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The eternal MMA thread

Discussion in 'Sports' started by silver1, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    I figured rather than just keep posting in the last UFC/Pride thread I'd start a new one where we can discuss all things MMA. To start off, I'll post an awesome article from MMAChronical.com that goes over UFC PPV #'s since UFC 33. Enjoy.


    With MMAChronicle.com's releasing of the pay per view buyrates for UFCs 43, 44, 46 and 47 based on Zuffa's pay per view revenue for each show as recorded by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, we're going to take a look at the biggest pay per view draws currently in the UFC.

    Here is a list of the buyrates for each UFC show since they came back on cable starting with UFC 33 in September 2001. We don't have buyrates for every show, and please take note that any buyrates other than UFCs 43, 44, 46 and 47 are only rumored numbers, and aren't anywhere close to official. The idea with presenting these numbers, though, is to use them as a guide to help analyze who and what draws and pay per view:

    CHART #1

    UFC 33 Sept 28 2001 Ortiz vs. Matyushenko 75,000
    UFC 34 Nov 2 2001 Couture vs. Rizzo 45,000-60,000*
    UFC 35 Jan 11 2001 Penn vs. Pulver 35,000
    UFC 36 March 22 2002 Barnett vs. Couture 45,000-60,000*
    UFC 37 May 10 2002 Lindland vs. Bustamante 45,000-60,000*
    UFC 38 July 13 2002 Hughes vs. Newton 45,000-60,000*
    UFC 39 Sept 27 2002 Rodriguez vs. Couture 45,000-60,000*
    UFC 40 Nov 22 2002 Ortiz vs. Shamrock 150,000
    UFC 41 Feb 28 2003 Tank vs. Mir 60,000
    UFC 42 Apr 25 2003 Hughes vs. Sherk 35,000
    UFC 43 June 6 2003 Couture vs. Liddell 49,000
    UFC 44 Sept 26 2003 Couture vs. Ortiz 94,000
    UFC 45 Nov 21 2003 Tank vs. Cabbage 40,000
    UFC 46 Jan 31 2004 Couture vs. Belfort 77,000
    UFC 47 Apr 2, 2004 Ortiz vs. Liddell 104,000
    UFC 48 June 19 2004 Shamrock vs. Kimo 110,000
    UFC 49 Aug 21 2004 Couture vs. Belfort N/A

    *These pay per views were figured as doing between 45,000 and 60,000+ buys

    A few notes on the above chart. UFC 37.5 isn't included on the list because it was shown on tape delay on pay per view and was set up as a TV taping for Fox Sportsnet. We don't have pay per view figures for UFC 49, but, for the sake of argument, we'll figure that the show will end up doing between 70,000 and 80,000 buys, same as UFC 46 which was also headlined by Couture vs. Belfort. Also, although UFC 43 was presented as an "all-star" show, the clear headliner was Couture vs. Liddell for the interim 205-pound title. UFC 45's main event live was Hughes vs. Trigg, which went on last that night, but Cabbage vs. Tank was the fight that the show was built around in pay per view advertising. Same thing with UFC 41 in regards to Tank vs. Mir and with Rodriguez defending the Heavyweight title last that night against Tim Sylvia. Also, Vitor Belfort was the original opponent for Ortiz at UFC 33 and pulled out late to be replaced by Matyushenko.

    The following fighters headlined more than one pay per view in the above chart (the amount of shows they headlined is in parenthesis): Tito Ortiz (4), Ken Shamrock (2), Randy Couture (7), Matt Hughes (2), Tank Abbott (2), Chuck Liddell (2), Vitor Belfort (2). If you count UFC 45 for Matt Hughes, then he's headlined three shows. If you count UFC 33 towards Belfort (even though he didn't fight, he was a late replacement), he's headlined three shows.

