UFC on Fox 19 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 17, 2016

UFC on Fox 19 drew 11,273 with a live gate of $1.057 million.  In addition, Glover Teixeira led the group of bonus winners earning $50,000.

The numbers were announced at the post-fight press conference.

The event took place at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.  Saturday night’s event ranked third among UFC cards in the state.

  1. UFC on Fox 17: 14,459 ($1.710,000 gate)
  2. UFC on Fox 11: 14,410 ($1,651.776)
  3. UFC on Fox 19: 11,273 ($1,057,000)
  4. UFC on FX 3: 6,635 ($329,110)
  5. UFC Fight Night 70 – 5,604 (no gate announced)

The Amalie Arena capacity ranges from 18,500 to 21,500.

The bonus went to Glover Teixeira, Michael Chiesa, Elizeu Zalieski dos Santos and Omari Akhmadov earned the $50,000 bonuses.  Teixeira and Chiesa earned the Performance Bonuses while dos Santos and Akhmedov earned Fight of the Night which aired as a Fight Pass exclusive.

Payout Perspecitve:

Overall a good event which could have fallen off due to the loss of Tony Ferguson due to injury and Lyoto Machida due to failing a drug test.  In addition, IIslam Makhachev’s fight with Drew Dober was nixed due to Makhachev failing a drug test. Still it was an entertaining night of fights with the Fight of the Night being a very entertaining battle.  The Performance Bonuses could have gone to Jon Dodson and Michael Dodson as well.

Makhachev taken off UFC on Fox card for failing drug test

April 15, 2016

Islam Makhachev has tested positive for a banned substance according to USADA and his fight with Drew Dober has been taken off Saturday’s UFC on Fox 19 card.  The news came after Makhachev missed weight at the weigh-ins Friday in Tampa, Florida.

MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani reported the news first.  Bloody Elbow adds that the banned substance Makhachev tested for was meldonium.  If that sounds familiar, women’s tennis star Maria Sharapova admitted that she had failed a drug test at this year’s Australian Open due to the use of the drug.

Among the benefits of the drug, it improves exercise capacity to athletes.

The UFC has issued a statement on the Makhachev finding:

“The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) informed Islam Makhachev of a potential Anti-Doping Policy Violation involving Meldonium, a prohibited substance, stemming from a recent out-of-competition sample collection. In accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, Makhachev has received a provisional suspension, and has been removed from his scheduled bout against Drew Dober from Saturday’s card in Tampa, Florida.

“The UFC Anti-Doping Program follows the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List of Substances, which is updated yearly. Meldonium was recently added to the WADA Prohibited List, which went into effect on January 1, 2016. WADA recently announced that they are currently conducting further studies of the substance which may influence how cases involving Meldonium are evaluated. In order to ensure Makhachev receives full and fair due process, USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will consider all relevant information before making any determinations.

Payout Perspective:

Makhachev becomes the second fighter to be taken off this card as Lyoto Machida was found to have taken the banned substance 7-Keto.  The banned substance is somewhat controversial as WADA is taking a second look at meldonium.  Regardless, the finding is another disappointment for this card but at least USADA is doing its job.

RDA-Alvarez headlines UFC Fight Night during International Fight Week

April 15, 2016

The UFC announced that Rafael dos Anjos will defend his lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez on July 7th opening up three nights of fights as part of International Fight Week.  The event, dubbed UFC Fight Night: Dos Anjos vs. Alvarez, will take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and be exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.

RDA returns from an injury while Alvarez comes off a split decision victory over Anthony Pettis this past January.

Alvarez is 2-1 in the UFC since coming over from Bellator.  RDA is 14-5 and this will be his second title defense.

Payout Perspective:

This is a very good main event for the first fight card out of three in three days.  It will also be the biggest fight on UFC Fight Pass to date.  The event ensures that each night a title will be up for grabs (Joanna-Claudia Friday, Tate-Nunes and Aldo-Edgar Saturday).  For those that will be heading to Vegas for International Fight Week and priced out of UFC 200, this Fight Night event should be a nice alternative.

Governor Cuomo signs NY MMA Bill into law; UFC announces event at MSG November 12th

April 14, 2016

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the MMA bill into law making professional mixed martial arts legal in the state.  As a result, the UFC announced a “major Pay-Per-View event at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, November 12.”

The UFC also announced another event in upstate New York to occur by the end of this year.

UFC in NY

Via UFC press release:

UFC will be adding another live event in Upstate New York before the end of the year. The organization has pledged four events per year for the first three years after passage of the bill. The events will be held in Upstate cities such as Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany, in addition to Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center.

