March 7, 2014
The UFC has brokered a sponsorship deal with Swedish online gaming company Unibet. The 2 year agreement will start tomorrow at UFC Fight Night London and will make it the official betting partner of the UFC.
The deal will cover events held in the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Australia according to the Sports Business Daily (subscription required).
The UFC said that the quality of Unibet’s iGaming offering set it apart from other operators, and the strength of the desktop and mobile products provided an ideal synergy with the business.
“This is a great opportunity for our fans to step into the world of the UFC in a new and engaging way,” Garry Cook, executive vice president and managing director of UFC EMEA commented.
“We are delighted to partner with one if the world’s fastest growing online betting companies,” Cook continued. “The UFC is hosting more events than ever internationally in 2014 allowing us to reach more potential fans across the globe.
Unibet chief marketing officer Nils Anden indicated that Unibet was working on providing exclusive bet offers for UFC events.
Established in 1997, the company “provides a platform for sports betting, casino, games and online poker,” according to its web site. It touts that it has 8.6 million customers in over 100 countries and over 900 employees. It is a publicly listed company on the NASDAQ QMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm.
Occurring on the eve of UFC Fight Night 37, this is good news for the UFC and Unibet. Certainly, the Fertittas and their UltimatePoker.com web site is heavily promoted on UFC shows in the U.S. and it made sense for the company to partner with a European online gaming site with its ongoing expansion into Europe. While I do not personally visit these sites, I understand that the opportunity for more oddsmakers and odds available is a good thing. It also caters to the UFC’s target demo. Look for the Unibet logo in the Octagon tomorrow.
February 26, 2014
Bellator MMA announced that Victory Motorcycles will be the “Official Motorcycle Partner” of Bellator MMA. The partnership is another sponsor secured by BMMA prior to the start of its 10th season on February 28th.
Via BMMA press release:
Victory Motorcycles will be strategically integrated throughout the Bellator broadcast and digital platforms. In addition to premium logo placement on the cage mat canvas, and commercial inventory on Spike, Victory will present a custom in-show feature before the main event. The segment will be named “Keys to Victory” and highlight what fighters must do to win the bout.
In its lead-up to the start of its 2014 debut on Spike TV, BMMA has secured an Online Poker sponsor, an Energy Drink Sponsor and now a Motorcycle Sponsor. As we can tell from the UFC, these industries are attractive to the target demo of MMA fans. It will be interesting to compare how Victory’s sponsorship will be different from Harley Davidson’s sponsorship with the UFC.
February 25, 2014
Bellator has announced that Monster Energy will become the “Official Energy Drink Partner” of Bellator per press release. In addition, Monster has added Quinton “Rampage” Jackson as one of its sponsored athletes.
Via Bellator press release:
Monster will own highly visible inventory inside the Bellator cage and activate at various consumer touch points in-arena. In addition, Monster is extending their Monster Girl program with a marquee position in sponsoring the Bellator Girls.
Monster has also expanded its athlete roster with the addition of MMA icon Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to their stable of sponsored athletes. The Monster logo will be featured prominently on Jackson’s fight gear as “Rampage” prepares for his February 28th Light Heavyweight Tournament debut.
To complement the live event experience, Monster and Bellator will look to engage in a multi-faceted activation plan intended to build customer loyalty and drive tune-in of the Bellator broadcast on Spike.
The Bellator sponsorship reflects its stepping up in visibility and doing more to promote itself in light of the upcoming season on Spike TV.
As an aside, the two top MMA organizations now have Monster as an official sponsor. Bellator has Monster Energy Drinks and the UFC has Monster Head Phones. The two operate in different industries so this is the likely reason they can use the “Monster” name.
February 22, 2014
UFC President Dana White discussed several topics during the UFC 170 pre-fight presser scrum, notably an update on the current status of Gilbert Melendez and recent fighter complains about fighter pay and sponsorships.
“It’s not my f— problem,” White told Iole and the media. “Getting sponsorship is a problem. It’s tough. It’s hard to do. That question is ridiculous. If a guy fights on Fight Pass, first of all, he’s getting paid to fight. That’s what he’s getting paid for. That’s what he does. How sponsorship works out for a guy is not my problem. That is not my problem. He’s a fighter, he gets paid to fight, period, end of story. Whatever extra money he makes outside of the UFC with sponsors and all that s—, that’s his f— deal.”
