Featuring Ivan Trembow's Self-Important, Random Rants on Mixed Martial Arts, Video Games, Pro Wrestling, Television, Politics, Sports, and High-Quality Wool Socks
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- K-1 Event to Premiere in United States with One-Month Tape Delay
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The opening round of this year's K-1 World Grand Prix will be available on American pay-per-view outlets, but not until four weeks after the event takes place in Japan.
The field of sixteen remaining fighters from across the world will be narrowed down to eight on September 30th at the "Final Elimination" event in Osaka, Japan, and the event will debut on United States pay-per-view outlets on Friday, October 27th. Like previous K-1 PPVs, this event will be three hours long and will carry a suggested retail price of $29.95.
In addition, Doug Jacobs of Integrated Sports, the company that distributes K-1's PPV events in the United States, tells MMAWeekly that the company will be distributing the October 9th K-1 Hero's event on American PPV, although a premiere date has not been set. The Hero's MMA event in question is not on the schedule for October, so the earliest that it could possibly premiere on American PPV is November 1st.
Jacobs also said that Integrated Sports plans to distribute the K-1 World Grand Prix Finals on American PPV. The event takes place on November 25th in Tokyo, Japan, and a PPV premiere date for the United States has not yet been set. On this event every year, the field is narrowed from eight quarter-finalists to one World Grand Prix Champion, and it was MMA veteran Semmy Schilt who won the crown last year.
The annual K-1 Dynamite show, which takes place every year on December 31st, will also be distributed on American PPV at some point, but once again a premiere date has not been set.
While the next two major K-1 events (Final Elimination and Hero's) will have significant tape delays in the United States, Jacobs said that Integrated Sports plans to air K-1's events on American PPV with shorter tape delays in the future. Jacobs said, "We will certainly try to do future US-based shows live. As far as Japan shows, we are exploring same-day delay and quick turnaround delay."
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- Pride's First Show in United States To Air as Four-Hour PPV
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The first Pride show to take place in the United States will air on pay-per-view as a four-hour live broadcast instead of the usual three hours.
Airing live on American PPV outlets on Saturday, October 21st starting at 9:00 PM, Pride's "Real Deal" event will be four hours long and will carry a suggested retail price of $39.95.
Normally, Pride's PPV events are three hours long in the United States and carry a suggested retail price of $34.95 (or $29.95 for Bushido events). The UFC's PPV events are three hours long and carry a suggested retail price of $39.95.
In addition, the Pride Bushido Grand Prix Finals, featuring the semi-finals and finals of Pride's 183-pound Grand Prix, will debut on American pay-per-view outlets on Sunday, November 12th. The event will take place in Japan on November 5th at the Yokohama Arena.
Instead of airing on highlight form on Fox Sports Net, as was the case with the previous round of Bushido GP in August, the entire event will be available on pay-per-view starting on November 12th.
While the FSN broadcast of the previous round of the Bushido GP exposed many new viewers to the Pride product, many hardcore fans of the sport were upset that they were not given a choice between watching the entire event on pay-per-view or watching highlights of selected fights on Fox Sports Net.
The Bushido GP Finals may or may not air on Fox Sports Net in some form (negotiations are still ongoing), but it will definitely be airing on pay-per-view for those who want to see every fight.
The four semi-finalists in Pride Bushido's 183-pound Grand Prix are Paulo Filho, Kazuo Misaki, Denis Kang, and Akihiro Gono.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- Ultimate Fighter Ratings Up Slighly, But Still Lower than Previous Seasons
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The fifth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 4 drew a 1.2 overall rating on Thursday, September 14th, which was up slightly from the previous week's overall rating of 1.1. As expected, the impact of Episode Four airing head-to-head with the NFL was minimal, as the ratings for Episode Five did not change very much without the NFL as head-to-head competition.
Only two episodes in the history of The Ultimate Fighter have drawn a lower overall rating than 1.2 while airing on the show's normal night, and one of those episodes was the aforementioned Episode Four from earlier this month. Ratings are always rounded to the nearest tenth of a ratings point, and while there are many times when the exact rating is 1.65 or 1.66 rating and it gets rounded up to 1.7, in this particular case the exact rating drawn by the show was 1.245.
The repeat of UFC Unleashed that aired as TUF's lead-in on September 14th drew a 1.1 overall rating, which matches the overall rating that was drawn by the previous week's new episode of TUF.
Leading out of The Ultimate Fighter was TNA Impact at 11:00 PM, which once again drew a 0.7 overall rating. TNA Impact has been on a ratings free-for-all ever since part-company-owner Jeff Jarrett was given the promotion's world title belt and made the centerpiece of the weekly TV show.
Quarter-Hour and Specific Demographic Ratings
In the overall quarter-hour ratings, which track the level of viewership over the course of an episode, the fifth episode of TUF 4 started out with a 1.2 rating and stayed virtually unchanged throughout the hour, as the Din Thomas vs. Mikey Burnett fight at the end of the episode drew a 1.3 rating.
Episode Five drew a 1.9 rating in the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, which was up slightly from the previous week's 1.7 rating in that demographic. However, this was also just the fifth time in the history of TUF that a new episode has drawn a rating of less than 2.0 in the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic.
Season-to-Date Averages Down from Previous Seasons
Through five episodes, The Ultimate Fighter 4 is averaging a 2.3 rating in the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, which is down from season three's 3.0 average over the same span of episodes.
In terms of overall viewership, TUF 3 was averaging a 1.7 overall rating through five episodes, while TUF 4 has averaged a 1.4 overall rating through five episodes. One might think that this is simply a case of TUF 3 being an extraordinary ratings success that can't be matched, but that is not the case. Even TUF 2, which ended up drawing the lowest average ratings of any TUF season, was averaging a 1.6 overall rating through five episodes.
On an episode vs. episode basis, Episode Five of The Ultimate Fighter 4 drew a 1.2 overall rating. At the same point in previous seasons, Episode Five of the third season drew a 1.7 overall rating, highlighted by the fight between Rory Singer and Solomon Hutcherson. Episode Five of the second season drew a 1.5 overall rating, highlighted by the fact between Rashad Evans and Tom Murphy. Episode Five of the first season drew a 1.7 overall rating, highlighted by the Chris Leben-Josh Koscheck-Bobby Southworth brouhaha.
