SportsBusiness Journal: UFC Sets Company Merchandise Sales Record in Australia
UFC 110, headlined by the Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez heavyweight bout, grossed $540,000 in merchandise sales at Acer Arena in Sydney, breaking the previous record of $498,000 for UFC 83 at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Total sales also topped the previous arena record held by Iron Maiden.
Acer Arena doesn’t release concessions figures. The arena, built for the 2000 Summer Games, is the largest indoor venue in Sydney and has hosted acts such as Coldplay and Britney Spears.
All 16,500 tickets for the Feb. 21 fight were bought on the first day of sales back in December, trailing only the UFC’s debut in Montreal in 2008 as the fastest sellout ever. The $2.5 million gate for an international event was second only to the fight in Montreal.
Chris Lytle: UFC's All-Time Bonus Winner
A handful of the UFC's biggest stars get six-figure guarantees for all their fights and a cut of the pay-per-view revenue. Those guys are the promotion's highest-paid fighters.
For the majority of UFC fighters, the standard payday is in the five figures, and winning a bonus check for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night or Submission of the Night can actually make up the majority of their income. And in that category of fighter, no one has cashed in more than Chris Lytle.
Cage Potato has put together a great UFC performance bonus leaderboard, and Lytle comes out on top with seven bonuses that paid him a combined $310,000. No one else even has six career bonuses.
Obviously, being the all-time leader in performance bonuses in no way makes Lytle even close to the best fighter in UFC history. He's been pretty mediocre in his UFC career, has bounced around between the UFC and smaller promotions, and has a record of 7-9 inside the Octagon.
But I still think Lytle has a special place in UFC history. I've heard some people denigrate Lytle by saying he fights like he'd rather earn a bonus than a win, but in fairness to Lytle, only two of those bonuses were for fights he lost: He got the Fight of the Night check at UFC 78, when he lost to Thiago Alves because the fight was stopped when he suffered a nasty cut, and he got it at UFC 93, when he lost a split decision to Marcus Davis. It's not like he wasn't trying to win those fights.
The 35-year-old Lytle is never going to be a UFC champion, and he's never going to be one of those guys with a six-figure guarantee or a cut of the pay-per-view proceeds. But he'll always be a fighter the fans will want to see, and he has certainly earned that $310,000 in extra income.
UFC targeting Michael Bisping vs. Dan Miller for UFC 114 in Las Vegas
A middleweight bout between Michael Bisping (18-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) and Dan Miller (11-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC), established contenders both desperately in need of a win, is likely to take place in May at UFC 114.
Multiple sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that UFC officials are working to sign the bout and that at least one competitor has agreed to the matchup.
If signed the fight would likely be part of the main card for UFC 114, which takes place May 29 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and airs on pay-per-view.
As of Monday, though, bout agreements have not been distributed.
It'd be another solid addition to a card, though not officially announced, that's expected to feature Rashad Evans vs. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Forrest Griffin vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and John Hathaway vs. Diego Sanchez.
Both Bisping and Miller, who were both once on the verge of top title contention, look to rebound from recent losses.
Bisping's losses came to Dan Henderson (vicious knockout at UFC 100), and then after a rebound TKO win over Denis Kang at UFC 105, to Wanderlei Silva via close unanimous decision last month at UFC 110. Bisping thought he won the fight, but Silva knocked him down in the final 10 seconds of the co-main-event fight to take the final third round on the judges' cards and the decision win (via scores of 29-28).
Prior to the recent 1-2 skid, "The Ultimate Fighter 3" winner's only loss came to Rashad Evans via razor-thin split decision at UFC 78 in 2007.
Meanwhile, Miller's two consecutive losses both came via unanimous decision to top contenders Chael Sonnen (UFC 98) and Demian Maia (UFC 109). Prior to the defeats, the former IFL middleweight champion went undefeated over a 10-fight span that included UFC victories over Rob Kimmons, Matt Horwich and Jake Rosholt in his first three UFC appearances.
Introducing The Ultimate Fighter 11 Cast - All 28 Middleweights
For the first time Spike TV has officially announced the full cast of the 28 middleweights fighting for a chance to become the next Ultimate Fighter. TUF 11 premieres March 31.
