Week in MMA & Boxing #18
MMA & Boxing News From the week of
November 21 - November 27, 2015
Canelo dominates Cotto
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez used his size advantage over Miguel Cotto to win a 12 round unanimous decision on Saturday night to win the vacant WBC middleweight title. The final judge’s scores were 117-111, 119-109, 118-110.
It's too early to get numbers that would be accurate, but there is enough out that the fight did really well. Oscar De La Hoya, who is Alvarez's promoter, was pushing the idea it would be 1.5 million to 2 million buys, which would establish Alvarez as the future star of boxing (which is tough because his biggest fight with Gennady Golovkin is one where he'd be at great risk of losing). It may not come close to those numbers, but the fear it would do Mayweather-Berto numbers (under 550,000) was abated and it did well enough to show that boxing would have at least one legit major PPV draw (although his longevity depends on if he also has credible opponents and can beat them) after Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are gone.
UFC Fight Night Super Long
With the entire main card going the distance, and nine decisions in 13 fights, the UFC's 11/21 show in Monterrey, Mexico, clocking in at seven hours, was its longest of the year.
The show, the company's debut at Arena Monterrey, was uneventful. For Latin America, it was the final of the TUF Latin America season, which featured two final fights with people unknown to the U.S. audience.
This created a unique situation where the prelims did 732,000 viewers, and the main card did 750,000 viewers. It's never that close, and the reason is likely that the length of the main show, and its ending at 1:30 a.m., hurt the viewership, particularly when there was no real marquee value on the show.
It's better than a show with this star power would be expected to get, but as a first time for UFC in Monterrey, it should have done well.
The bonuses went to Magny and Gastelum for fight of the night. The two performance bonuses went to Andre Fili and Polo Reyes. All received $50,000.
UFC 193 Numbers
Lorenzo Fertitta stated that UFC 193 did more than 1 million buys and is confirmed as being the third biggest PPV show in company history and that they expect when all is said and done it would end up being the second largest. Right now it's early tracking at in excess of 1.1 million although it's still early.
He also said that if Ronda Rousey agrees to do a rematch, he expects it to beat UFC 100 levels. I'd expect a rematch to easily top 1.5 million buys, and it could do a lot more. The real big events on PPV usually beat everyone's projections because so many people the day of the fight just go, "screw it, I want to see it" because everyone is talking about it and those are people that usually don't buy PPVs.
The one thing is, Holly Holm was all over mainstream media everywhere in places that never cover UFC, so those places will be invested in covering the rematch. The story of Rousey's attempted redemption could be gigantic. We didn't cover this last week, but as big as the stakes were as far as fighting career, they are even bigger outside of fighting. Her acting career revolves around the perception that she's a pretty girl who is the toughest unarmed woman in the world. Two straight losses would kill that perception. One loss may have even hurt the perception.
The show was also sold to 6,000 bars and establishments in North America, the second most of any show in history. The record is still held by the 2010 Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez fight. As noted before, it was the most bet on fight in UFC history by a wide margin, but that's because the original odds were so ludicrous. The Embedded series had 38 million viewers over the four episodes, also a record.
Lorenzo Fertitta also predicted another 1 million buys for the 12/12 show and that this would be UFC's most successful year in history. The 12/12 show is the deepest PPV in a long time, but we've seen time after time that the depth of a show has almost no bearing on PPV numbers, and it'll all drawn based on the top two matches or a giant personality under that can help, but even so, if they're not top two, they're probably not making a big difference.
Dana White said he doesn't think GSP is coming back. GSP's six week camp with Freddie Roach is scheduled to start the Monday after Thanksgiving and at the end of the camp, theoretically, he'll either be asking for a fight, or he'll announce he's done.
"I highly doubt it's going to happen because GSP's been off for too long and has a ton of money. You don't do a six-week camp to learn if you have the hunger. You either know it or not. Robbie Lawler knows it, he's hungry, he trains like an animal. You're either hungry and an animal or you're not. It'd be great if he comes back, yes, I love Georges St-Pierre, amazing athlete, but comeback talk? I laugh at it. To be a world champion, you have to be hungry. That's not GSP. Not even close."
I think there's an issue that I noted before. GSP is used to making money based on a percentage of 700,000 and 800,000 buy PPVs, and without the title, against anyone but Anderson Silva, he's probably not pulling that much.
Jones ready to fight in MSG
Jon Jones, whose body has completely changed which he claims is due to a new weightlifting regime, has pushed the idea that his next fight will be 4/23. That's the date UFC has planned to run Madison Square Garden, even though technically it's illegal for them to run in the state. They've announced the date hoping it'll spur the legislators this year to rush in January and pass the law and allow them to do the show. Because if they don't, the strategy may be that UFC will sue the state for blocking them and costing them millions.
Their last lawsuit against the state for now allowing a show was thrown out with the idea they never announced a show, so therefore, they can't claim lost revenue from being blocked from doing a show. The whole thing is ludicrous given MMA shows are all over New York, with the only difference that MMA is fine as long as you don't pay the fighters and don't have medical or commission supervision. If you actually want to pay the fighters, then it's banned.
UFC apparently has a hold on the Honda Center in Anaheim for 4/23 if they can't run that PPV in Madison Square Garden.