    Now, adding the buyrates together for each of the above fighters and averaging them, you end up with the following ranking of average buyrates (for the shows listed as having done 45,000 to 60,000 buys we'll give them the benefit of the doubt and average them as 60,000 buys, which is probably high for most of them). We also assumed that UFC 49 has done 77,000 buys:

    CHART #2
    1. Ken Shamrock - 130,000
    2. Tito Ortiz - 105,750
    3. Vitor Belfort - 77,000
    4. Chuck Liddell - 76,500
    5. Randy Couture - 68,143
    6. Tank Abbott - 50,000
    7. Matt Hughes - 47,500

    What this chart means is that Ken Shamrock is their biggest draw, Tito is a big draw, Vitor, Chuck and Randy are all moderate draws, and Tank Abbott and Matt Hughes don't draw flies. If you add in UFC 45 for Hughes, then his average goes down even further.

    Below we have a chart with Randy Couture broken up as two people, Heavyweight Randy Couture, with only his buyrates from his heavyweight headline fights averaged in, and Light-Heavyweight Randy Couture, the same thing but with only 205-pound fights averaged in:

    CHART #3
    1. Ken Shamrock - 130,000
    2. Tito Ortiz - 105,750
    3. Vitor Belfort - 77,000
    4. Chuck Liddell - 76,500
    5. Randy Couture (Light-Heavyweight) - 74,250
    6. Randy Couture (Heavyweight) - 60,000
    7. Tank Abbott - 50,000
    8. Matt Hughes - 47,500

    Clearly, Couture was never a draw as a heavyweight, averaging out a buyrate of 60,000 buys for his fights against Pedro Rizzo (the rematch), Josh Barnett and Ricco Rodriguez. This would probably explain why UFC 43 did 49,000 buys, because Chuck Liddell was never a headliner before that and Couture had never headlined a show that drew well.

    Now, below is an even better chart. We've taken the same pay per view numbers used in Chart #1, but when a fighter has taken on an opponent that is listed as a better draw than him in Chart #2 in the headline of a pay per view, we don't include that fight. Basically, the chart below is a ranking of headline fighters when they fight someone in the main event of a show who is a lesser draw than they are. Couture is listed as only one fighter, rather than being broken down into weight divisions:

    CHART #4
    1. Ken Shamrock - 130,000
    2. Tito Ortiz - 91,000
    3. Vitor Belfort - 77,000
    4. Randy Couture - 60,000
    5. Tank Abbott - 50,000
    6. Matt Hughes - 47,500

    It ends up being almost the exact same list, with Chuck Liddell being dropped from it because I didn't include his fight against Tito at UFC 47, and beyond that he only headlined one more show (UFC 43 against Couture), and a fighter needed to headline at least two shows to be on the list.

    Overall, it's very clear that Ken Shamrock is the company's biggest draw, which is why protecting him and booking him as a headliner is so important right now. I had figured that his bad loss to Tito at UFC 40 would damage his drawing power and people would see him as being over the hill, but Shamrock's name value prevailed at UFC 48, which was reported by the Wrestling Observer as doing 110,000 buys, which of course is tremendous, and it's not like Kimo is a top drawing opponent (although he does have some name value from his days in SEG and his fight with Royce Gracie). They've got some problems right now with the way they are booking Shamrock, because the booking of Tito vs. Belfort in December leaves Shamrock out in the cold without a decent opponent unless they can coax Tank Abbott to fight him (and, despite the fact that Tank has never drawn a dime, I believe he would draw in a headline position against Ken Shamrock in a fight with the right amount and right kind of hype).

    Tito Oriz is really the only other draw in the company, and his drawing power may have evaporated with this his lost two losses. Ken Shamrock's drawing power wasn't damaged at all by losing to Tito, but Tito also has the combined effect of dodging Chuck Liddell for ages, causing fans to lose respect for him, and Tito doesn't have the name value with so many casual pro wrestling fans that Ken Shamrock does, which makes it easier for Shamrock to bounce back as a draw. Tito needs to beat Mezger, though, or his career as a headliner may be all done.

    I think these charts are misleading towards both Vitor Belfort and Randy Couture. Belfort has only headlined twice against the same opponent (Couture), and we don't even know what their latest fight realistically did on pay per view (I used 77,000 buys when doing the mathematics for the charts). Couture's position on these charts is hampered by not being a draw as a heavyweight, and his position on the chart where his heavyweight and light-heavyweight fights are broken up into two figures is hampered as well by a bad buyrate against Chuck Liddell in his first fight at light-heavyweight. If you average together Couture's two fights against Belfort and his fight against Ortiz, you end up with an average buyrate of 82,667, which puts him in third place far behind Tito, but which I think is a more realistic position right now for Couture as a draw. I think Couture is a slightly bigger draw than these charts indicate, and Belfort is a less of a draw than these charts indicate.

