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Sunday news review (2/24/08)

By Zach Arnold | February 24, 2008

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Chuck Liddell’s book, Iceman, has slipped to #16 on the NYT Best-Sellers list, but it is the third week in a row that the book has made it onto the list.

  1. The Fightworks Podcast: Interview with Robert Drysdale
  2. Fightlinker: Who’s the Yoko Ono of MMA? Kim Couture?
  3. Steve Cofield: UFC needs to voice stance on Jon Koppenhaver
  4. The Oregonian: Portland well-represented in MMA events
  5. The Canadian Press: Ryan Ford chokes out veteran Pete Spratt in MFC 15 main event
  6. CBS Sports: Crossover cash cows
  7. Press Release: Dan Severn vs. Colin Robinson booked for Belfast MMA event on 3/9
  8. CBC News (Canada): Young athlete Rene Ayangma died of natural causes
  9. Five Ounces of Pain: Interview with Jon Fitch
  10. Adam Morgan: Hermes Franca is now a free agent
  11. The St. Petersburg Times (FL): Big Dreams, son inspiration for short wrestler (Midget MMA?)
  12. The South-Florida Sun-Sentinel: Grappling rapidly gaining acceptance with rise of MMA
  13. The Boston Herald: Dan Henderson down for it
  14. Shu Hirata: DEEP 34 event recap
  15. The Macon Telegraph (GA): Cole Miller climbing up UFC ranks
  16. The Macon Telegraph (GA): MMA scene growing in Middle Georgia

Topics: Canada, Japan, MMA, Media, UFC, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “Sunday news review (2/24/08)”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    Did anybody else fall asleep during the Kitschko fight? I did. Stewart is one of the best coaches in boxing, but the style hs teaches for those Heavyweight’s to win is bad for the sport. Who wants to watch what Wladimir do for 12 rounds? Unified Champion perhaps…. But definitely not a crowd pleaser.

  2. D. Capitated says:

    So, Five Ounces did a interview with Koscheck last week where he admits that he’s at the very end of his TUF contract. Guess that explains why its off the PPV card. Diego’s in the same boat, more than likely. I have to say, Diego Sanchez in Elite XC fighting KJ Noons for the 160lb belt ain’t a bad fight.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Chris Leben is getting $25,000 to show and $25,000 to win. I would assume the Koscheck & Sanchez deals they are presented are slightly higher. Likely looking at $30,000 to $40,000 to show, and same to win minimum.

    A lot of these fighters can test the market, but there is only so many companies able to afford them. EliteXC, HDNet, Strikeforce, and K-1 can only absorb so many of these guys. And K-1 likely has little interest in the American stars.

    Lastly, if you look at how careers progress, I’m not sure leaving the UFC is always the best career move. Whether this is right or wrong…. A loss inside outside of the UFC has always hurt a fighters career more then a loss inside the UFC. I think it is two fold. First, the UFC has the ability to build the fighters back up, while still giving them TV time. A company like EliteXC is going to be less likely to do so because they just don’t have the TV hours available. Secondly, when a fighter loses outside of the UFC, it just has the feeling of them losing to lesser competition.

  4. D. Capitated says:

    If you’re Josh Koscheck or Diego Sanchez, and you’re at least a year away or more from a title shot at the moment, why not leave and make more money should it be presented to you?

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    I guess it all depends on what the money difference is. For a small money difference, it isn’t worth it.

    1. A small difference in fighter pay can easily be made up for in fight sponsors. And I doubt any smart sponsor would pay them more for competing on a Strikeforce card compared to a UFC card.

    2. Out of sight, out of mind. Whether the MMA community is honest with themselves or not, the sport has not taken off. Only the UFC has. Two years outside of the UFC can really hurt their market value in the future, especially with one or two losses.

    3. Earning potential. Winning outside of the UFC might get them more $50,000+ paydays. Winning in the UFC has the potential to getting them $200,000+ if not a million a fight with PPV buys.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. Chris Leben was extremely vocal after one fight. He was hinting about needing more money and fighting out of the UFC. And at the end of the day, he signed back with the UFC. And if he goes 2-1 in a year, he is looking at a $125,000 year. Assuming sponsors pay for training costs, and that is a nice year for a mid-level fighter. A guy like Koscheck might be looking at $40,000 to show. Going 2-1 in a year, and he is taking home a nice cool $200,000. While one company might be able to offer him that amount, how many companies can offer these UFC guys? Guys like Sanchez, Koscheck, and others. There just isn’t enough money out there to give them all big contracts.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    To clarify #3…. This would be in there new contract if they continue to win…

  7. D. Capitated says:

    A small difference in fighter pay can easily be made up for in fight sponsors. And I doubt any smart sponsor would pay them more for competing on a Strikeforce card compared to a UFC card.