As detailed last week on MMAWeekly, there are numerous possible reasons for TUF 4's lower ratings. Among these possible reasons are that viewers have not become attached to the characters in the way that they became attached during previous seasons; or that the lack of air time or character development for the coaches/trainers has turned off a lot of viewers; or that the general concept of Season Four is simply not appealing to the masses in the way that it is appealing to the hardcore fanbase; or a combination of these factors.
Free Publicity on Network TV Could Lead Some Viewers to Watch TUF This Week
It will be interesting to see whether the ratings for Episode Six of The Ultimate Fighter 4 are helped to any significant degree by what was essentially a free ten-second advertisement for the UFC on one of the biggest shows on television. On ABC's hit reality series Dancing with the Stars that aired on Tuesday, September 19th, contestant Willa Ford said during her pre-dance video package, "My friend Chuck Liddell is in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he taught me that sometimes you get knocked down and you just have to get right back up." While she said this, clips aired of Liddell and of the UFC in general.
Even though it only lasted ten seconds, it can't be overstated how much exposure this brought to the sport. Dancing with the Stars is one of the most-watched shows on television. While the ratings for this Tuesday's episode are not yet available, last Tuesday's two-hour season premiere averaged a monstrous 13.2 rating, which is the second highest rated episode in Dancing with the Stars' history, behind only the season two finale.
If one-tenth of the people who saw the brief UFC clip on Dancing with the Stars this week have their curiosity piqued and seek more information about the UFC, it could have a positive effect on TUF's ratings in future weeks.
Willa Ford was, surprisingly, in the bottom three of the competition last week, but if she's still on the show next week, it would only make sense for her to have Chuck Liddell as one of her invited guests in the audience.
Each contestant is allowed to bring several friends or family members to sit in the audience for any given episode of the show, and these people are then shown on camera numerous times throughout the show. The invited guests can be present in the audience for a single episode, the entire season, or anywhere in between. If Liddell were to be shown or mentioned in the audience, which frequently occurs with the contestants' guests, the exposure for the UFC product would be immense.
Network TV Competition on September 14th
Airing head-to-head with TUF on September 14th from 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM, a repeat of CSI on CBS drew a 9.8 overall rating, while the final regular weekly edition of the ABC newsmagazine Primetime drew a 5.6 overall rating. Meanwhile, a repeat of ER on NBC drew a 3.6 overall rating. ER generally performs very poorly in repeats, which is why NBC is going to air only new episodes of ER this season (the show will take a hiatus in the winter in order to make this possible).
Airing head-to-head with UFC Unleashed on September 14th from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM, a repeat of CSI on CBS drew a 9.9 overall rating, a repeat of Grey's Anatomy on ABC drew a 6.3 overall rating, a new episode of Celebrity Duets on Fox drew a 3.9 overall rating, and the repeat combination of My Name is Earl and The Office averaged a 3.6 overall rating on NBC.
Network Competition to Get Much Stronger
In terms of the overall number of people who are watching other shows on their televisions that air at the same time as TUF, the first five weeks were actually the easiest of TUF's season. Starting with Episode Six on September 21st, TUF will be airing head-to-head with the new fall season on the major broadcast networks instead of the repeat programming that it has faced in recent weeks.
While the most likely scenario is that the new fall season will have a minor negative effect on TUF's ratings, it could actually be beneficial to TUF in a way because it means that there will be more people in front of their televisions who might stumble upon TUF, enjoy what they see, and keep watching, but in general it's a less formidable task to have to go head-to-head with repeat programming.
Starting on September 21st, UFC Unleashed (TUF's lead-in show) will have to go head-to-head with new episodes of CSI and Grey's Anatomy, which averaged a combined rating of 30.0 last season (yes, that's 30% of American TV households). New episodes of CSI averaged a 16.7 overall rating on Thursday nights last season, while new episodes of Grey's Anatomy averaged a 13.3 overall rating on Sunday nights last season.
Of course, there's no telling what's going to happen to people's viewership patterns when the two shows air head-to-head, but the sheer volume of people (it could be 30% of the country) watching one of those two shows will almost certainly have a negative effect on the ratings of UFC Unleashed. The ratings of a show's lead-in always has some effect on the show, whether it's a big effect or a small effect, so this could conceivably hurt TUF's ratings.
As for TUF itself, it's not going head-to-head with CSI or Grey's Anatomy, but it is going head-to-head with a line-up that is still likely to have some effect on TUF's ratings. Even if TUF's ratings increase in future weeks, it is likely to be a smaller increase than it otherwise would be without strong head-to-head competition.
NBC's ER will be back with new episodes starting on September 21st, and while ER is no longer considered the ratings powerhouse that it once was, it still averaged a 9.4 overall rating for new episodes last season, which is excellent by any standard other than the one that was set by previous seasons of ER.
Also in the 10:00 PM hour, CBS will try to launch the new drama "Smith" off the back of its lead-in, CSI; while ABC will try to launch the new drama "Six Degrees" off the back of its lead-in, Grey's Anatomy. The sheer number of people watching all of these shows will likely have a minor negative impact on TUF's ratings in future weeks.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- Fighter Salaries for UFC Fight Night 6
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
UFC Fight Night 6 took place on Thursday, August 17th in Las Vegas, Nevada and aired nationally on Spike TV. What follows is a full listing of the fighter salaries for the event, which the UFC is required by law to submit to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Any additional bonuses or "secret money" that the UFC has chosen not to disclose are not included in the listings below.
Regarding the "known event revenue" that is listed below the disclosed fighter payroll, the live gate for this event at the Fertitta-owned Red Rock Resort was $187,050. The total attendance was 1,412; with 1,052 tickets sold and 360 free comp tickets.
As previously disclosed by Neilsen Monitor Plus, the average price for a 30-second commercial on UFC programming is $3,500, so the gross advertising revenue is $112,000 per hour. Therefore, the gross advertising revenue for a UFC broadcast is $224,000 if it's a two-hour broadcast. The amount of the rights fee that Spike TV pays Zuffa for each live TV event is not known.