Dana White came under a lot of heat during the scrum, specifically on the topics of fighter pay and sponsorships. During the scrum, White’s insistence that fighters sponsorship money was not his problem troubled a number of fighters and media members. MMAFighting’s Luke Thomas solid piece in response to White’s tirade titled “Actually, fighter sponsorships are the UFC’s problem” hit the nail on the head. The UFC is now saying that this is not their problem now, but they have previously trumpeted fighter sponsorship as a rebuttal for fighters not getting paid enough. They have also created an environment for fighters which makes it very difficult for sponsors to jump on board after paying a sponsor fee and determining how many viewers their brand will actually reach.
At a time when UFC has broken into a certain level of mainstream in the US after monumental TV deals with FOX, Globo, and other major sponsors, fighters are finding it now harder than ever to find sponsors. As the article points out, there are many contributing factors that led to the current situation, but nearly all were self-inflicted by the UFC. Specifically, the creation of the sponsor tax and the banning of multiple lower-end sponsors have really hurt a large percentage of lower end fighters. In addition to the restrictions placed on the fighter-sponsor relationship, the UFC has continued to place it’s product on media platforms that have continued to drop in viewership and exposure throughout the years, such as the move from Spike TV, to FX & Fuel TV, to now FS1, FS2, and Fight Pass.
One of the biggest concerns right now for fighters is being placed on a Fight Pass card, which typically takes place out of the country with a limited stream viewership. MMAJunkie’s Steve Morocco got a glimpse of what a fighter has to consider now when taking a fight as he spoke to UFC fighter Zach Makovsky.
“They were like, ‘You can turn it down and we can get you on later, but that could be on a card on Fight Pass in Brazil, against a Brazilian,’” Makovsky said. Such a booking would have brought a hit to his pocket book in the form of flying his coaches to the fight and selling sponsors on the still-developing digital network. “I think this was the best scenario,” Makovsky said. “I always wanted to fight in Vegas.”
There is no denying that the UFC is looking towards the future with the sponsorship tax fee, the rumored uniform, and the the Fight Pass digital network. It does not appear that they were quite ready yet to make this transition as they are cutting the bottom half assuming that they will reap from the top, which does not appear to be the case yet. It may also not be the case 5 years from now and may take longer than they have anticipated, but they must workout some type of agreement with the fighters before the benefits of becoming an MMA fighter start to appear less and less beneficial for the lower end fighters.
February 11, 2014
Bellator announced a partnership with Attack Poker, an online gaming company, which will commence with the start of its 10th season which will air on Spike TV on February 28th. Attack Poker will be the official online gaming partner of Bellator.
Via Bellator press release:
The alliance will make Attack Poker the official online gaming partner of Bellator, and will be featured throughout Bellator’s live event broadcast, as well as online and through digital campaigns.
Bellator will now feature “The Attack Of The Night” in every broadcast, which will highlight the most explosive and exciting finish or technique featured throughout the broadcast. Attack Poker will also be featured inside the Bellator cage, with logo placement on cross bar and bumper pads.
Attack Poker is a trademark of EMIL Interactive Games, LLC, a software development company that specializes in the design and marketing of casino games, online social games and mobile platforms in the United States and abroad. Attack Poker is the first innovative multiplayer online poker game utilizing the latest cost effective, cross-platform gaming technology capable of real-time 2-D and 3-D game play. Attack Poker brings online play to life through interaction and special events with “Team Attack Poker,” comprised of some of poker’s top players including Eli Elezra, Luke Schwartz and Billy Baxter.
The partnership is similar to the UFC-Ultimate Gaming/UCasino.com partnership. Certainly, Bellator/Attack Poker are looking at the same demographics here and the sponsorship looks to capitalize on the young males Bellator programming attracts.
February 5, 2014
Toyo Tires and the UFC have announced that it has extended its partnership through 2015. The extension means that Toyo Tires will be an official sponsor of the UFC and will be seen in the UFC Octagon.
Via UFC press release:
Outside the Octagon, Toyo Tires will again have a presence on UFC.com, which averages more than 6.7 million unique visitors per month worldwide and continues to be a top destination for UFC coverage and behind-the-scenes access. UFC fans will also see Toyo Tires at the UFC Fan Expo in Las Vegas and at UFC tailgate parties before events.
Toyo Tires also leverages the partnership through promotions, fighter appearances and fighter sponsorships. In 2013, Toyo Tires ran the Drive Within Sweepstakes awarding one lucky fan a trip to UFC® 167 and dinner with UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. At the 2013 SEMA Show, Toyo Tires hosted three days of autograph signings and appearances by UFC superstars. Athletes affiliated with Toyo Tires include Pettis, former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz; and No. 1 ranked UFC Featherweight Chad “Money” Mendes.