    I love how people keep bringing up sponsors. Sponsors aren’t going to make up a gap of $50,000 for a midlevel fighter.

    2. Out of sight, out of mind. Whether the MMA community is honest with themselves or not, the sport has not taken off. Only the UFC has. Two years outside of the UFC can really hurt their market value in the future, especially with one or two losses.

    Which is fine and all, but as I’ve said a bunch of times previously, put Randy Couture somewhere outside the UFC fighting Fedor and see if it really draws no one. It would get more attention than any main event the UFC can cobble together right now. Legitimate names like Koscheck and Sanchez can change these perceptions, thus why someone outside would want to sign them.

    3. Earning potential. Winning outside of the UFC might get them more $50,000+ paydays. Winning in the UFC has the potential to getting them $200,000+ if not a million a fight with PPV buys.

    But neither guy is gonna see those paydays for another 3-4 very risky fights that they’d have to win. Its nice to talk about down the road, but Koscheck winning a belt elsewhere and having a TV outlet to work from will probably only increase his value over time.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    Where is this magical TV outlet you speak of? I see none outside of the UFC. I see HDNet, which puts on crap fights and is seen in so few homes. I see EliteXC, which has around 15 million homes available. I don’t see any company right now that can reach out to fans. Therefore, when a guy like Koscheck or Sanchez leaves the UFC, they are basically non-existent to the general public.

    And what a crappy career move that is.

    As for a Couture/Fedor fight helping draw in the fans… Boy is that one risky way to build up a company… With a bunch of overpaid undercard fighters and one main event… Which if it fails, will bring the event that put it on into the depths of MMA hell…

  9. Ross says:

    For what it’s worth, Meltzer said on the WrestlingClassics board a couple of years ago that Koscheck was making $14,000 a month from sponsorship money.

  10. Sergio says:

    “Which is fine and all, but as I’ve said a bunch of times previously, put Randy Couture somewhere outside the UFC fighting Fedor and see if it really draws no one. It would get more attention than any main event the UFC can cobble together right now.”

    The last two PPVs Randy headlined did less buys than UFC 81.

    It’ll get attention, for sure, but that doesn’t always translate into buys.

  11. Grape Knee High says:

    D.Capitated, I think there is way more sponsorship money floating around for the popular fighters than most people think.

    Stephane Patry came out in 2006 and stated that GSP would gross around $1 million that year (and he hadn’t even gotten the belt yet). Patry also stated GSP grossed $350,000 in 2005.

    GSP’s 2005 year was similar to where many up-and-coming fighters like Jon Fitch are currently, so he should make a good example.

    He had 1 fight in TKO and 3 fights in the UFC in 2005.

    His 3 fights in the UFC grossed him $81,000. Let’s assume hypothetically that his TKO fight paid him $19,000 (and this is probably on the high side as his first UFC fight in 2005 paid him $18,000).

    That means GSP earned ~$100,000 in fight purses an ~$250,000 in sponsorhips.

  12. D. Capitated says:

    Where is this magical TV outlet you speak of?

    PPV? Where it would very likely end up?

    I see EliteXC, which has around 15 million homes available.

    Mike Tyson was signed to Showtime for the last 6 years of his career. I don’t think that destroyed the Lewis/Tyson buyrate.

    As for a Couture/Fedor fight helping draw in the fans… Boy is that one risky way to build up a company… With a bunch of overpaid undercard fighters and one main event…

    They’re only overpaid if it’s a failure. Couture/Fedor could probably make enough money to be profitable without 500,000 buys, you know. Somehow boxing does it with 300,000 buy shows and guaranteed payrolls 10X that of MMA.

  13. D. Capitated says:

    The last two PPVs Randy headlined did less buys than UFC 81.

    I’m reserving judgement on UFC 81 until I see a final figure. I remember when UFC 71 “broke all the records”.

    It’ll get attention, for sure, but that doesn’t always translate into buys.