Today’s bill signing and event date announcements cement mixed martial arts’ incredible future in the state of New York, and reaffirm UFC’s commitment to a market that is home to many top stars including former UFC champions Jon Jones, Chris Weidman and Rashad Evans, and countless other title contenders.

“I want to thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, Senator Joe Griffo and the many other leaders in the state of New York for legalizing and regulating the sport of mixed martial arts,” said UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta. “Our commitment to bringing incredible live events to New York starts immediately, as we’ve planned a major Pay-Per-View event at Madison Square Garden on November 12. It’s going to be a historic, monumental moment for this sport and our passionate fans when the Octagon finally arrives in New York.”

“Today marks a great day for both MMA fans and New York,” said Joel Fisher, executive vice president, Marquee Events and Operations, The Madison Square Garden Company. “We think it’s only fitting that the first UFC event is taking place at The World’s Most Famous Arena and look forward to these world-class athletes becoming part of The Garden’s storied history.”

Payout Perspective:

For those wondering, the New York State Athletic Commission, who will oversee MMA in the state, will be up to speed by September 1, 2016.  Essentially, this is when the law will come into effect as explained by Jim Genia.  Although no names have been pinned to the November 12 debut in New York, you can expect New York natives Jon Jones and Chris Weidman to be prime candidates for the event at Madison Square Garden.  Also, Ronda Rousey is rumored to be back in the octagon around this time so that would make sense as well.  Certainly, Bellator and WSOF will be working to have events in New York as well.

Lyoto Machida caught by USADA, fight with Hendo off of UFC on Fox 19

April 13, 2016

USADA notified the UFC on Wednesday that Lyoto Machida declared using a banned substance during an out-of-competition sample collection last week.  As a result, his fight with Dan Henderson scheduled for UFC on Fox 19 this Saturday on Fox has been taken off the card.

Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited in and out of competition.

The UFC released a statement on the former light heavyweight champion.

The UFC organization was made aware today by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency  (USADA), the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, that Lyoto Machida declared the usage of a banned substance during an out-of-competition sample collection last week. Machida stated that he was unaware that the substance was prohibited both in and out of competition and, in accordance with the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, his disclosure of usage will be taken into consideration by USADA during any potential results management and adjudication process.

Payout Perspective:

Unlike other findings, it appears that Machida let USADA know of the substance (not yet known) that he was taking.  The disclosure may help with any potential penalty that might occur as a result of the finding.  Machida, 37, may face a 2-year suspension which could be the end of his UFC career.  Of course, it does appear Machida was up front with the usage of the banned substance so that might mitigate the potential penalty.  As for removing the fight, there was no choice especially since it was going to be one of the televised bouts on Fox.  It definitely is disappointing news.

Andrade flagged for potential anti-doping violation

April 12, 2016

UFC welterweight Viscardi Andrade has been notified by USADA of a potential anti-doping violation.  Andrade’s pre-fight sample in lead-up to his

The UFC released a statement on Andrade via UFC.com, a portion of which states:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Viscardi Andrade of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collection on March 7, 2016. The sample was collected from Andrade in Brazil and analyzed at the WADA accredited laboratory in Rio de Janeiro, and recently reported to USADA as containing a prohibited substance.

Andrade defeated Richard Walsh in Brisbane, Australia on March 20, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 85.  On the same card, Frank Mir was notified of a potential anti-doping violation.

Fighters flagged by USADA for potential anti-doping violations 

Viscardi Andrade

Frank Mir

Yoel Romero (penalty reduced to 6-month suspension via settlement)

Felipe Olivieri

Diego Brandao

Gleison Tibau

Mirko Cro Cop

Payout Perspective:

Andrade has a 3-1 record in the UFC since debuting in August 2013.  The 32-year-old fighter faces a minimum 2-year ban if he does not appeal the results of his tests.

UFC Fight Night 86 draws 781K; Prelims 443K

April 12, 2016

UFC Fight Night 86 drew an average viewership of 781,000 viewers on FS1 Sunday afternoon according to Sports TV Ratings.  The UFC Prelims which preceded the main card on the network drew an average viewership of 443,000 viewers.

UPDATED: Per Nielsen, the main card peaked at 1 million viewers between 1:45-2:00pm PT.  The Prefight show drew 119,000 viewers from 8:30-9am PT Sunday morning.  The Postfight show drew 310,000 viewers from 2:20pm-3:20pm PT.

The main card aired live from Zagrieb, Croatia and began ran from 11:00am-2:21pm PT.  The prelims aired from 9:00am-11:00am PT on FS1.

The main card drew 424,000 in the 18-49 adult demo.  The prelims drew 235,000 in the 18-49 adult demo.

