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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

« | Home | »

Tuesday talking points: 8,622? 8,622!

By Zach Arnold | July 9, 2007

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Underground cage fighting. Plus, Xyience Training Center Grand Opening.

UFC 73 attendance, gate, and purse information. Look at the figures – 8,622 paid. They did a little under 8,000 in Ireland. This may sound like piling on here, but I’ve been saying far and wide in media outlets that once UFC gets out of the casino zones, they struggle to cultivate big crowds without the casino power and Vegas-style advantages. It puts that tremendous Columbus crowd into perspective (meaning it reflects well on the Ohio folks). What does it indicate? As boxing promoter Bob Arum put it in a recent Yahoo Sports article, once you leave Las Vegas you have to start using some elbow grease to attract larger crowds.

Kiyoshi Tamura has been booked for HERO’s on July 16th at Yokohama Arena against Kin Tai Ei. K-1 matchmaker Sadaharu Tanigawa stated to the press on Tuesday that he would like to see Tamura vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama. Akiyama is tentatively scheduled to return in September. Tanigawa is also promising a big surprise at the Yokohama Arena event.

If you haven’t signed up for an account yet at MMAPredictions.com, go do it. It’s an easy-to-use site and free.

Kurt Otto speaks with Eddie Goldman about the state of the IFL.

Lay and Pray is going with the Drudge-style format. If they can make money with it, good for them. Plus, Sam Caplan wants your advertising.

Ivan Trembow on the WWE infomercial that was Larry King Live on Monday night. Plus, the drumbeat of pro-wrestling regulation.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. AOL Fanhouse: College wrestling star Ben Askren wants to try the Octagon, not the WWE ring
  2. UFC Junkie: Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz II set for Cincinnati’s UFC 77 event
  3. MMA Weekly: UFC Fight Night 11 on September 20th
  4. Sprawl ‘n Brawl: Big John McCarthy talks about UFC 73
  5. The Houston Chronicle (Steve Sievert): WEC rolls out title doubleheader in August
  6. MMA HQ: UFC adding new weight classes?
  7. China Combat: Interview with Gracie China Instructor Chet Quint (Part 2)
  8. SLAM! Sports: Former pro-wrestler Johnny Powers gives MMA promoting a try (he became a name in Japan in the 1970s by working with Antonio Inoki)
  9. The Long Beach Press-Telegram: Sakurai the latest PRIDE fighter to UFC
  10. MMA Insider: Is Elite XC’s next event July 27th? (the answer is yes)
  11. 411 Mania: Interview with Jamal Patterson
  12. The Minneapolis City Pages: Muscle Shark frustrates Franca, defends title
  13. NBC Sports: Former boxing referee Richard Steele turns focus to MMA
  14. Jake Rossen: Minute-by-Minute of “Stacked”
  15. The Irish Whip: The Bas Rutten interview
  16. The Joliet Daily Herald News (IL): Martial arts business a family affair at HCX MMA

Topics: HERO's, IFL, Japan, K-1, Media, MMA, Pro Elite, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 43 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

43 Responses to “Tuesday talking points: 8,622? 8,622!”

  1. Royal B. says:

    Doesn’t the ‘E have an office dedicated to going to wrestling and grappling tournaments?

    If so, what success rate do they have?

  2. Stu says:

    Why not set up Tamura/Sakuraba when you finally have the chance? Or are they favoring Sakuraba/Royce 3?

  3. Ivan Trembow says:

    Monday night’s episode of Larry King on CNN was essentially a 55-minute WWE infomercial. One can say that it’s nobody’s fault that Larry King had no clue about much of anything during this show, but is it an accident that none of the so-called “troublemakers” were booked on this show?

    Everyone on this show was among the crowd that is pro-WWE in everything they say, and who repeatedly say things like that if being in the pro wrestling industry has killed anyone, then they shouldn’t have signed up for it. Ted DiBiase even compared the pro wrestling industry to the Army.

    Bret Hart continues to bend over for WWE, despite the fact that just a few weeks ago, WWE took footage of Bret Hart speaking negatively about Vince McMahon and used it in a fake death storyline designed in part to mock and parody the tribute shows for wrestlers who have died on WWE’s watch such as Bret’s brother Owen.