    Randy Couture in the main event gets on ESPN. That’s enough to guarantee about 250,000-300,000 buys, which would probably be enough on a top heavy show to cover costs and make some money at $50 for the show.

  14. Sergio says:

    “Randy Couture in the main event gets on ESPN. That’s enough to guarantee about 250,000-300,000 buys, which would probably be enough on a top heavy show to cover costs and make some money at $50 for the show.”

    I agree but in my opinion, that’s the ceiling.

    No way does it do anywhere close to half a million buys.

  15. D. Capitated says:

    “Randy Couture in the main event gets on ESPN. That’s enough to guarantee about 250,000-300,000 buys, which would probably be enough on a top heavy show to cover costs and make some money at $50 for the show.”

    I agree but in my opinion, that’s the ceiling.

    So let’s say it doesn’t. Has a $5 million dollar live gate and gets about $7 million out of domestic PPV. Randy and Fedor each make $3 million apiece guaranteed money, more than either has ever made. The promoter makes money. Uh, is that a failure? A cautionary tale to other fighters? I’m thinking it doesn’t mean what you think it does at those numbers.

    No way does it do anywhere close to half a million buys.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    Do you really think a Couture/Fedor fight could do a $5 Million gate? Chuck Liddell with the UFC hype machine AND SpikeTV behind it has only done that once.

    It is most unlikely they will get more then a $2 Million gate. Even over a million might be lucky. But let’s say $2 Million. And they won’t be getting all of that money.

    Additionally, can they charge $45 for a PPV? I doubt it. Let’s say they charge $40 a pop, and they get $20 per PPV. I doubt it will do more then 250,000, which means they get $5 Million.

    So the maximum the event will get is like $6 Million. After paying the fighter, production, and everything else, the event could still lose money. And guess what? Couture is retiring after this fight and won’t be able to make the company any more money. And just because Fedor beats him, doesn’t mean he gets all of his fans.

    Not to mention that PPV money can take up to a year to get.

    As for Diego Sanchez, it was announced on Sherdog Radio that he signed a new 6 fight deal and was very happy with it. So much for other companies getting these guys. Nobody can compete with the UFC when they want to keep talent. Well, nobody except for K-1, but they have such a different appetite for talent that they rarely go after the same athletes.

  17. Sergio says:

    “So let’s say it doesn’t. Has a $5 million dollar live gate and gets about $7 million out of domestic PPV.”

    I agree with 45, as much as I want to see this fight (considering if and when, it could happen 30 minutes away from me), there’s no way it’ll pull down those kinds of numbers.

    Those numbers are UFC 66-type numbers.

  18. D. Capitated says:

    Do you really think a Couture/Fedor fight could do a $5 Million gate? Chuck Liddell with the UFC hype machine AND SpikeTV behind it has only done that once.

    With solid promtion, absolutely. They could overprice the tickets and get a decent gate number even with 9,500 sold. Worked for Mosley/Vargas so well they had a second fight.

    Additionally, can they charge $45 for a PPV? I doubt it.

    They’ll have no choice but to. I would be surprised if they only charged that in this theoretical. They people who will buy it will buy it if its $30 or if its $50. Boxing’s history shows fights of significantly lesser magnitude in terms of public interest doing 300,000 buys with $50 costs.

    So the maximum the event will get is like $6 Million.

    This is assuming you’re right, which has no real basis in any sport promotion that’s ever done and essentially poses on a worst case scenario. I’m sure if the worst case scenario happens, they lose money. I don’t see them running a budget PPV for this, nor do I see them having $10 seats to “fill up the house” nor many other things that may be issues to weekly television but have no pertinence to a PPV fight production.

    Couture is retiring after this fight and won’t be able to make the company any more money. And just because Fedor beats him, doesn’t mean he gets all of his fans.

    So, what? If the fight makes money, no one cares that Fedor won’t make tons of money, particularly the fighters, who happen to be doing this out of self interest. I’m sure Fedor doesn’t care about what his potential income in 5 years if Zuffa decides he’s worth enough to them for whatever might be if he can make that much or more now.

    As for Diego Sanchez, it was announced on Sherdog Radio that he signed a new 6 fight deal and was very happy with it. So much for other companies getting Diego Sanchez.

    Fixed that for you, since last I checked, Andrei Arlovski and Josh Koscheck still don’t have new deals. But hey, the UFC has Chris Leben. Who cares if they lose a top 10 welterweight and top 10 heavyweight? They’ve got the Crippler!

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