Via Toyo Tires press release:
The extended partnership provides Toyo Tires with more exposure than ever before across UFC’s platforms including branding inside the Octagon® for two live Fox events and during the new season of The Ultimate Fighter® (TUF) Nations airing on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).
In addition to branding in the Fox and TUF Nations broadcasts, the Toyo Tires logo will continue to be inside the Octagon during select events on pay-per-view and FS1.
The individual fighter gem of the Toyo Tires sponsorship is Anthony Pettis as he is the lightweight champ and has been involved with the tire brand in and out of the Octagon. This will be the 8th year that Toyo Tires will be a sponsor of the UFC. We will see if Toyo Tires become much more visible in the UFC with the renewal.
February 3, 2014
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at the Super Bowl Weekend card taking place at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Barao handles Faber
To paraphrase Richard Sherman, “Barao is the best fighter in the game, when you put up a mediocre turtle defense like Faber, that’s the result, you going to get. “
A thumbs up couldn’t stop Herb Dean from calling this fight off. Even if the fight would not have been stopped, it likely would have delayed the inevitable.
Aldo demos Lamas
“I’m just ‘bout that action boss. “ – Money Lynch
At least rounds 1-4 Jose Aldo brought the action to Ricardo Lamas. The combinations were devastating as were the leg kicks which were reminiscent of Aldo-Faber from WEC days.
Attendance and Gate
UFC 169 drew 14,308 in attendance for a gate of $1.651 million based on the announcement at the post-fight press conference. The last time the UFC came to New Jersey in April 2013 for Jones-Sonnen, it drew 15,227 for a gate of $2.7 million. The actual numbers announced by the UFC point to a disappointing show when there was opportunity for bigger numbers with a lot of sports fans in the area for the Super Bowl.
Only Jamie Varner and Abel Trujillo received bonuses as there were no submissions on the card. Notably, there were 10 decisions out of 12 fights on the card.
Varner and Trujillo received $75K for Fight of the Night and Trujillo scored the standard $50K for the KO of Varner.
Pre-UFC 169 Promotion
In order to appeal to those coming out for the Super Bowl, the UFC sent out an email to Seahawk fans (and likely Bronco fans) on its mailing lists reminding them of UFC 169 the day before the big game.
The UFC Countdown show worked around the language differences of Jose Aldo and Renao Barao to tell their stories. I think this is a major hurdle in promoting both of these guys. It’s nothing against them but I think many English speaking fans find it hard to get behind them because English is not their first language.
The UFC also brought its championship belt to NFL Super Bowl media day but were quickly muted by NFL PR staff. The NFL thought that the UFC was the WWE and didn’t want it to outshine its day. It was not until Jay Glazer straightened out the situation with the NFL did the staff at media day allow the UFC to stay so long as the belt didn’t get on the podium.
Then, look which belt the Seahawk GM was wearing:
Probably small potatoes here, but shouldn’t he be wearing the UFC belt? According to SB Nation, the picture was taken prior to the Super Bowl so maybe there’s an excuse for the UFC.
The sponsors in the Octagon included the UFC”s UCasino.com, Dodge, Toyo Tires, Xyience, Harley Davidson, MetroPCS, Musclepharm, History Channel and Bud Light had the middle of the Octagon.
The History Channel’s series, “The Vikings” was a sponsor for 169 and it showed a promo video that included lots of blood and gore. “The Vikings” logo on the Octagon mat was pretty hard to see.
It appears that Auto Shopper received the same deal as Dynamic Fastener as many fighters had the two sponsors on their shorts. Dynamic Fastener appeared to own the back side of fighter shorts while Auto Shopper had the front of shorts.
MetroPCS offered digital autographs of Urijah Faber.
— UFC (@ufc) February 1, 2014
Post-UFC 169 Headlines
Who’s next for Aldo? Short answer is Anthony Pettis. The cynical question is what to do when/if Pettis gets injured. The Pettis showdown would mean Aldo gives up the 145 belt (I guess you can’t hold belts in two different divisions) and the UFC could hype up a “superfight.”
Anyone left for Barao? Is this the definition of clearing a division? While Aldo may have Chad Mendes left in his division if he decides to stay, Barao has no one compelling to defend his belt against. Maybe Dominick Cruz if he can ever get back but aside from that, TJ Dillashaw?