    John Cena, as usual, was a walking WWE press release. He is a shill if there ever was one, and I’m sure future generations of wrestlers are very thankful for his answer to the union question. (“I don’t think that question will ever be answered because I don’t think anyone will ever ask it.”) Cena was even adversarial towards the D.A., just as his bosses and Jerry McDevitt are, as Cena said after the interview with the D.A., “Listen to the D.A., he doesn’t know if they’ve released the bodies, he doesn’t know this, he doesn’t know that…”

    McDevitt was McDevitt. I’d love to see McDevitt being questioned in court about what he meant when he said that Benoit tested “all clean” in April 2007, given WWE’s laughable standards for what “all clean” means (ie, 10-to-1 T/E ratio is what it takes to constitute failure, and even then, you pass if you have a prescription from one of many mark doctors).

    I also wish that McDevitt would clarify what he meant when he said that it has been hard on Vince McMahon. Did he mean that the deaths of Chris Benoit, Nancy Benoit, and Daniel Benoit have been hard on Vince, or that the mean ol’ mainstream media picking on Vince has been hard on him?

    When Larry King asked if WWE was doing everything that they could possibly do as far as drug testing goes, McDevitt didn’t answer the question; instead, he said that what WWE is doing is “remarkable.” When King asked about unions in the two minutes of the show that was not a WWE infomercial, McDevitt again didn’t answer the question; instead, he said that unions haven’t solved the drug problems in baseball.

    Chris Jericho was acting like he was on a job interview, and perhaps he was. If there is no emphasis on muscled-up bodies in WWE, why did Chris Jericho feel the need to take steroids when he was in pro wrestling full time? (Or is Jericho prepared to say that he never took steroids in his career?) It must make Jericho feel good at night to know that he just went on national television and completely downplayed wrestling’s problem with steroids, even though steroids were likely one of the contributing factors in his best friend’s death and his best friend’s deranged decision to murder his wife and seven-year-old son.

  4. chairibofjustice says:

    Don’t know if you guys posted this already, but it’s an interesting comment especially in light of a certain drama queen comment’s about Fedor not fighting in the UFC.

    “We are planning to have Fedor fighting in the UFC at the end of 2007 or early 2008,” White said.

    http://www.sportsline.com/mmaboxing/story/10250484

  5. Lynchman says:

    Perhaps I am mistaken, but most of the UFC Cali shows have done quite a bit better than this one did.
    UFC 65 did 12,000 paid.
    UFC 60 did a little over 10,000 paid.

    Also, didn’t the Houston show do 15,000?

    Two less than impressive crowds hardly means the UFC can’t draw outside of the Casinos.

    Some shows do well, others not so much. But it does not appear to be as cut and dried as you suggest.

  6. 1000 Cent says:

    So what are the chances of Bryan Alvarez, Marc Mero, the Warrior, Konnan, Steve Blackman, and John Cena showing up on the same talk show, in a round table discussion, to talk about the Benoit tragedy/steroids in professional wrestling?

    I think this would be great for the Montel Williams Show (well if he wins the World Series of Poker, then he would have the money to pull this off) :D.

  7. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I think the non-casino events are just an attempt to broaden live awareness in general. Since they’re turning big money on the PPV and DVD sales, it’s not as necessary to have a huge gate.

    This is pretty much the exact opposite of IFL, where they have tiny turnstyle counts, no PPV, essentially no DVD sales of complete events (at least not yet) and a television deal that doesn’t involve them receiving money.

    However, at least for the LA show, I had heard that they were actually busing some casino people out there from Nevada, though now that I think about it, that’s like 4 hours one way, so it sounds kind of unlikely.

    You could definitely say that it was too soon for UFC to come back to Sacramento though. UFC65 was only in November. I don’t know, but I would assume that even with their many many many events, WWE doesn’t come to town more than once every twelve months for any given city.

    Does Belfast have any casinos? I know there are land casinos in Ireland proper (Dublin), I don’t think there are any in Belfast. There are definitely casinos in London.