UFC Fight Night 6 Fighter Salaries
Event took place on August 17, 2006 and aired on Spike TV
-Diego Sanchez: $32,000 (defeated Karo Parisyan in main event)
-Joe Riggs: $24,000 (defeated Jason Von Flue)
-Dean Lister: $16,000 (defeated Yuki Sasaki)
-Josh Koscheck: $14,000 (defeated Jonathan Goulet)
-Chris Leben: $14,000 (defeated Jorge Santiago)
-Karo Parisyan: $12,000 (lost to Diego Sanchez in main event)
-Anthony Torres: $10,000 (defeated Pat Healy)
-Martin Kampmann: $10,000 (defeated Crafton Wallace)
-Jonathan Goulet: $6,500 (lost to Josh Koscheck)
-Jake O'Brien: $6,000 (defeated Kristof Midoux)
-Jason Von Flue: $5,000 (lost to Joe Riggs)
-Yuki Sasaki: $5,000 (lost to Dean Lister)
-Sam Morgan: $4,000 (lost to Forrest Petz)
-Jorge Santiago: $4,000 (lost to Chris Leben)
-Forrest Petz: $4,000 (defeated Sam Morgan)
-Crafton Wallace: $3,000 (lost to Martin Kampmann)
-Kristof Midoux: $2,000 (lost to Jake O'Brien)
-Pat Healy: $2,000 (lost to Anthony Torres)
Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $173,500
Known Event Revenue: $411,050 (live gate of $187,050; TV ad revenue of $224,000)
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- The Ultimate Fighter Draws Series Low Ratings in Week Four
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The fourth episode of The Ultimate Fighter 4 drew a 1.1 overall rating on Thursday, September 7th, which was down 21 percent from the previous week's 1.4 overall rating.
The overall rating of 1.1 matched the series' all-time low rating. The only other episode of TUF from any season to draw a 1.1 overall rating on the show's normal night was Episode Nine of the second season, which featured a heavyweight match-up between Rashad Evans and Mike Whitehead.
In addition to drawing a 1.1 overall rating, Episode Four's rating among 18-to-34-year-old males was just 1.7, which is the second-lowest rating in the history of the series in that demographic. The only episode to draw a lower rating among 18-to-34-year-old males was the very first episode of the first season, which drew a 1.5 rating in the advertiser-coveted demographic.
Episode Four of TUF 4 actually drew a lower overall rating than the previous two episodes of UFC Unleashed, which had drawn overall ratings of 1.3 and 1.2, respectively, on the previous two Thursday nights.
NFL Football Part of the Reason for the Decline... but Only a Small Part
The first game of the NFL's regular season aired head-to-head with Episode Four of TUF 4. The NFL game averaged an overall rating of 11.8 on ABC, and the specific hour that aired head-to-head with TUF drew an 11.5 overall rating.
While there's no doubt that the NFL broadcast had some impact on TUF's ratings, the facts and history both indicate that the NFL's impact on TUF's ratings was actually much smaller than one might expect.
Unlikely as it seems, when the second season of TUF had to go head-to-head with the season premiere of Monday Night Football on ABC last year, the effect on TUF's ratings was negligible.
The last episode of TUF 2 that aired without Monday Night Football as head-to-head competition drew a 1.5 overall rating on September 5, 2005. The next week, the season premiere of Monday Night Football aired head-to-head with TUF and drew a 12.7 overall rating, which is actually higher than the 11.8 overall rating that was drawn by the NFL game last Thursday.
What happened to TUF 2's ratings that week, you ask? What happened was that the overall rating went down exactly 0.1, from 1.5 to 1.4. The all-important 18-to-34-year-old male rating actually stayed the same, as the show drew the exact same 2.5 rating in the key demographic that it drew the week before when it didn't have the Monday Night Football's season premiere as head-to-head competition.
So, while it might seem to be logical to simply dismiss this week's ratings decline by saying, "Of course it went down by 20+ percent... what do you expect going head-to-head with the NFL?" that is simply not an accurate statement when you look at the facts. This means that something else is also responsible for the decreases in TUF 4's ratings.
Lack of NFL Impact on TUF Ratings Goes Beyond One Week
Even going beyond the lack of a one-week drop-off when TUF 2 faced new head-to-head competition in the form of Monday Night Football last fall, the Neilsen ratings information also shows that Monday Night Football as a whole did not have a significant negative impact on TUF 2's ratings.
The loss of WWE Raw as a lead-in can conclusively be shown to be a major contributing factor to TUF 2's ratings collapse as the season went on, but the competition with Monday Night Football cannot.
There were six episodes of TUF 2 that had the benefit of WWE Raw as a lead-in before WWE went back to USA Network. Three of those episodes did not have regular season Monday Night Football as competition, and three of those episodes did have regular season MNF games as competition.
The three episodes of TUF 2 that did not have MNF as competition averaged a 1.6 overall rating, and that number decreased by 0.2 to an average of 1.4 in the three weeks with MNF as competition.
In the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, the three episodes of TUF 2 that did not have MNF as competition averaged a 2.6 rating , and that number decreased by 0.1 to an average of 2.5 in the next three weeks.
What this means is that the head-to-head competition with the NFL was responsible for ratings drop-offs in the range of 0.1 or 0.2, which pale in comparison to the kind of drop-offs that TUF 4 has been experiencing since week one.
The reason that this is so important is because it demonstrates that the NFL is not the only reason, or even a major reason, for TUF's ratings collapse.
TUF 4 Ratings Have Decreased Gradually Over Time
In the absence of any significant effect from the NFL, the Neilsen ratings information shows that, for whatever reason, a significant number of viewers have been turned off by one thing or another during the first few weeks of TUF 4.
This is supported by the fact that the ratings have consistently decreased since the beginning of the season, whereas TUF 3's ratings tended to increase as the season went on.
The first four episodes of TUF 4, in order from Episode One to Episode Four, have drawn overall ratings of 1.7, 1.6, 1.4, and 1.1.
In the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, the drop-off is more drastic, with ratings of 2.8, 2.7, 2.4, and 1.7 over the first four weeks.
In the 18-to-49-year-old male demographic, the first four episodes of TUF 4 have drawn ratings of 2.2, 2.1, 1.7, and 1.3.
Possible Reasons for the Ratings Fall-Off
Why is this happening, and what does it mean? It could mean that viewers have not become attached to the characters in the way that they became attached during the first and third seasons. It could mean that the glaring lack of air time or character development for the coaches/trainers has turned off a lot of viewers. It could mean that the gruesome amount of blood loss on Episode Two turned off a certain percentage of viewers. It could mean that the general concept of Season Four is simply not appealing to the masses in the way that it is appealing to the hardcore fanbase. The most likely scenario is that it's a combination of all these factors.