    Tank Abbott's drawing power is non-existent. Same with Matt Hughes, although in two of his three biggest fights (against Sherk and Trigg), Hughes was facing guys who had never actually competed on a UFC pay per view before. The internet makes up like 2% of the fanbase that watches these shows. Only those internet fans would have had any inkling as to who Frank Trigg was. Hughes is also a welterweight and isn't tremendously charismatic, which works against him as well.

    Zuffa actually has a problem right now with creating new stars on pay per view. Stars, especially in MMA because of the nature of the competition, don't have a long shelf life. Tito's drawing power may already be used up, and is he even thirty years old yet? Shamrock is over the age of forty. Couture is over the age of forty. Liddell isn't young, as he's around thirty-five. Belfort's never going to be that top draw or fighter that everyone had envisioned him as, and has never drawn a huge buyrate anyway. That's all of their good headline guys. Liddell could be the company's top star if he were to defeat Couture next year for the Light-Heavyweight title, but I don't see Liddell being a long-term solution because he's not charismatic and he's not young.

    They need to build new stars out of guys like Justin Eilers, Lee Murray, Joe Riggs, etc.. Guys who are charismatic and are good fighters. Hopefully we'll see a few guys of that potential on "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show and the exposure of these guys on national free TV will help build new superstars, but if the show fails or none of the personalities of these new fighters get over with the audience, then, long-term, they have serious problems because eventually the shelf lives of the current top guys are going to be all used up, and that may not be far off.
  2. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

  3. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    I'm always entertained by Robbie Lawler and Phil Baroni is hilarious with his promos and smack-talk.
  4. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

  5. voytek

    voytek TRIBE Member

    Ortiz vs. Mezger? desperate. and too bad. It's getting worse than WWE, but I'll still watch all of it.

    What's that about Tito vs. Vitor?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2004
  6. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    Good thread...makes more sense :D

    and less Sherdog.
  7. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Essentially they didn't have anyone for Tito to fight so they're trying to get some hype with a Metzger rematch. Nothing to do with desparation and more to do with lack of competion for him (because they all kicked his ass or in the case of Vitor is coming off the Couture fight).

    Tito vs. Vitor is at UFC 51 in Japan in December.
  8. voytek

    voytek TRIBE Member

    and how does that have "nothing" to do with desperation?

    "no competition" is exactly the time when desperation kicks in. no competition = "what do we do?". i repeat: desperate.
  9. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    ^^^ yeah, the Mezger / Ortiz fight does kinda reek of "Taking your cousin to the prom"

    Maybe they just wanted to se if they could get 2 guys with "z" in their last names in the ring at the same time...

    All kidding aside, I hope Mezger does well as I am a pure 100% hater of Ortiz. Mezger has the tools to win, but does he have the drive?

    Here's hoping Mezger SCHOOLS Ortiz.

    Tis the season and all that.
  10. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    What are they doing with Chuck & Randy? Are they still hoping to do Couture vs. Silva & Chuck vs. Quinton Jackson?
  11. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Desparation would be that their business is so bad that they'd pull the trigger and say, "Ok. Tito vs. Shamrock again because that did big business for us before. Or Tito vs. Chuck II to get a big crowd and buyrate again."

    Tito is a buyrate machine for UFC so any match they put him in is anything but desparation. It's money in the bank and its a good business decision, regardless of who his opponent is.

    This is the same situation as when they did Ken vs. Kimo at 48. It wasn't "OMG, WTF do we do now?" It was, "Ken will draw on his name alone. Let's just find a somewhat recognizable name to throw at him".

    Desperation will be when they've finally burned through all possible combinations of marquee matchups involving their top stars Tito, Chuck, Ken, Randy and Vitor. Which isn't too far off (maybe a year from now). I just hope they create some new stars by then (their HW division is starting to show some promise).
  12. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    The whole "4 man tournament" was just something I came up with in a night of wishful thinking. It's never going to happen. Couture vs. Silva will unfortuneatly never happen :(

    As for Chuck vs. Randy, the plan is to build the match during their TV show. The 2 "teams" of fighters on the show are coincidentally coached by Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture. Team Liddell vs. Team Couture.