    Although in a lot of ways I disagree with the criticism of UFC, I do agree that they’re scheduling too many PPV events right now. Part of that is reflected in the problem of coming back to the well too often on some venues to fill the schedule. It would be fine to draw 9,000 or less for a Fight Night card, so I’d advocate having the FN events around the country, then coming back to town a year later or something if the event draws well. But they seem to try to keep the FNs very small, intimate events. It’s kind of funny to watch one of those (or any of today’s events) then go back and watch UFC21 or something, where they’re fighting in a barn out in Iowa (ok, very small arena in Iowa) in front of a few hundred people.

    Then you realize that was only eight years ago.

    You’ve come a long way baby.

  8. JThue says:

    This UFC number puts the EXC/SFC and even EXC/K-1-shows into a better perspective.

    If K-1 did 3k paid, one third of a “stacked” UFC card doesn’t sound nearly as bad as selling 5% of capacity at the Coliseum. One could also point to K-1 doing a better job than UFC with bringing in a comp-audience, but considering the different work methods and size of the areans I don’t think that’s fair.

    Meanwhile, Strikeforce did 8,584 paid in San Jose. They’re running CA every bit as often as the UFC, and are staying at the same level. EXC’s involvment surely secures a place on the UFC radar.

    California is so burned out it’s not even fascinating anymore.

  9. Canson says:

    Cali hasn’t been drawing that well for anyone lately, plus their crowds are full of assholes.

    The UFC has drawn rather well in middle America, and I imagine they would do great in the Northeast. I don’t see why they keep booking all of the CA shows.

  10. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Canson, I’d sure love to see them back in Connecticut.

    I’d block out a few days vacation to tailgate 😀

    There are some small venues in New Hampshire and Maine that might draw well also. I don’t know that they’d draw great numbers in Boston though.

  11. klown says:

    Highlight of Rossen’s minute-by-minute 🙂

    “… Sherk’s unbelievable work ethic was the focus of a recent SpikeTV special. I wonder if he allotted any time for finishing skills. Might be preferable to flipping a giant tire over and over.”

  12. Mateo says:

    I wish those guys who appeared on Larry King would take a conference call with Ivan.

    In less then two weeks time, they (wwe and their shills) are already trying to make it seem like there is no problem.

  13. D.Capitated says:

    UFC did damn well in Columbus too. Stating that 9,000 is “fine for a UFN card” is ridiculous, given that 9,000 is far ahead of virtually every UFN card ever held. What, do they need to run 80,000 (55,000 wouldn’t leave empty seats!) at Arrowhead to prove their value?

  14. D.Capitated says:

    Errr…would leave empty seats, rather. Point stands though.

  15. Dave says:

    Sometime I think the operators of this website won’t be happy until UFC folds.
    Okay, guys are Fight Opinion radio, I get the point. You hate UFC. You hate Dana. Now can you please move on and discuss other matters pertaining to MMA? If I want endless anti-UFC ramblings, I’ll go to Eddie Goldman’s site.

  16. Zack says:

    Keep in mind UFC ticket prices are A LOT higher than other events.

  17. Dave says:

    So what does that say about K-1 Dynamite? They had $10 tickets, and sold only 3,600. Then K-1 sold comps to themselves so they could brag about setting the all-time North American MMA attendance record. Of course, they had to pay ten times the tax revenue to do it.
    Is that a sound business strategy? And why wasn’t it brought up more on this website or the podcast? I can only imagine how much harping Dana White would have taken on this site and on the podcast if he had done something that crazy.

  18. Zack says:

    Dude, everyone covered the Dynamite!! show as the joke that it. Regardless, that was the most fun I’ve had live at a show maybe ever. The Manhoef/Yoon Dong Sick fight was amazing, and the crowd was PUMPED. It didn’t come across as well on video at all. The only other time I’ve heard a crowd that hyped live was Trigg vs Hughes 2 when Hughes came back and slammed him, or the entrances of Chuck & Randy 3.

  19. Zack says:

    “that it was” errrr stupid typo

  20. Dave says:

    I’m referring to the business aspect of Dynamite. The card was another story.