Hopefully, one thing that the producers and editors of the TUF series will not do is mistakenly think that this ratings decline is because there isn't enough "reality show drama." That was the general feeling among the producers regarding TUF 2's decreased ratings, and the result (or at least one of them) was large amounts of alcohol being placed in the house during Season Three so that contestants could get sauced and naturally create some good reality TV moments.
One can only hope that when TUF 5 starts filming in October, the producers will not resort to the same tactics, because it's very unlikely that "reality show drama" is what viewers want above all else.
What the UFC's Audience Wants Above All Else
If it were true that "reality show drama" is what spikes the interest of viewers even more than actually seeing UFC fights, then a week-long run of commercials teasing that one of the contestants was going to be kicked off of TUF 4 would have done something to stem the tide of decreasing ratings. Airings of older fights on UFC Unleashed would not be drawing higher ratings than an hour-long reality TV show about the UFC under any circumstances. A repeat of TUF airing at 9:00 PM on September 7th would not have drawn a lower rating (0.9) than the episode of UFC Unleashed that drew a 1.2 overall rating in the same timeslot on the previous Thursday.
In fact, what the ratings of TUF have always shown in almost every single episode of the series that has ever aired is that people want to see the actual fights more than anything else. Even the most recent episode, with its series-low ratings, increased from a 1.0 rating at mid-hour to a 1.2 rating for the minutes of the show that featured the pre-fight, fight, and post-fight segments of the Travis Lutter vs. Scott Smith match-up.
Zuffa president Dana White recently said on the Wrestling Observer's radio show that the UFC plans to run between 23 and 36 live events in 2007. With such a high number of live events, and such a strong public demand to see the actual fights above all else, next year would seem to be an ideal time for the launch of a new weekly series that would feature new fights every single week (not necessarily live fights, but never-before-seen airings of recently taped fights). There are certainly going to be enough new fights to go around in 2007, and the ratings trends indicate that casual and hardcore fans alike would prefer to see more fights.
Network TV Competition: Fox Launches New Line-Up and NBC Dominates while CBS & ABC Wait
Though it's very unlikely to have affected The Ultimate Fighter's ratings by more than 0.1 or 0.2, the first game of the NFL's regular season led NBC to a ratings victory among the networks on September 7th. The game averaged an overall rating of 11.8, which was up slightly from the 11.6 overall rating that was drawn by the Thursday night premiere of the NFL regular season on ABC last season. However, the rating of 11.8 was down from the 12.7 overall rating that was drawn last year by the season premiere of Monday Night Football on ABC.
Airing head-to-head with a repeat of TUF in the 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM hour, the NFL game on NBC averaged a 12.5 rating for the hour. While Little Richard slipped a little bit deeper into the throes of insanity right before America's eyes, the show on which he is allegedly a judge did not slip in the ratings, as Celebrity Duets drew a 4.6 overall rating on Fox, which was a lower-than-expected drop-off from the series premiere's 5.3 overall rating.
Also in the 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM hour, repeats of CSI on CBS and Grey's Anatomy of ABC drew overall ratings of 7.2 and 5.5, respectively. Last season, the ratings for new episodes of CSI and Grey's Anatomy were such that not even the NFL could touch either series in terms of overall viewership during the regular season, but the two series' audiences might be fragmented now that CSI and Grey's Anatomy will be airing new episodes head-to-head with each other starting on September 21st.
Airing head-to-head with a new episode of TUF in the 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM hour, the NFL game on NBC averaged an 11.5 rating for the hour, down from the previous hour's 12.5 average. In the same hour, a repeat of the moving-to-Sunday CBS drama Without a Trace drew a 7.3 overall rating. The ABC newsmagazine Primetime drew a 4.4 overall rating in one of its final weeks as a regular weekly series; it will be relegated to occasional specials starting this fall.
Following The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV was the pro wrestling show TNA Impact, which continued to suffer the decline in ratings that the show has been experiencing ever since TNA co-owner Jeff Jarrett was given the top on-air position in the company. The latest installment of TNA Impact drew a 0.7 overall rating, which is the lowest rating that TNA Impact has ever drawn when it had a new episode of The Ultimate Fighter as a lead-in.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- New Jersey Commission Speaks About UFC's False Statements
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
Nick Lembo, the Deputy Attorney General of the state of New Jersey, has publicly responded to the latest in a series of factually incorrect statements about the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship as it relates to New Jersey.
The factually incorrect statements in question have been made in a series of media interviews by UFC President Dana White over a period of months, as fully detailed later in this article.
In his role as Deputy Attorney General of New Jersey, Nick Lembo also serves as Counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, and he has written letters of correction to numerous mainstream media reporters who have printed the false statements that have been made by White.
Lembo carbon-copied MMAWeekly on several of these e-mails, and we previously published them on MMAWeekly. In the letters, Lembo listed all of the MMA rules and sanctioning regulations that were in place in the state of New Jersey before Zuffa bought the UFC, as Lembo attempted to "clarify what, in my opinion, were misleading, confusing or erroneous statements" made in the newspaper articles.
The specific false statements that have repeatedly been made by UFC President Dana White are that Zuffa got the UFC regulated and sanctioned by major athletic commissions for the first time, and that the previous owners "ran from regulation" or "didn't want to be regulated."
In fact, the "old UFC" also ran fully sanctioned UFC events in states such as Iowa, Louisiana, and Mississippi. While those states do not have "major athletic commissions," New Jersey certainly does, as it is regarded as having the second-biggest sanctioning body (behind only Nevada's) in terms of importance and prestige.
In addition to getting fully sanctioned in New Jersey, the previous owners of the UFC also made an unsuccessful attempt to get sanctioned in Nevada before selling the UFC to Zuffa, so it is completely false that the previous owners "ran from regulation" or "ran from sanctioning."
The most prominent occasion on which these misstatements were repeated was during a national television appearance on ESPNews' The Hot List in July, as White said that the UFC "wasn't sanctioned by any of the major athletic commissions" before Zuffa bought it, which is factually incorrect. White also said on ESPNews, "When we first bought the sport... it was not in any of the major venues here in the United States," which is also factually incorrect unless the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey is not considered a major venue.
The false statements that were made on ESPNews were not an isolated incident. To list just two of many possible examples, White told the Washington Times in July, "The first thing we knew we had to do was to get it sanctioned by all the major athletic commissions. We sat down with officials from Nevada and New Jersey in 2002, and we got that done," again repeating the false claim that Zuffa got the sport sanctioned in New Jersey.