Odds and Ends
Toyo Tires re-signed with the UFC and will be an official sponsor for the company through 2015.
I wonder if Chris Caraiso earned any extra points from his sponsor, Training Mask, after donning the mask before facing off at weigh-ins.
Speaking of weigh-ins, I do not recall ever seeing so many people excited about making weight.
Faber wearing Uggs at weigh-ins? Does that make him the Tom Brady of the UFC?
Super Bowl Fact. Super Bowl Rings: Dan Marino – 0, Tavaris Jackson – 1
Unfortunately, the greatness of Renan Barao and dominance of Jose Aldo will not mean much when it comes down to PPV buys. In retrospect, when Fox announced that the UFC would be a part of Super Bowl weekend, one would have envisioned much more of a collaborative promotion between the NFL-UFC and Fox. However, there was not much in terms of promotion of this event. Even when the UFC made an appearance at Super Bowl media day, they were not recognized by NFL PR.
The nonperformance of the marketing efforts aside, UFC 169 may not do well in terms of buys simply because of the fighters on the top of the card. Fighters under 155 pounds do not draw on PPV. Is the UFC doing these fighters a disservice by not marketing their divisions correctly? Or, are the fighters not marketable? Urijah Faber could have been that guy but with Saturday’s loss he won’t be able to get another shot unless Barao loses and Faber gets on another win streak. Arguably, the top three fighters in the UFC fight below 155: Aldo, Barao and Demetrious Johnson. But, that does not seem to equate to viewers.
Due to the card and the lack of buzz, UFC 169 will likely do somewhere around 200K PPV buys.
January 28, 2014
UFC Welterweight contender Johny Hendricks is featured in a recent Reebok commercial with NFL star Knowshon Moreno and 2012 Olympic gold medal gymnast Aly Raisman. With the tag line, “Unnaturally Quick,” the trio show off the new Reebok “ZQuick” shoes which launch February 1st.
Reebok signed a one fight deal with Hendricks at UFC 167 and it looks like it will stick with him going into his upcoming fight against Robbie Lawler at UFC 171. The commercial is a great opportunity for Hendricks and he may be able to do more things outside of the normal realm of MMA sponsorships.
January 18, 2014
MMA Junkie reports on sponsor Dynamic Fastener’s interesting sponsorship strategy with the UFC. The small company does not pay the sponsor tax although its no-nonsense logo has been on many fighters of late.
The feature talks with Kevin Perz, the head of Dynamic Fastener. Perz is an MMA fan which is the reason why his company sponsors fighters. “We sell tools and fasteners to commercial construction, with an emphasis on people who work with sheet metal,” Perz told MMAJunkie.
Perz revealed that the company pays on average $1,500 per fighter for an event where he sponsors several fighters. He doesn’t target specific fighters, rather he targets mid-card fighters. But notably he paid a premium for his company to sponsor Miesha Tate for $6,500 and offered a $10,000 bonus if she had beaten Ronda Rousey at UFC 168. As a result of his strategy, agents call Perz looking to add his company as a sponsor for their clients.
An interesting note is that with the bulk sponsoring of fighters he has agreed on deals with managers for a “bundle price” on the sponsorship of a stable of fighters from the same manager.
One of the takeaways from the article is that the sponsor tax is not applied to all sponsors. So, why have it? Certainly, the artificial barrier appears to hurt more than help fighters. Perz indicates in the article that the UFC should seek out more sponsors from smaller companies looking to get its name on a UFC broadcast. Perz is a fan of MMA which is the rationale for his commitment to sponsorship in MMA. His strategy of sponsor by volume has allowed his company name to get out there. Now the question is whether it equates to business.
The other point of interest is “bundle pricing” of his sponsorship with an agent’s stable. While this could be a good compromise between sponsor and agent, it may negate the best price for a specific fighter. Of course, a sponsor is better than no sponsor. Yet, one has to wonder if a bulk price for a group of fighters is in an individual fighter’s best interest.
December 30, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at the last UFC event of 2013 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Weidman retains belt after Silva breaks leg
Corey Hill. That is what went through my mind as Anderson Silva’s shin was shattered on a Chris Weidman leg check. Many may recall the lanky TUF competitor breaking his leg on an eerily similar
Leg checks are gruesome as it is and Silva’s kick that broke his leg looked like it was right on Weidman’s knee.