  21. Grape Knee High says:

    Zach isn’t anti-UFC, he is an equal opportunity hater…:)

  22. JThue says:

    “I’m referring to the business aspect of Dynamite. ”

    Business wise FEG did tremendous(they would have with zero tickets sold) and got exactly what they wanted to get from that show. As for attendance, it was ridiculed here and everywhere. The harsh reality of K-1 Dynamite is… Agree with their way of doing business or not, for the company it was nowhere near being a flop.

  23. Zack says:

    Fellas…it was Dynamite!!, not Dynamite. Get it straight.

  24. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    D., that’s what I meant when I said that they seemed to be going for a more intimate atmosphere at the UFN shows.

    If you did a UFN in any town in America with $20 tickets, you could sell it out (well, maybe not Arrowhead), but they choose to do things differently. I think I heard that the Sacramento show tickets STARTED at $50. With your ticketmaster and venue fees and taxes, that’s like $65 per person. That’s a pretty high threshold for a lot of people (including myself, it’s why I don’t see any of the major concert tours anymore, although part of that has to do with the lack of quality bands touring lately…grumble). In that context, 9k is great. But the gate is a tiny part of the revenue for the show in any case.

  25. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    DyNoMite!!!!!

  26. Vess says:

    I have to agree with Dave, there is certainly an anti-UFC bias here which is becoming a little bit tiresome. It seems that the UFC can do no good in your eyes. Zuffa is wading into uncharted territory…trying to bring a once banned sport into the mainstream. Of course mistakes will be made.

    Could we have more balanced commentary, that focuses not only on the negatives but also the POSITIVES of the UFC. I am sure these positives exist if you look hard enough which the writers here don’t seem to be doing.

    An example of the positvie effect of the UFC in Canada is the increased MMA coverage on all of our sports networks.
    TSN (Canada’s largest sports channel) televises UFC XX highlights, interviews with fighters, and the WEC live event that was on VERSUS (not available in Canada).
    Sportsnet (Canada’s second largest sports channel) shows reruns of past episodes of The Ultimate Fighter, interviews with fighters and UFC highlights. They even sent down a broadcast team to the most recent UFC event in Sacramento.
    The Score which is a smaller sports channel broadcasts lower tier MMA events and shows highlights of UFC events.

    So to all you “nattering nabobs of negativity”, I purse my lips together, stick out my tongue and give you a big raspberry.

  27. Sam Scaff says:

    Wait, I thought this site (or at least Zach) was anti-Pride, not anti-UFC.

    I think the bottom line is, this site is critical of all MMA promotions. And thats a good thing! It is called “FightOPINION” for a reason. I personally think criticism of all promotions will only serve to help the sport in the long run.

  28. D. Capitated says:

    If you did a UFN in any town in America with $20 tickets, you could sell it out (well, maybe not Arrowhead), but they choose to do things differently. I think I heard that the Sacramento show tickets STARTED at $50. With your ticketmaster and venue fees and taxes, that’s like $65 per person. That’s a pretty high threshold for a lot of people (including myself, it’s why I don’t see any of the major concert tours anymore, although part of that has to do with the lack of quality bands touring lately…grumble). In that context, 9k is great. But the gate is a tiny part of the revenue for the show in any case.

    Its simple economics. If you can sell 8,500 tickets at an average of $80 apiece, you would need to sell roughly three times as many tickets to break even with tickets that averaged $30 in price. How many 26,000-30,000 seat indoor arenas are there in this country? Hint: Not many.

    What the UFC does is sell tickets based on the clientele that will buy them. They imagine that the average UFC fan who wants to see a UFC event is willing to pay those sums of money to get in the door because its UFC. And hey, it seems that they will in significant numbers. You can’t fault them for what works. Even if they dropped those ticket prices to, say, $55 after taxes and fees, the people who aren’t gonna go because its $65 aren’t much more likely to go when its $10 or $15 cheaper.

  29. Kev says:

    The pattern I’m getting is:

    Expensive tickets -> only rich assholes buy tickets

  30. Zack says:

    I’m glad Zach chose a relatively generic name like FightOpinion.com.

    I’m tired of all the johnny-come-lately blog sites that are prefaced with UFC.