    So they're gonna have 3 months of free TV to build not only two unknown guys to have a fight on PPV, but to build the marquee fight of Coach vs. Coach.

    Expect the fight to happen next late March or early April.

    "The Ultimate Fighter" show debuts on Jan 12th following RAW at 11:05 PM.
  13. voytek

    voytek TRIBE Member

    I still don't get your reasoning. How do you figure it's got "nothing to do with desperation" or is "anything but desperate"?

    If they are not desperate, why use their biggest draw and "money in the bank" twice in a row and once against a guy he already fought twice? could it possibly be, bear with me, because any other headliner would not make them enough money to stay afloat? you said it yourself - financially they have always been strugging.

    I mean if they felt secure in their position (or, one might say "were not desperate"), they would take their time trying to create a whole new stable of entertaining fighters (as you once suggested they should) and not bother with trying to make "sure money", no?
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2004
  14. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Other headliners would make them enough. But Chuck, Vitor and Randy all just fought at the last event and Shamrock's injured.

    The fight card was made before the last one even happened (because they advertise the upcoming event during the current event). It was essentially just Tito's turn to headline because normally they don't have (or usually even allow) their fighters to go 2 events in a row.

    As for using him twice in a row (again in Japan), they're just trying to stack that card (they're trying to get Shamrock a fight with Frye) as much as they can because it's their first time back in Japan in years and they're gonna have to have a big card to draw in the land of K-1 and Pride. It's a special circumstance and had UFC 51 not been in Japan, Tito vs. Belfort wouldn't be happening at it.

    In terms of creating new stars, they're doing that with matches below the main event. You can't throw an up and commer who's gaining steam into the main event to get whooped. You build them with lesser opponents over a longer period of time. And that's happening in every other weight division. So they still need to use their top draws in the main events to get the buys/numbers, and by attracting as big a buyrate as possible per show, you're exposing more people to the rising stars in the undercard.
  15. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    From MMAweekly.com


    The UFC's curse with the heavyweight division continues. Word came in late yesterday that UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. While riding his motorcycle, Mir was hit by a car and thrown from his bike.

    Though the total extent of his injuries were not available as we posted today's news, we do know that Mir did indeed break his femur. He underwent surgery yesterday and it appears that he will be out of commission somewhere in the neighborhood of an entire year.

    Obviously, this means that Mir will not be able to defend his title as expected at the UFC's big return to Japan in December. It is too soon at this time to know what, if anything, the UFC will do about the situation. Crowning an Interim Heavyweight Champion in Mir's absence is one possibility with a unification bout taking place once Mir is able to recover.

    Right now though, our best wishes go out to Mir and we wish him a speedy and full recovery.
  16. DeepSix

    DeepSix TRIBE Promoter

    So many of them get in accidents outside of the sport...Randleman, Mir, Nog (albeit when he was 6 or something)

    MMA practitioners should not drive. It's a fact.
  17. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Who does UFC even have in the heavyweight division that they could setup a fight between for the interim belt?

    Arlovsky is about the only one that I can think of. Silvia has failed all his roid tests (although if they fought in Japan would he have to get tested?), and all of their other fighters either aren't all that great or they don't draw (ie: Cabbage, Triggs, Sims).
  18. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Well Sylvia passed his drug tests ok the last time. He just got his arm snapped in a few places in the fight.

    He's still out for the time being with all those pesky pins and plates in his arm.

    Eilers is a good up and comer (he had that upset KO at the last UFC).

    I'm not too sure on Cabbages status (although he took quite the beating from Arlovsky). Either way he's not in contention.

    I really don't know what they're gonna do with the HW division for the time being.
  19. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    Here's MMAWeekly's take on the HW division right now:

    The Heavyweight picture in the UFC went from bad to worse this weekend when Frank Mir had a bad motorcycle accident that basically broke his leg and will keep him on the shelf for at least a year. Now the UFC will be left scrambling trying to figure out what to do with the Heavyweight division and their options are very limited to put it nicely. If you look at just how injured the division is, it's truly incredible.