White told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in July, "I could see that if this was done the right way, if someone didn't run away from regulation but embraced it, if someone cleaned it up and shined it a little, this thing could be huge," again repeating the false claim that the previous owners ran from regulation.
There are far more examples that could be cited, as Lembo also wrote letters of correction to other publications that printed false information, including the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Daily News, and Miami Herald.
Upon being sent the letters of correction from Lembo that were previously carbon-copied to MMAWeekly and published on the site, most of these media outlets stopped printing the false statements in subsequent articles about the UFC. In all likelihood, many of them were probably not aware that they were printing false statements when they printed the aforementioned quotes about Zuffa's role in the UFC's history.
In the case of Miami Herald reporter Bob Emanuel, Jr., he responded via e-mail to Lembo's letter of correction in late August, which was then carbon-copied to MMAWeekly. Emanuel, Jr. wrote, "Thank you for the information. Unfortunately, unlike most other sports, the history of the UFC is not well documented. Facts, often, get blurred depending on which version of history you are hearing. I will likely do a follow-up in the near future (as time permits)."
Despite this e-mail, the Miami Herald published an article written by Emanuel, Jr. on September 5th, which repeated many of the same claims, including the following quote from Dana White: "Senator McCain's big problem with the UFC was that they wouldn't get sanctioned. The old owner didn't want to get sanctioned, didn't want to have rules and regulations. We felt differently. We felt it should be regulated. We agreed with McCain. The sport should be regulated. It should have rules and regulations -- refs, judges, etc. We weren't arguing with him. We went to the athletic commissions, sat down with them, came up with a set of rules and regulations. It's all downhill from there."
These consistently false statements are puzzling, if for no other reason because they are completely unnecessary. Zuffa legitimately did a lot of great things for the sport in the aforementioned time period (and also has in the years since then), such as getting sanctioning in Nevada, unifying the rules between Nevada and the pre-existing New Jersey sanctioning, and getting back on cable PPV. There is no valid reason to continue to propagate these false statements, as the truth is more than flattering enough.
Nick Lembo will continue to send letters of correction to the authors of such articles as part of his job as the Counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board and the Deputy Attorney General of the state of New Jersey.
Of course, this begs the question of why Lembo wouldn't also send letters of correction directly to the person who is making these false statements in the first place, Dana White, in addition to sending letters of correction to the publications that print these false statements. MMAWeekly asked Lembo that very question, and he granted us permission to print his response:
" It seems that the [Miami Herald] reporter, Mr. Emanuel, Jr. chose to ignore my e-mail to him placing the topic in the correct historical perspective. This, even though he responded to my e-mail alerting him of the facts prior to writing his second article on the same subjects.
As far as your suggestion that I write Mr. Dana White directly (re: my email to various reporters), it is not necessary. My initial response to the reporters was also forwarded, by me, to a UFC official.
I have been contacted by two individuals with top positions in the UFC to discuss my reply to these articles. Both individuals were very aware and knowledgeable about my emails to various media on the subject. Neither individual in the UFC disagreed with one scintilla of the factual history which I had detailed. They claimed that Dana was misquoted, that the writers chose not to write other details involving New Jersey that Dana gave them and that Dana was just 'being a promoter.'
I have absolutely nothing against Dana White or the UFC. In fact, I hardly know Dana White. I rarely, if ever, dealt with him during the UFC's New Jersey shows. I think the UFC has done great things for the mixed martial arts fan and the sport of mixed martial arts in the United States.
Therefore, I am at a complete loss as to why Dana has chosen to continue to ignore the true history of this great sport. He seems to be unwilling, for whatever reason, to accept the truth and instead chooses to continue to repeatedly make false claims about the origins of Zuffa and the history of mixed martial arts in the United States.
Deputy Attorney General, State of New Jersey
State Athletic Control Board Counsel "
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- Ratings for The Ultimate Fighter Drop in Week Three
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
The third episode of The Ultimate Fighter 4 drew an overall rating of 1.4, which was down from the 1.6 overall rating that was drawn by the previous week's episode.
In the advertiser-friendly 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, Episode Three of TUF 4 drew a 2.4 rating, which was down from the previous week's mark of 2.7. In the 18-to-49-year-old male demographic, Episode Three drew a 1.7 rating, which was down from the previous week's mark of 2.1.
MTV Video Music Awards Influence TUF Ratings... To a Degree
Some of the decrease in viewership for this particular episode can be blamed on the fact that it aired head-to-head with the MTV Video Music Awards. However, the primary demographic for the VMAs is actually 12-to-24-year-olds, whereas TUF's top demographic is 18-to-34-year-olds.
There is a substantial amount of overlap among 18-to-24-year-olds, but there is not as much across-the-board overlap as one might expect. Also, the Video Music Awards show continued its annual free-for-all in the ratings, as the 2006 installment of the show drew a 4.4 overall rating, down almost 30 percent from 2005, which was down significantly from 2004.
Season-to-Date Averages for TUF 4 Fall Just Short of TUF 3
With three episodes of the TUF 4 season now having aired, the season-to-date averages are down slightly from the third season.
Through three episodes, TUF 4 is averaging a 1.6 overall rating, compared to a 1.7 overall rating for TUF 3 at the same point in its season. Among 18-to-49-year-old males, TUF 4 is averaging a 2.0 rating so far, whereas TUF 3 was averaging a 2.2 rating through three episodes.
In the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, TUF 4 is averaging a 2.6 rating through three episodes. That's an excellent rating for any show to draw in the 18-to-34-year-old male demographic, but it's also down significantly from the 3.0 average that TUF 3 was drawing in the same demographic through three episodes.
Episode Three of TUF 4 featured a quick fight in which Chris Lytle submitted Pete Spratt. Episode Three of the third season also featured a one-sided fight that ended by submission, as Kendall Grove defeated Ross Pointon. The difference from a ratings standpoint is that the Grove-Pointon fight drew a 2.3 rating in the minutes immediately before, during, and after the fight, whereas Lytle vs. Spratt drew a 1.6 rating in the same timeframe.
Portion of UFC Unleashed Audience Tunes Out When TUF Starts
This particular episode of TUF got off to a very slow start in the ratings, as the opening 15 minutes of the show drew an average rating of just 1.3. This was actually a decrease from the final 15 minutes of the UFC Unleashed episode that preceded TUF, as that quarter-hour drew a 1.4 rating.