The main card featured Junior dos Santos taking on Ben Rothwell in a heavyweight main event.  JDS defeated Rothwell via unanimous decision.  The featured bout of the Prelims card was Zak Cummings fought Nicholas Dalby.  Cummings won by unanimous decision.

On Sunday, the NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs on NBA TV drew 2.56M viewers.  The Masters on The Golf Channel followed with live coverage between 10-11am PT scoring 1.03M viewers per Sports TV Ratings.

UFC Fight Night 2016
Main Card Prelims
UFC Fight Night 81 2,288,000 1,767,000
UFC Fight Night 82 1,300,000 1,093,000
UFC Fight Night 83 983,000 829,000
UFC Fight Night 85 1,149,000 766,000
UFC Fight Night 86 781,000 443,000

UFC FN Ratings through 86

Payout Perspective:

The ratings were down most likely due to the early start on Sunday morning.  Also, it aired opposite The Masters on CBS which is a big pull as many casual sports fans that usually do not watch golf tune in to this event.

Liddell and Griffin to coach TUF Latin America

April 11, 2016

UFC Hall of Famers Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin will serve as coaches in the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Latin America to be shot in Latin America.

The season will begin airing in Buenos Aires, Argentina this spring with the season 3 finale taking place November 5th in Mexico.  The series will air on UFC Fight Pass as well as local networks in the region.

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Via UFC press release:

The first Spanish speaking series of the reality show, The Ultimate Fighter Latin America, was launched in 2004 reaching an average of seven million viewers per episode in Mexico and millions more viewers around Latin America. The second season followed the footsteps of the first with viewership in UFC Network, Chanel 5 and 14 free-to-air networks. For 2016, UFC has recruited talent from all over the region and divided them into two teams: Team Liddell and Team Griffin. Both teams will represent a combination of Latin American countries. The series will also include special guest appearances by additional UFC athletes brought in by both coaches to enrich their team’s training experience.

Payout Perspective:

The inclusion of Liddell and Griffin for TUF Latin America is a way to attract Fight Pass viewers.  It also helps draw in some U.S. fans as most international TUF events are mainly for that region.  With the two Hall of Famers coaching it’s clear that the UFC is pushing its TUF brand and it’s over the top digital platform.

UFC Fight Night 86 attendance, gate and bonuses

April 10, 2016

Derrick Lewis topped the list of fighters earning $50,000 bonuses at UFC Fight Night 86.  It was the company’s first event in Croatia and the event drew over 13,000 fans.

The event taking place in Zagreb, Croatia drew 13,177 for a live gate of $549,000 U.S. dollars per the announcement in the post-fight press conference.  The event took place at Arena Zagrieb.  The arena maximum capacity ranges from 15,200-18,800 depending on the configuration of the sporting event or concert.

In addition to Lewis, Mairbek Taisumov, Jared Cannonier and Alejandro Perez earned $50,000 Performance of the Night Fight bonuses.  There were no Fight of the Night bonuses.

The bonuses, attendance and gate were announced at the post-fight press conference.

Below is a list of this year’s international Fight Nights.

2/22/2016 UFC Fight Night 84 London, England 16,734 $2,000,000
2/27/2016 UFC Fight Night 85 Brisbane, Australia 9,552 $1,000,000
4/10/2016 UFC Fight Night 86 Zagreib, Croatia 13,177 $549,000

Payout Perspective:

It was a good turnout for a Sunday in Croatia.  The event drew the second-highest attendance despite a low U.S. dollar gate.  No word on the comps for the event but the amount of fans that came to the event likely means a return to the country.

Mir flagged by USADA

April 8, 2016

Frank Mir was notified of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation related to an in-competition sample collected the day of his fight against Mark Hunt March 20th in Brisbane, Australia.

The UFC released a basic statement acknowledging it knows of the possible violation but also indicated that all athletes are afforded due process.

Frank Mir released his own statement indicating that he has never taken PEDs.

You may recall last September Mir had an issue with USADA clearance when he requested a TUE for Aderall.  Since the event was in Australia, could he have had another conflict with USADA over Adderall?

Fighters flagged by USADA under anti-doping program include Mirko Cro-Cop, Gleison Tibau, Yoel Romero, Felipe Oliveri and Abdul-Kerim Edilov.

Payout Perspective:

Mir is the latest fighter to be flagged by USADA.  Based on his statement, it appears he will appeal the finding.  It will be an interesting process if he goes through with it.  He really has nothing to lose since if he accepts the penalty the 36-year old will have to serve a 2 year ban.  Recently, Yoel Romero settled his alleged positive finding with USADA and need only serve a 6-month ban.

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