Ring Of Sports Marketing

Date archives September 2016


Jose Aldo Has Asked To Be Released From UFC Contract

Jose Aldo has asked to be released from his UFC contract after Conor McGregor was given a title shot for the lightweight title against Eddie Alvarez.  McGregor-Alvarez will take place at UFC 205 in the promotion’s first event in the state of New York.

Jose Aldo was knocked out by Conor McGregor at UFC 194 and has been demanding a rematch since.  Conor McGregor hasn’t fought in the 145-pound division since his win over Aldo, essentially putting the featherweight championship in limbo.

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Finance / UFC

UFC On Pace To Break Annual PPV Revenue Record

The UFC, recently sold to WME-IMG, is on pace to have the biggest revenue total from PPV programming in company history.  Some of the best fighters, and biggest draws, have fought multiple times this year.

From the article on MMA Fighting:

UFC has sold an estimated 6.35 million buys on nine shows so far this year. With four shows remaining, as long as the company gets one fight between now and the end of the year withConor McGregor, Ronda Rousey or Georges St-Pierre, it’s a lock that this year’s total will easily top the estimated 7.2 million buys in 2016. Last year, due to highest price per order, would have grossed more revenue than 2010, which did closer to 8 million buys at a lower price point.

There is still an entire financial quarter to go and the show at Madison Square Garden is scheduled for November.

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Joe Rogan Says The UFC Should Add 145lb Women’s Division for Cris Cyborg


Cristiane “Cyborg” Justino easily beat Lina Lansberg at UFC Fight Night 95.  In response, Joe Rogan says the UFC should add 145lb women’s division for Cris Cyborg.  Cyborg normally fights at the 145-pound limit, but due to the UFC not having a women’s featherweight division she has been fighting bantamweights at the catch-weight of 140-pounds.

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Nevada Approves $750M In Public Money For Las Vegas Raiders

The Nevada Oversight Committee unanimously approved a $750 million public funding plan for an NFL stadium if the Oakland Raiders were to move to Las Vegas.  Las Vegas is the largest city without a professional football team.  The public funding plan still needs approval from the Governor and go through the legislation process.  A majority of the citizens disapprove of the funding plan.

The Raiders have had two decades of history when it comes to battling cities for stadium deals.  After moving from Los Angeles the Raiders moved to Oakland and have relied heavily on public funding.  When the Rams were given the rights to move to Los Angeles the Raiders were one of the teams left out along with the Chargers.  Considering the ownership group that the Raiders have it is not a surprise that they are making an aggressive move.

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Chael Sonnen Signs With Bellator

Chael Sonnen has come out of retirement but instead of returning to the UFC he has signed with Bellator MMA.  The 39-year old now has a multi-fight contract with Bellator.  The last time Sonnen fought he lost to Rashad Evans in November of 2013.  In 2014 Sonnen failed multiple drug tests and was suspended for two years by the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Sonnen announced his return to fighting with a tweet:

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Athlete Branding / UFC

CM Punk Third Highest-Paid Fighter At UFC 203

Famous former wrestler CM Punk was the third highest-paid fighter at UFC 203, netting $500,000 to show for his fight against Mickey Gall.  Gall was paid $15,000 to show and $15,000 to win, so he walked away with $30,000 for beating CM Punk.

Alistair Overeem was the highest paid fighter, making $800,000.  Stipe Miocic defeated Overeem in the main event and Miocic made $600,000.  Co-main event fighters Fabricio Werdum and Travis Browne made $375,000 and $120,000, respectively.

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Boxing / Finance

Top Rank Self-Distributing Pacquiao-Vargas on PPV

HBO, the historical provider of Manny Pacquiao’s PPV events, has declined to distribute Pacquiao-Vargas.

According to Dan Rafeal at ESPN, HBO didn’t want to be involved, “…because it did not want to have two pay-per-view events in the same billing cycle and it is already committed to the Nov. 19 HBO PPV fight between unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev and Andre Ward.”

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Boxing / Finance / Regulations / Sports Law / UFC

Transparency Leads To Higher Fighter Pay

John S. Nash at Bloody Elbow did a great write-up titled “Why do boxers make more than MMA fighters?”  The very thorough article interviews multiple managers, fighters, and business figures in the combat sport landscape.

Fights like Mayweather-Pacquiao, where both fighters made a few hundred million dollars, can skew the data.  MMA fighters have a much higher floor pricing, with many UFC prelim fighters making $10,000 compared to boxers who sometimes only make $1,500.  The median payout for boxing and MMA fighters still favored boxers:

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