While there were many people who tuned in to Spike TV at 10:00 PM specifically to see The Ultimate Fighter, these people were actually outnumbered by the people who were watching UFC Unleashed and chose to change the channel instead of keeping it on Spike TV when TUF started at 10:00 PM.
This is the first time ever that we have such an occurrence on record. There have been times when the quarter-hour rating stayed the same rather than increasing when TUF started at 10:00 PM, but this was the first time that the number of viewers actually decreased.
Though it's only a slight ratings fluctuation at this point, this is generally not a good sign for TUF 4 because it means that there are a decent number of people who are interested in seeing the UFC in general and will stay tuned to finish watching UFC Unleashed, but who are not interested in TUF 4 for whatever reason and choose not to keep watching when TUF starts at 10:00 PM.
The entire hour of UFC Unleashed averaged a 1.2 overall rating, which marks the second week in a row that UFC Unleashed drew an overall rating that was just 0.2 lower than the episode of The Ultimate Fighter that followed it.
Will the "Someone Might Get Kicked Out" Tease Boost the Episode Four Ratings?
At the end of Episode Three, the teaser for next week's episode hinted that a fighter might be kicked off the show next week for breaking the house rules. Fighters have broken the house rules and gotten away with it on prior seasons of TUF (specifically the rule about not leaving the property without permission), but it's still a possibility that someone actually was kicked off the show this season for wandering off the property.
Given that the segments with recaps of each fighter's UFC career have been airing right before they fight on the show, it made absolutely no sense for Jeremy Jackson's UFC career to be recapped in the middle of Episode Three for no apparent reason.
One of the only logical explanations is that the editors knew in post-production that Jackson had been kicked off the show before he got a chance to fight, and there would be no opportunity to air Jackson's recap footage right before his TUF fight if he didn't have a TUF fight. This is pure speculation, though, and it's also possible that the editors and producers threw that out there intentionally as a red herring.
It will be interesting to see if the tease of someone potentially getting kicked off the show will increase the ratings for Episode Four. Ultimately, the answer to that question is almost completely dependent on whether or not most viewers care about or have grown attached to the fighters on this season of the show.
In the end, that is what determines the ratings success or comparative failure of any season of TUF: Do viewers get attached to the fighters and/or coaches? If a viewer cares about or gets emotionally invested in what happens to the fighters, or the coaches/trainers, or preferably both, they will keep watching throughout the season and maybe even encourage their friends to check out the show (see TUF 3 with its increasing ratings as the season went on).
In the second season, the ratings collapsed as the season progressed (even before the WWE lead-in was lost), in great part because there were several occasions when the fighters on the show were disrespected, treated like trash, or portrayed as wimps, even in cases like Rob MacDonald's where they were fighting through major injuries. Not enough viewers got emotionally attached to the fighters or coaches, and many of them stopped watching before the end of the season.
On the first three episodes of TUF 4, trainers Randy Couture and Georges St. Pierre have barely even been on the show, but the producers and editors have done a good job of establishing some of the fighters' personalities, with an emphasis on Shonie Carter and Matt Serra.
With commercials airing throughout the week hyping the fact that one of the fighters could be kicked off the show on Episode Four, the ratings for this episode will likely be indicative of how much viewers care about this season's cast as a whole.
Network TV Competition: The Calm Before the "New Fall Season" Storm
For the second consecutive week, the pro wrestling show TNA Impact drew an overall rating of 0.8 following The Ultimate Fighter on Spike TV. The ratings for TNA Impact have dropped an alarming 20 percent in the weeks since TNA part-owner and head writer Jeff Jarrett was given the promotion's world title belt.
Airing head-to-head with The Ultimate Fighter 4 on August 31st from 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM, the finale of the now-cancelled NBC drama Windfall drew a 3.6 overall rating. Also, ABC's newsmagazine Primetime drew a 5.1 overall rating, and a repeat of Without a Trace on CBS drew a whopping 8.1 overall rating.
Airing head-to-head with UFC Unleashed from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM, two repeats of The Office on NBC drew overall ratings of 3.9 and 3.8, respectively. The series premiere of Celebrity Duets, featuring a completely incoherent Little Richard as one of the judges, was replayed on Fox and drew a 3.7 rating in this hour.
Also in the 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM hour, in what may or may not be a preview of things to come when both series begin their new seasons on September 21st, a repeat of the CBS drama CSI easily topped a repeat of the ABC drama Grey's Anatomy in the ratings. CSI drew an 8.1 overall rating, while Grey's Anatomy drew a 5.9 overall rating.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- Stephan Bonnar Tests Positive for Anabolic Steroid
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
In a developing news story that broke on Wednesday's edition of MMAWeekly Radio, MMAWeekly has learned that Stephan Bonnar tested positive for an anabolic steroid after his fight against Forrest Griffin at UFC 62 on August 26th.
The specific banned substance that was found in Bonnar's post-fight urine sample after his unanimous decision loss to Griffin was Boldenone Metabolite, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission's drug testing results.
Boldenone is an anabolic steroid that is intended for use only by veterinarians, specifically to help rehabilitate injured horses. It has several brand names for veterinary use, including Equigan, Equipoise, Ultragan, and Ganabol. It is on the banned substances list of all the major athletic commissions and sports leagues.
In a formal complaint filed on Wednesday by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Bonnar was informed of his positive test result and was made aware that the NSAC has the right to suspend and/or fine him for his positive test result, pending a disciplinary hearing.
The amount of the fine can be up to $250,000, or the complete amount of the fighter's purse for the event, whichever amount is greater. In this case, Bonnar's purse for the August 26th fight was $16,000, so the maximum possible fine is $250,000.
The length of the suspension can be whatever the NSAC deems appropriate, but the suspensions have ranged from three to twelve months in past instances of mixed martial artists and boxers testing positive for banned substances.
According to the NSAC complaint, Bonnar's side has 20 days from the date of the complaint to issue a formal response to the NSAC in writing, which would put the date at September 26th.
After Bonnar's side has formally responded, the NSAC will set the date for a disciplinary hearing, at which Bonnar will be "entitled to be represented by counsel of his choice" and will also be entitled to "cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and argue on his own behalf before a decision is made by the Commission."
Even before his drug test results came back positive for a banned substance, Bonnar had already been medically suspended for six months due to a broken right thumb, so it's unlikely that he would have fought again this year even if he hadn't tested positive for a banned substance at UFC 62.