It appeared that Weidman may have knocked out Silva in the first but Silva was able to survive round 1 and even bloodied Weidman. Although Weidman likely won round 1, the fight was still up in the air before the kick despite folks concluding that Weidman would have won the fight. Weidman did look much improved from July and solidified his standing as the division’s champ. It appears that Vitor Belfort may be next. The question is will it be in Vegas or Brazil?
As for Silva, it’s likely the end to his career. At 38, Silva has had a successful run and should be financially set for the rest of his life. We may see him in the UFC in some sort of emeritus role but never again in the Octagon fighting.
Rousey armbars Tate to retain title
Ronda Rousey submitted Miesha Tate although the challenger put up a fight and was the crowd favorite throughout. Rousey refused a Tate handshake at the end which solidified her as the heel.
Tate was a heavy underdog and it seemed that surviving the first round was a victory in itself. Despite not getting armbarred in the first or second round, Rousey was still dominating the match. Her Judo was exceptional and one has to wonder why attempt to take Rousey to the ground when Tate scored with shots on her feet.
Rousey has a quick turnaround as she fights Sarah McMann on February 22nd.
Some have speculated that the Rousey-McMann fight was made to coincide with the Winter Olympics. Both were medalists in the Olympics. The only problem with this theory was that Rousey and McMann competed in the Summer Olympics.
Browne KOs the Warmaster
Travis Browne used his elbows to KO Josh Barnett in what was a mini-upset. Browne propels himself to a fight with Fabricio Werdum with the fighter likely getting Cain Velasquez.
Attendance and Gate
As announced at the post-fight press conference, it was the second-highest gate for an MMA event in MGM history with 15,650 for a gate of $6.2 million.
Rousey, Tate and Browne were the recipients of the fight night bonuses. Instead of the standard $50K each, the UFC upped the bonus to $75K.
FOTN – Rousey-Tate
Sub – Rousey
KO – Browne
As we previously pointed out, Jim Miller should have received the Submission of the Night with his slick setup and eventual arm bar of BJJ Black Belt Fabricio Comoes.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission revealed the pay of the top 3 fights on the card (via MMA Junkie). The rest of the card should be made public later this week.
Chris Weidman received a big pay increase in pay in his first title defense. He received $200K to show and another $200K for the win for a total of $400K.
Silva received $600K and would have made another $200K if he won.
Rousey made $50K/$50K but with another $150K in bonuses she tallied $250K for the night. Tate made $28K and another $75K for $103K.
Josh Barnett made $170K and Travis Browne made $56K ($28K/$28K) plus his $75K win bonus for a total of $131K.
Raise in PPV Price
One of the surprises that came before the fight was the $5 bump in price for the last PPV of the year. UFC 168 was the first at $59.99 (HD) and $49.99 (SD). White indicated that this would be the only time it would raise its price. However, there is some confusion as to whether the $59.99 will remain in 2014 as the current prices on the UFC web page list UFC 169 an 170 at $59.99 although there are reports the listed price is a mistake.
There were many promotional commercials leading up to 168 that still promoted the PPV as $54.95 although you were likely made known of the price change when you went to order.
The rise in the price could mean more people went to bars to watch the PPV and maybe more fight parties.
Promotion of the Fight
The UFC went all out for UFC 168 with branding all over the MGM Grand including the key cards, slot machines and gaming felt. I can attest the UFC has done the gaming felt back in the Tito Ortiz days (circa 2006). Still, the constant reminders of the fight likely helped out.
ESPN got in on the action as it let Dana White take over its twitter and Instagram accounts on Saturday to hype the fight. The obvious conflict is that White’s company is featured on ESPN’s newest competitor, Fox Sports 1. The fact White is allowed to promote on ESPN and that ESPN wants White to promote the UFC infers that MMA is legitimately making strides as a sport that is newsworthy (well, except that ESPN got rid of the over the air version of MMA Live).
UFC used FS1 to promote the fight and showed Weidman-Silva I and also aired “Fighting Words” which was an interesting look at the first fight that included audio of the corners that caught what each said to their fighters. It also included interviews by both fighters and audio from Jon Jones and Urijah Faber at the fight. While UFC Primetime has been shut down, this show did a great job in recapping events leading up to the rematch.
The Saturday morning edition of Good Morning America did a spot on Ronda Rousey which is a pretty big even if it was the weekend crew of GMA.
The UFC held a press conference prior to the fights to announce the UFC’s new digital network, the UFC Fight Pass. More on this later but the sweetener for UFC fans is that it is giving users 2 months free before it charges your credit card $9.99 per month.
