June 3.  However an opponent was not secured to face the former middleweight champion on short notice, prompting his removal from the card at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Due to Anderson Silva’s withdrawal, customers may request a full refund of their purchased tickets until May 18, 2017.

To request a refund of a purchase made at the event box office or points of sale, the customer must return to the point of purchase with the original tickets. For credit card transactions, the refund will be credited to credit card statement. For debit card transactions, the refund will be credited to the account linked to the debit card used for the purchase.

Payout Perspective:

With the announcement that Romero will now take on Bisping, we could see the end of the career of Anderson Silva if he really meant that he would not come back to the UFC.  Silva filled in last minute against Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 which only can be seen as a favor for the company.  And now, Silva is angered for not being given a fight against Romero for an interim title.  With a Bisping-Romero fight seemingly a go, I am not sure Silva will come back unless he is appeased by the UFC.  One might surmise the treatment of Silva may be part of the new ownership.

Penne flagged by UFC for potential USADA violation

May 11, 2017

Jessica Penne has been flagged by USADA after re-analysis of a sample that was previously cleared.  It is the first time that USADA has identified a UFC fighter based on a re-analysis based upon by the contents of a biological passport.

Penne, who lost her last fight in April, is facing a potential UFC anti-doping policy violation due to a prohibited substance detected in a March 20th out-of-competition sample.

A biological passport tracks a variety of biomarkers after sample collection.  USADA began to compile this on UFC athletes it tested since the inception of the program in 2015.  A biomarker is an objective measure that is evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes or pharmacological responses to a therapeutic intervention.  It allows an agency like USADA to evaluate an athlete’s levels of specific blood and hormonal values over time and determine if there are changes.  Penne’s sample was flagged for further analysis “due to an increased degree of variability in urinary biomarkers.”  The re-analysis revealed a prohibited substance.

Payout Perspective:

It is unknown what the prohibited substance may be but the re-analysis based on the biological passport is a reminder that USADA continues to track your profile over time.  Here, it appears that Penne would have not been flagged had it been her first test with the UFC.  But, over time, one could see a change.  We will see what this possibly could mean for the 34 year old fighter.

TUF 25 Ep 3 adjusted ratings up to 497,000

May 10, 2017

The adjusted ratings of episode 2 of TUF 25 drew 497,000 viewers on Live +3 according to Nielsen.  It reflects a 38% increase over its Live + SD rating of 324,000 viewers on FS1.

Payout Perspective:

Notably, the increase in DVR viewership is down from the last two seasons of TUF. But, the increase for this episode is up 53% than the past two seasons (36% and 40%).

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