    UFCnews, UFCjunkie, UFCtimes, UFCrulz, UFCuberalles

    He’s always taken a more global slant, which is refreshing. The upcoming K-1 LW GP looks solid. Japan will start to get more interesting once we see where all the ex-Pride stars are going to start ending up.

  31. D. Capitated says:

    Expensive tickets -> only rich assholes buy tickets

    If there’s enough rich assholes to buy tickets, then what’s the problem? Floyd Mayweather/Oscar De La Hoya had something like a $20 million dollar live gate and it was held in MGM. Do you think they’d really have preferred a $2 million dollar live gate just so more regular folks might have been able to afford a ticket?

  32. Lynchman says:

    I am not suggesting that Zach is anti-UFC. But I am baffled by his using select numbers to back up his point. That is very unprofessional.

    As I said, the UFC recently did great numbers in Houston, has done good numbers in previous Cali shows and did a decent nunber for the U.K. debut.

    Zach,

    You have a good mind, please don’t resort to shoddy journalism.

  33. 45 Huddle says:

    I actually listened to that Kurt Otto interview with Eddie Goldman. I really really recommend everybody listen to all of it. Kurt Otto is delusional. He also has more of an edge to him lately. A few things he said:

    1. The team concept is superior to the UFC style card.

    2. Advertisers are understanding the IFL and really contributing. This is despite the fact that the financials show that they advertisers are basically paying nothing.

    3. That the IFL top fighters are at least on par with the UFC fighters. He makes no mention of the fact that Vladimir Matyushenko is his top Light Heavyweight, and he couldn’t cut it in the current UFC Light Heavyweight Division. Or that Chris Horodecki is his top Lightweight, and Frank Edgar, who is an up and coming UFC Lightweight, would wipe the mat with him.

    The list goes on and on. It was almost comical by the end of it. Of course, Eddie Goldman was his usual bias self when it comes to the IFL.

  34. HudsonMMA says:

    I’m a friend of Eddie’s so I do want to stick up for him a little. Even Eddie had to admit that the UFC has the top talent. And he did challenge Otto on the crowd noise issue.

    That said, 45, yeah, Otto has some ‘splainin to do.

  35. Zack says:

    “He makes no mention of the fact that Vladimir Matyushenko is his top Light Heavyweight, and he couldn’t cut it in the current UFC Light Heavyweight Division.”

    Vladdy couldn’t cut it? If memory serves, he only had one UFC fight at LHW and it was a boring as fuck fight with Tito Ortiz years ago. The only other UFC fight he lost was to Arlovski who outweighed him and was on a hot streak.

  36. D. Capitated says:

    Vladdy couldn’t cut it? If memory serves, he only had one UFC fight at LHW and it was a boring as fuck fight with Tito Ortiz years ago. The only other UFC fight he lost was to Arlovski who outweighed him and was on a hot streak.

    Your memory fails you. Prior to that, he beat the hell out of Yuki Kondo on a televised fight at UFC 32, and prior to the Arlovski fight at 44, he had beaten Rizzo on the televised portion of UFC 41. Anyone who says that “Matyushenko couldn’t cut it” is full of shit.

  37. Zack says:

    I forgot about the Kondo fight…the Rizzo fight was at HW.

  38. D. Capitated says:

    He also had a win over Travis Wiuff at heavyweight. Given that it isn’t his actual weight class, that’s pretty impressive, giving more reason to say why “he couldn’t cut the UFC” is an outlandish claim.

  39. MMA Game says:

    The UFC just need to go to new (and big) places. The average fan wants to go to the UFC at least once, so if they keep going to big places, spread out nicely, they will get good attendances. Wait til the UFC in London. I wouldnt be surprised if they do 15-17k paid.

  40. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    If not more. I fully expect London to be huge. HUGE.

    It’s an excellent card. If people won’t pay for that…then…I have no idea what then.

  41. Hi, I run Fight News Unlimited and was just wondering how you got the trackback to lead to your site on PRWEB for the Xyience Traning Center Grand Opening release?

  42. Zach Arnold says:

    I have no idea how that happened. All I did was link to the post.

  43. chis says:

    ufc 73 was the worst show ever for me with the thick redneck booing and even thicker over the top security.

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