Sears was the newest “big” sponsor to the Octagon. Maybe a “one off” but I’m sure the UFC hopes that it can bring it in as an official sponsor. Tapout, MusclePharm, Harley Davidson, Toyo Tires, Cinemax’s “Banshee”, Peter Berg’s movie, “Lone Survivor”, WarGaming.net, MetroPCS and Bud Light with the center.
UltimatePoker.com had the prep point outside the cage and AXS TV had the official weigh-ins.
Harley Davidson ran a promotion for its Project Rushmore motorcycles in which the winner of Weidman-Silva would win a motorcycle.
MetroPCS also had a unique activation for this event where twitter users could obtain a “personalized” digital photograph of Ronda Rousey.
Interesting sponsor of the night: Autoshopper.com. It was on a number of fighters including Miesha Tate.
1Law.com, a law firm out of Utah picked the right fighter to sponsor as it was on the front of the shorts of Travis Browne as he KO’d Josh Barnett. It has sponsored Browne in the past.
Monster (an official UFC sponsor) headphones are going to be around more and more heads in the Octagon so get used to them having them on and not listening to anything.
Nike was noticeably absent from Anderson Silva. When asked by Ariel Helwani in a pre-fight interview, Silva told him to ask Dana. White deflected comment but it was clear that Nike did not pay or would not pay the sponsor fee for Silva this time around. To be clear, Nike still sponsors Silva, it’s just that he was not on Silva’s shorts, shirt or banner.
Rousey was sponsored by the UFC in what looked like signature gear. She was also sponsored by Xyience.
Tate had a number of sponsors including Autoshopper.com, Venum, Affliction and Training Mask.
Silva did have less sponsors this go round. He had Wizard, Burger King, computer maker Lenovo and soccer club Corinthians Paulista.
Weidman had an assortment of sponsors including Bad Boy Club, Oak Grove Technologies, American Ethanol, Monster and investment firm InCapital.
Post-UFC 168 Headlines
The new faces of the UFC. Saturday we saw the two new faces of the UFC in Ronda Rousey and Chris Weidman. With GSP and Anderson Silva gone within weeks of each other, Weidman should be marketed as the top UFC guy. Even though Jon Jones has a fair argument here, his last couple of fights have not equated to PPV success. Weidman took down the GOAT twice and we will see how long he can defend the belt in this division.
Despite being the “heel” against Miesha Tate, Rousey has the “it” factor that draws people to watch her. She is brash, dominant and that look of determination walking to the ring would have anyone hiding their arms around her. The question is whether the fame and time obligations may catch up to her. With her next fight so close to this one and coming off of shooting two movies, we will see if it catches up with her.
Odds and Ends
-The UFC offered closed circuit of the fight at the MGM for $60 per person. I do not believe the UFC put this PPV in movie theatres.
-There were over 5 million Google searches for Anderson Silva on Saturday night. Most searchers likely wanted to see an image of his broken leg.
-It was the first time I recall the main event fighters coming out from different sides of the curtain at the weigh-ins.
-Over 14.6K people were on YouTube at the start of the very first fight which bodes well for viewership for the rest of the card.
-Rumors of Brock Lesnar in Vegas during UFC 168 is reminiscent of the two guards that sat in the courtroom that unnerved Colonel Jessup in “A Few Good Men.” In other words, the UFC could have just flown Lesnar out to Vegas and create a story that wasn’t there.
-Rousey and Tate are complete opposites and this was most telling in their walkout songs. Katy Perry (Tate) vs. Joan Jett (Rousey).
-Due to the short fights, there was a lot of downtime and “commercials” and the live fights ended at 9:30pm PT.
-Buried by the main event stories was the second straight impressive win by Michael Johnson on the Prelims.
-Uriah Hall saved his job, while Chris Leben likely heads to retirement.
-Marc Jacobs is selling a Ronda Rousey t-shirt.
-Anyone else notice that the broadcast team kept pumping up the odds including right before the Tate-Rousey fight. That might not be new, but what was new was that it directed people interested in odds to the UFC web site.
The hype for this fight was the biggest this year and the women co-main event had a lot to do with it. It may be one of the highest HD PPV buys ever. There was a lot of mainstream buzz for the fight which not always transfers into PPV purchases. But I think the buzz helped. Despite the protests about the price increase, it will likely not affect the final PPV buys. An estimation of around 750K PPV buys should be attainable if not surpassed after all is said and done.