Nick Ring (10-0), Jordan Smith (10-0), Josh Bryant (10-0), Charley Lynch (6-0)
Kris Mccray (5-0), Warren Thompson (5-0), James Hammortree (4-0), Brad Tavares (4-0)
Joseph Henle (3-0), Court Mcgee (9-1), Victor O’Donnell (8-1), Norman Paraisy (5-1)
Costantinos Philippou (5-1), Brent Cooper (5-1), Greg Rebello (9-2), Kyle Noke (16-4-1)
Jacen Flynn (8-2), Lyle Steffens (5-2), Chris Camozzi (11-3), Charles Blanchard (7-2)
Cleburn Walker (9-3), Ben Stark (3-1), Rich Attonito (7-3), Woody Weatherby (7-3)
Seth Baczynski (11-5), Clayton Mckinney (4-2), Jamie Yager (2-1), Kyacey Uscola (18-15)
Cain Velasquez: I'm ready for a shot at Brock Lesnar
"Yes. I'm ready. I think I've been ready for a while. The way this sport works is you've just got to prove yourself when you get the chance. I want to fight the best so I can be the best ... I don't know what I do better than (Lesnar) but I do know I'd be ready. I know what I can do, I know I train with really tough guys, and I know I'd prepare myself to give him a really good fight"
B.J. Penn, Tito, Kimbo Head Next Round 5 Series
Like most sports today, mixed martial arts has its fair share of fans that also fancy themselves collectors. One of the first companies to really fill that niche for MMA aficionados was Round 5, a Markham, Ontario, Canada based company that specializes in collectible figures.
Ultimate Fighter International Coming Soon
Over the last three years, the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s plan for global domination has been in full swing, hosting events on three continents and in five different countries, six if you include its home base of the United States. Its first trip to the United Arab Emirates is scheduled in April chalking up another continent and another country.
Kendall Grove Ready To "Make History" Against Mark Munoz
But there are no bad words between the Middleweight fighters facing each other, and both are looking forward to their UFC 112 fight in Abu Dhabi-and perhaps a few rounds at the bar afterwards. According to Grove, "I can't wait to go out there and fight. We get to do it in Abu Dhabi. We're making history; the first outdoor event in the Middle East. We're going to have war in war. Right when I got the word that we were fighting, I shot him a Tweet saying, 'Hey man, I respect you a lot. Good luck and let's put on a show.' He responded back, 'Likewise, it's an honor to fight you and we will give these guys a good show.' To me, that's just how our business is. At the end of the day, I can honestly say no matter if I'm on the positive or negative side of it, I will be the first to shake his hand and say, 'Let's go grab a beer or do something.' There are no hard feelings because business is business."
Martin Kampmann Healing Up To Defend Against Smurf Kicks
No, not kicks from those little blue cartoon characters. In comments made to the Las Vegas Sun, Martin Kampmann tlaked about the cut that forced him off UFC 111 and will likely keep him out past a targeted March return date, namely that it was a deep cut that could open right back up with any impact, but in his words "but as long as it's not going to open up for just a smurf kick, it's good."
Rob Emerson vs. Nik Lentz targeted for "UFC Fight Night 21: Florian vs. Gomi"
A lightweight contest pitting Rob Emerson (9-8 MMA, 3-2-1 UFC) against Nik Lentz (17-3-2 MMA, 1-0-1 UFC) is targeted for UFC Fight Night 21, MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) has learned from sources close to the situation.
Though bout agreements have yet to be signed, both fighters have agreed to the fight and are expected to put pen to paper shortly.
UFC Fight Night 21 takes place March 31 at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C. The main card airs live on Spike TV and serves as the lead-in for "The Ultimate Fighter 11."
The addition brings the event's total number of bouts to 11, a robust card for the promotion's fourth trip to North Carolina. A lightweight showdown between two-time contender Kenny Florian and heavy-handed Japanese import Takanori Gomi headlines.
Lentz was behind on the scorecards in his most recent octagon appearance against Thiago Tavares at UFC Fight Night 20, but a deduction to the Brazilian for an inadvertent groin kick in the final frame left the fight as a majority draw. It was a disappointing result for Lentz, a product of the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy, as he had earned seven-straight win over a near-two-year period since his most recent blemish, which, ironically enough, was a draw against WEC veteran Kyle Jensen.
Lentz made a successful octagon debut this past September at UFC 103, where he defeated Rafaello Oliveira by decision.
Emerson, meanwhile, got back on the winning track earlier this month when he defeated "The Ultimate Fighter 8" finalist Phillipe Nover at UFC 109.
A cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 5," Emerson fell short against Kurt Pellegrino and Rafael dos Anjos at UFC Fight Night 17 and UFC 103, respectively, and vowed to re-tool his training regimen prior to his meeting with Nover. To that end, Emerson migrated to Hilo, Hawaii, to train with B.J. Penn in addition to his work in Huntington Beach, Calif., and said the experience helped him harness the mental aspects of fighting.
The placement of Emerson vs. Lentz in UFC Fight Night 21's current lineup is unknown at this time.
BJ Penn Unlikely Source of Info for Hawaii Tsunami News Coverage
As the world watched the terrible news of another horrific earthquake -- this one epicentered in central Chile, and waited for news of a follow-up tsunami expected to hit Hawaii, UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn and his website BJPenn.com became a legitimate news outlet for information.
Penn, who incorporates frequent video blogs as part of his website, live streamed video footage of Hilo Bay on his website throughout the day. His videos were picked up by CNN and Fox News and broadcast to a worldwide viewing audience, and Penn was also interviewed by CNN regarding conditions in his area.
Though the tsunami was first expected to hit at 11 am local time, the islands had not suffered any damage as of one hour later, though there were reports of receding shorelines, an early sign of an impending tsunami strike.
The 31-year-old Penn -- a two-time UFC champion in two different weight classes -- lives in Hilo and is considered one of Hawaii's most famous athletes. He's always been among the more tech-savvy athletes in MMA, promoting his website in interviews dating back to his early days in the UFC.
He recently released an iPhone app that was a bestseller, and just a few days ago launched what he calls the "Penn Global Broadcasting Network" on his site, offering 90 channels of content.
"It's the biggest news in the world and it's coming from our iPhones," a member of Penn's entourage could be heard saying while shooting video of the bay.
“Rampage Jackson” and Rashad Evans Confirm May 29th Bout
Twitter can be a wonderful or damn annoying thing. In fact, it’s just like the internet; at times providing unfettered access to vitally important knowledge, or an opportunity for morons to drone on incessantly about sh-t they know nothing about. Like anyone gives an eff (hey wait a sec…). This time around Twitter has blessed us all, as both Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans have confirmed the date of their upcoming bout, before the official word came down.
Report: Fisher out, Ludwig faces newcomer Elkins at UFC on Versus 1 in March
While the UFC took a week off from conducting an event, matchmaker Joe Silva didn't get to enjoy the vacation.
According to The Wrestling Observer Spencer Fisher has been forced to withdraw from the UFC's upcoming debut on the Versus network.
And in an additional report from MMAWeekly.com, Fisher's original opponent, Duane "Bang" Ludwig (19-10 MMA, 2-1 UFC) will now face UFC newcomer Darren Elkins (9-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).
DARREN ELKINS IN AFTER FISHER SUFFERS INJURY
Spencer Fisher has been forced out of the upcoming UFC on Versus 1 card in March due to an undisclosed injury. Octagon newcomer Darren Elkins has been tapped as a replacement to face hometown fighter Duane "Bang" Ludwig on the Denver-area card.
The change of opponents was confirmed to MMAWeekly.com by sources close to the fight on Friday. The injury to Fisher was first reported by F4Wonline.com.
Gilbert Yvel to meet Ben Rothwell, not Pat Barry, at UFC 115 in Vancouver
Although initially expected to fight Pat Barry (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC), heavyweight Gilbert Yvel (36-14-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) instead will fight Ben Rothwell (30-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in June at UFC 115.
Sources close to the event today confirmed the change with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) and said verbal agreements are in place for the bout.
UFC 115 is expected to take place June 12 at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The night's main card airs on pay-per-view.
With Barry no longer facing Yvel, Barry vs. Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is expected for UFC 115.
Heavyweights Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Pat Barry agree to UFC 115 meeting
A pair of heavyweight strikers collide in June at UFC 115 now that Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic (26-7-2 MMA, 3-3 UFC) and Pat Barry (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) have agreed to a matchup.
Sources close to the event today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) bout agreement should be distributed shortly and that the competitors were told it'll be part of the night's pay-per-view main card. MMAScrapsRadio.com first reported the fight earlier today.
Barry initially was expected to fight Gilbert Yvel (36-14-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the June 12 event.
Although not officially announced by the UFC, UFC 115 takes at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Cole Miller vs. Andre Winner Off UFN 21
The curse just won't quit. The latest victim today is Cole Miller, who has an injury and now can't fight Andre Winner at UFC Fight Night 21. As a result, the fight is off. It's not known if they'll try to reschedule at a later date, but they won't try and find a replacement for Winner.