Boldenone is not generally a popular drug among bodybuilders because of the fact that traces of the drug remain in the user's system for several months after use. According to Food and Drug Administration filings, which cited the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation, Boldenone is intended for use by veterinarians as "an aid for treating debilitated horses when an improvement in weight, hair coat, or general physical condition is desired."
The FDA filings added, "Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian." Due to potential health risks for humans, the FDA has gone so far as to say that Boldenone "should not be administered to horses intended for human consumption."
The possible side effects of Boldenone when used by humans include high blood pressure, increased water retention, elevated levels of estrogen, possible hair loss, flu-like symptoms, anxiety, and acne.
A total of eighteen fighters competed on the UFC 62 card on August 26th, and four of those eighteen fighters were drug tested by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. In addition to Bonnar, the other fighters who were drug-tested were Chuck Liddell, Renato "Babalu" Sobral, and Forrest Griffin, all of whom passed their drug tests.
With a cost-per-fighter of $278.40 to run all of the tests for steroids, stimulants, and recreational drugs, the total amount spent on drug testing for UFC 62 was $1,113.60.
At the UFC Fight Night card in Las Vegas on August 17, four of the eighteen fighters who competed were drug tested by the NSAC. Those fighters were the two main event fighters, Diego Sanchez and Karo Parisyan, as well as two fighters who were selected at random, Josh Koscheck and Jason Von Flue. Sanchez, Parisyan, Koscheck, and Von Flue all passed their drug tests.
As with UFC 62, the total amount spent on drug testing for UFC Fight Night was $1,113.60.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- UFC 61 Surpasses $30 Million in Pay-Per-View Sales, Plus Final PPV Buyrate for UFC 60
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
Last week, MMAWeekly took a look at the fighter salaries for UFC 62, which took place on August 26th in Las Vegas. While pay-per-view buyrate information is not yet available for UFC 62 due to the fact that it takes weeks or months for such numbers to be finalized, we do have the initial estimates on UFC 61's PPV buyrate and the final numbers on UFC 60's PPV buyrate.
The news is excellent for the UFC, as just seven weeks after one of its PPV events generated more than $20 million for the first time in the history of the UFC, the company's next PPV generated over $30 million in gross sales, blowing away all previous records.
The initial buyrate estimate for UFC 61 within the pay-per-view industry, as published by the Wrestling Observer, is that the show drew a whopping 775,000 PPV buys. The Observer been one of the most credible publications for many years when it comes to PPV buyrates, and 775,000 PPV buys at $39.95 per buy equals $30.96 million in gross PPV revenue. The UFC's share of the gross revenue for this and all other PPV events is approximately 50 percent, and all of the PPV figures in this article only take into account domestic PPV buys, which is where the majority of the UFC's PPV buys originate.
The initial buyrate estimates within the PPV industry are always lower than the final numbers, due to the fact that the final numbers take into account "late buys." Late buys is a term that refers to encore PPV buys of an event's replays throughout the month that it debuted, as well as PPV buys from smaller cable systems throughout the United States, and these late buys typically take several months to be fully reported in the inefficient cable industry.
The PPV industry's initial buyrate estimates, as first published by the Wrestling Observer, combined with MMAWeekly's own sources in the PPV industry, who are more familiar with the updated numbers that have "late buys" taken into account, are the basis of this article and MMAWeekly's previous article on the UFC's PPV buyrate explosion of 2006.
The main event of UFC 61 was technically Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski for the UFC Heavyweight Title, but the vast majority of the hype for the event was dedicated to the rematch between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, which was hyped on national television for several consecutive months during the airing The Ultimate Fighter 3 on Spike TV.
The mark of 775,000 PPV buys for UFC 61 shatters the previous all-time UFC record that had been set by UFC 60, which had broken the record set by UFC 59, which had broken the record set by UFC 57. In total, four of the UFC's first five PPVs of 2006 broke the company's all-time PPV records, as detailed in our previous article on this subject.
The initial buyrate estimate for UFC 60 within the pay-per-view industry, as published by the Wrestling Observer and MMAWeekly at the time, was 600,000 buys. MMAWeekly has subsequently learned that the final buyrate for UFC 60 will be in the range of 615,000 to 625,000 buys, which is actually not that much of an increase over the initial buyrate estimate. In total, the gross PPV revenue for UFC 60 was between $24.57 million and $24.97 million. The event, headlined by Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie, was the first UFC event to break the $20 million mark in gross PPV sales.
The first three UFC PPVs of 2006 were also extremely successful. As previously detailed, UFC 57 in February broke all of the UFC's records at the time by drawing 400,000 to 410,000 PPV buys. With the main event of Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture III, the event generated between $15.98 million and $16.38 million in gross PPV sales. Impressive as these numbers were and still are, they have now been dwarfed by the PPV sales for UFC 60 and UFC 61.
UFC 58 in March was headlined by Rich Franklin vs. David Loiseau, and though it did not break UFC 57's record, the event still drew 290,000 to 300,000 PPV buys, which far exceeded the PPV industry's pre-event expectations. UFC 58 carried a fee of $34.95 instead of $39.95, and the gross PPV revenue was between $10.14 million and $10.49 million. When the lowest-drawing PPV event of the year still generates over $10 million in gross PPV sales,
UFC 59 in April was technically headlined by Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski, but the vast majority of the hype was dedicated to the semi-main event of Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin. Though it was expected to draw a strong PPV buyrate, UFC 59 surpassed those lofty expectations by breaking the records that had been set by UFC 57. The total number of buys for UFC 59 was in the range of 415,000 to 435,000, which generated gross PPV revenue of $16.58 million to $17.38 million.
Adding up all of the aforementioned figures and not counting the "late buys" for UFC 61, the total number of PPV buys for the first five UFC PPVs of 2006 was between 2,495,000 and 2,545,000. Taking into account the fact that UFC 58 was priced at $34.95 instead of $39.95, this means that the gross PPV revenue generated by the first five UFC PPVs of 2006 was between $96,230,000 and $100,180,000.
As we've mentioned in the past, even though they promote two different products, the single company with which the UFC most directly competes is World Wrestling Entertainment, and the changing fortunes of both companies has led to a shift in the pay-per-view industry at large. In less than one year, the UFC has gone from not being able to even approach WWE's big-event PPV numbers to actually beating WrestleMania in domestic PPV sales on two separate occasions over the course of one summer.
WrestleMania has been the biggest American pro wrestling event of the year since 1985, and this year's WrestleMania drew approximately 560,000 domestic PPV buys, according to WWE's own financial records. That number is less than UFC 60's PPV buyrate and is not even close to UFC 61's.