    Mir ironically ended the year for Tim Sylvia who broke a couple of bones in his forearm. Sylvia was originally slated to fight in Japan in December, but the arm most likely won't heal in time, so don't look for Sylvia on the card. Sylvia's teammate, Justin Eilers who is a young promising prospect, won't be able to fight anytime soon, as he broke two bones in his hand and he also won't be ready before the end of the year. So basically you have Andrei Arlovski, who is coming off a broken hand as well against, well....nobody for the rest of the year.

    I received a few emails from some people who heard rumors about a possible UFC Heavyweight Tournament. Yeah? With who? Tank Abbott, Cabbage, Paul Varleans, Mark Coleman, Mike Kyle, and Gan McGee? I mean how on earth are you going to do a tournament with 90% of the UFC Heavyweight roster on the shelf. To the UFC's credit they are bringing back Tra Telligman, but if your in there shoes you have to hope John Marsh has an impressive debut against Telligman. Zuffa needs to make a few calls to guys like Travis Wiuff, who was not ready for his first shot against Vladimir Matyushenko, but that was two years ago and he hasn't lost since. He seems to be ready for a return to the big time.

    For now though, Joe Silva, UFC Matchmaker and UFC President Dana White will have plenty on their mind to figure out what to do with the division..Maybe now they focus on 185 and 170 a lot more than they were going to do. (Yeah 155 would be great, but that's a pipe dream). Until then, UFC has a giant problem with the giants in the division that is known as the injured UFC Heavyweight picture.
  20. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    Oooh, that's right. I read about that after missing the show but forgot all about it.
  21. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    UFC Postpones Japan show


    LAS VEGAS, NEV., September 23, 2004…Officials of the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand of mixed martial arts today announced the postponement of its December fight card scheduled for Tokyo, Japan. A Japan fight card will be re-scheduled for a later date that will be determined. UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir (8-1-0 in mixed martial arts) from Las Vegas, Nev., was scheduled to defend his title in the main event against top contender Andre Arlovski (8-3-0) from Minsk, Belarus. Mir recently sustained a broken left leg in an auto accident in Las Vegas and will be sidelined indefinitely. “Zuffa has every intent to go to Japan and the December date looked very good until Frank’s unfortunate accident,†said Zuffa/UFC president Dana White. “Our number one concern is Frank’s health. He’s strong and had fought really well in his last three fights. He was lucky and will fully recover, but will not be ready by December.â€

    The Ultimate Fighting Championship brand of mixed martial arts is the world’s premier series of MMA events. Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC fight programs feature six live pay-per-view events annually through cable and satellite providers. In addition to its U.S. distribution, UFC fight shows are distributed internationally through WOWOW, Inc. in Japan and Globosat in Brazil. Zuffa, LLC licenses the distribution of UFC video games through Crave Enertainment and Take Two TDK Mediactive, its fight show DVDs through Studioworks Entertainment, a Ventura distribution company, and its musical CDs through Nitrus/DRT Entertainment, the official publisher of UFC music CDs.

    “Ultimate Fighting Championship,†“Ultimate Fighting,†“UFC,†“Submission,†“As Real As It Gets†and the Octagon cage design are registered trademarks or trademarks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC in the U.S., Japan and other jurisdictions. All other marks that may be referenced herein belong to their respective holders
  22. Pk Ripper

    Pk Ripper TRIBE Member

    any info on nog vs fedor? as their last fight was a no contest.

    also is rampage supposed to fight vanderli next?

    barnett vs crocop?
  23. MrMarcus

    MrMarcus TRIBE Member

    Hey PK Ripper, u trained at Shah's right? Isn't Richie Nancoo fighting Hominik tonight in TKO? Go Monkey!
  24. Pk Ripper

    Pk Ripper TRIBE Member

    yeah! i think it was supposed to be this month. havent really kept up with canadian MMA much, or any MMA in general.

    monkey has some serious skills!
  25. silver1

    silver1 TRIBE Member

    UFC Tomato can Wes Sims just signed a contract with WWE.

    That is all.

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