The Royal Rumble, which is traditionally the second- or third-biggest American pro wrestling event of the year, drew approximately 340,000 domestic PPV buys, which is lower than all-but-one of the UFC's PPV events so far this year.
Outside of its four biggest events of the year (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series), WWE's domestic PPV buyrates have collapsed in the past few years and even more so in 2006, just as the UFC's PPV buyrates have skyrocketed.
The non "Big Four" PPVs that WWE produces on a monthly basis have not been able to surpass the mark of 200,000 domestic buys for any individual event so far in 2006, while a UFC PPV that draws 200,000 domestic buys would now have to be considered a big disappointment given the standard that has been set in recent months.
According to WWE's financial statements, the No Way Out PPV drew approximately 140,000 domestic buys; Backlash drew approximately 130,000 domestic buys; Judgment Day drew approximately 140,000 domestic buys; One Night Stand drew approximately 170,000 domestic buys; Vengeance drew approximately 190,000 PPV buys; and the Great American Bash drew approximately 130,000 PPV buys. Pay-per-view sales information for this year's edition of SummerSlam is not yet available.
What's clear in these figures is that the UFC's many shows on Spike TV, not only The Ultimate Fighter but also the regular airings of older fights on UFC Unleashed and the well-produced PPV preview shows, do a much better job of convincing people to buy PPV events than WWE's five hours of weekly original programming (one hour on Sci Fi Channel, two hours on USA Network, and two hours on UPN, which will soon become The CW Network).
Though WWE still draws significantly higher television ratings than the UFC, more and more people in the United States are willing to plunk down 40 dollars to buy the UFC's pay-per-view events, while an ever-shrinking amount of people are willing to spend the same amount of money to buy WWE's PPV events.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- UFC 62 Draws Third-Biggest Gate in UFC History
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
UFC 62 drew the third-biggest live gate in UFC history on August 26th in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the Mandalay Bay Events Center was not sold out, despite repeated claims to the contrary during the pay-per-view broadcast, UFC 62 was still a huge success at the box office, as it managed to become the third event in UFC history to surpass the $3 million mark in gross ticket receipts.
The total number of tickets sold for the event was 8,954, for a live gate of $3,040,880. In addition, there was 905 free comp tickets that were given away, so the total attendance in the building was 9,859. While the Mandalay Bay Events Center can hold over 11,000 fans with the UFC's set-up, the third-biggest gate in UFC history can still be considered nothing less than an enormous success at the live gate.
Despite having what was perceived beforehand as a weaker main event (Chuck Liddell vs. Renato Sobral II, along with Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar II), UFC 62 still managed to surpass the live gate revenue of UFC 60, which generated $2,900,090 in live gate receipts with the main event of Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie.
The top four live gates in UFC history have all come in 2006. UFC 57 drew the biggest live gate in company history this past February, as the event headlined by Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture III generated $3,382,400 in late gate receipts.
The number two live gate in UFC history was drawn on July 8th by UFC 61, as the event drew a live gate of $3,350,775 with the co-main events of Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock II and Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski III.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Mixed Martial Arts--- UFC 62 Fighter Salaries
by Ivan Trembow
Originally Published on MMAWeekly
UFC 62 took place on Saturday, August 26th at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and aired on pay-per-view. The following figures are from the fighter salary information that the UFC is required by law to submit to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Any additional bonuses or non-disclosed money that the UFC pays its fighters are not included in the figures below.
Zuffa president Dana White has said in numerous interviews over the years that he would prefer for the UFC's fighter salary information to not be publicly available, and White said just this week in a Canadian Press article about UFC fighter salaries, "When people know what you make, it causes a lot of problems in your life."
Unfortunately for White or anyone else who shares his position on the matter, that is simply not how it works with any major sport. Athletes' salaries are public knowledge in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and every other major sport.
By talking in various interviews about secret bonuses without revealing the specific amounts (including the following quotes from the Canadian Press article: "Our fighters make a lot of money, a lot of money... we're thrilled, thrilled that these guys are able to make what they're making"), the UFC has essentially taken the position that the salaries of UFC fighters are secret.
This is unlike any other major sport and is a lot closer to World Wrestling Entertainment's position on its performers' salaries, which makes it very surprising for White to have taken this position publicly. One would think that anything which might invite comparisons to WWE's business model for paying talent would be avoided.
There is one other way in which the UFC is similar to WWE and different from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. Like pro wrestlers and unlike any of the athletes in any of the aforementioned sports, mixed martial arts do not have a union or any form of collective bargaining. Again, this makes it surprising for the UFC to have taken a secretive, WWE-like approach to talent salaries, because it only invites more WWE comparisons.
Without further ado, here are the fighter salaries for UFC 62 from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. Regarding the "known event revenue" that is listed below the disclosed fighter payroll, the live gate for this event was $3,040,880, but the PPV revenue information is not yet available.
UFC 62 Fighter Salaries
Event took place on August 26, 2006 and aired on pay-per-view
-Chuck Liddell: $250,000 (defeated Renato "Babalu" Sobral in co-main event)
-Forrest Griffin: $32,000 (defeated Stephan Bonnar in co-main event)
-Renato "Babalu" Sobral: $21,000 (lost to Chuck Liddell in co-main event)
-Nick Diaz: $20,000 (defeated Josh Neer)
-Stephan Bonnar: $16,000 (lost to Forrest Griffin in co-main event)
-Cheick Kongo: $12,000 (defeated Christian Wellisch)
-Hermes Franca: $12,000 (defeated Jamie Varner)
-Yushin Okami: $8,000 (defeated Alan Belcher)
-Josh Neer: $6,000 (lost to Nick Diaz)
-Rob MacDonald: $5,000 (lost to Eric Schafer)
-David Heath: $4,000 (defeated Cory Walmsley)
-Eric Schafer: $4,000 (defeated Rob MacDonald)
-Wilson Gouveia: $4,000 (defeated Wes Combs)
-Alan Belcher: $3,000 (lost to Yushin Okami)
-Christian Wellisch: $3,000 (lost to Cheick Kongo)
-Jamie Varner: $3,000 (lost to Hermes Franca)
-Wes Combs: $2,000 (lost to Wilson Gouveia)
-Cory Walmsley: $2,000 (lost to David Heath)
-Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $407,000
-Event Revenue: Live gate was $3,040,880; PPV revenue not yet available