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Tag: money

IFL and Bodog on Brink of Extinction; UFC Keeps Stacking That Paper

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(The Fertitta brothers, preparing to order something expensive.)

The poor get poorer while the rich land on the cover of Forbes: Financial stability was a recurring theme in MMA this week, as two prominent leagues face death while another cemented its place at the top. First the bad news…

— The IFL filed their 10k SEC report on Tuesday, and things are looking grim. Since the league was founded in January 2006, it has suffered losses of $31 million. Last year’s revenues weren’t nearly enough the make up for the $15.9 million it spent on events; notably, the IFL only took in $498,000 in sponsorship revenue and $117,544 in branded merchandise sales in 2007. At this rate, the company won’t be able to survive past the third quarter of the 2008 fiscal year, and due to their continued losses, the IFL’s auditors have included a paragraph in their financial statements questioning their financial viability, which will make it even harder for the IFL to secure the additional financing it needs to sustain operations. As the report says, “If revenues grow slower than we anticipate, or if operating expenses exceed our expectations or cannot be adjusted accordingly, we may not achieve profitability and the value of your investment could decline significantly.”

An earlier rumor that BodogFight was near death gained more traction yesterday with MMAWeekly’s report that the Bodog subsidiary may be ceasing operations next week. The company lost a reported $38 million in 2007, and hasn’t announced any more events since it sponsored a Las Vegas Tuff-N-Uff show in February. From the article:

Asked if the company was folding, one executive who declined to be named told MMAWeekly.com, “I can neither confirm or deny that.”

When asked what Bodog Fight was currently working on, the executive responded, “I’m sitting in an empty office.”

Of course, in the land of the Octagon, it’s all champagne and caviar…

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Silva, Henderson, Leben Pocket UFC 82 Fight Bonuses

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Anderson Silva left the Nationwide Arena on Saturday night with the bank account of a champion, pulling in $120,000 in bonuses on top of his usual salary and win bonus (which were $60,000 each for his previous title defense at UFC 77). As announced in a press conference following the event, the UFC distributed its customary end-of-night bonuses like this:

Fight of the Night: $60,000 each for Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson.

Submission of the Night: $60,000 for Anderson Silva. It was the night’s only submission, unless you count the tapout-by-strikes that Diego Sanchez scored at the expense of David Bielkheden.

Knockout of the Night: $60,000 for Chris Leben.

So, another 1-for-3 performance on our bonus predictions, though we did call Arlovski for a KO/TKO in the second round. And Diego did technically win by submission. You know, I think we’ll just start predicting the outcomes from now on; we’d sound a lot smarter that way.

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Kimbo Slice Can Take Full Credit for Showtime’s Success

KSBC
(Kimbo posing with Tappy McTapsalot.)

Alright, so that may be a bit of a stretch. But Variety reports that Showtime subscriptions jumped 11% in the fourth quarter of 2007; parent company CBS Corp.’s profit fell 19% in the same period. We’d imagine that many of those new subscribers were people who signed up just to see Kimbo Slice destroy Bo Cantrell at EliteXC: Renegade. It sure as hell wasn’t for The Tudors.

In other dollar-related news…

“Strikeforce at the Dome” took in more money than any other combat-sport event ever held in Washington state. 7,089 disappointed fans packed the Tacoma Dome and gave up $300,000 of their money, which they immediately regretted.

— Rich Franklin has put the Hummer H2 he was given for being a coach on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter up for auction on eBay. The starting bid is 80 grand, and you can “Buy It Now” for $125,000. The auction ends on March 2nd, and 10% of the proceeds will go to the Keep it in the Ring Foundation, which channels youthful aggression through after-school sports and martial arts programs. We hope Franklin is more successful at this eBay thing than Ricco Rodriguez, who eventually settled for $250, a dozen Krispy Kremes, and a pack of smokes.

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Calvin Ayre Makes Dana White Look Like Santa Claus

Hum
(“Paying fighters a living wage? Why, that’s simply bad business!”)

We always assumed that the only reason fighters sign with Bodog Fight is because the company is drooling with cash — it certainly isn’t for the recognition or the level of competition. The operation is run by Calvin Ayre, who’s made hundreds of millions of dollars from his online gambling empire Bodog (and can’t set foot in the United States because of it). To paraphrase Chris Rock, if Calvin Ayre woke up tomorrow with Dana White’s money, he’d jump out the fucking window. Sadly, it looks like Ayre’s ill-gotten gains don’t trickle down to the guys who compete on Bodog Fight cards. MMA Weekly just released a new roundup of recent fighter salaries, and we were shocked when we saw the numbers from BF’s event last Friday in Las Vegas, in which Nick Thompson defended his welterweight title against John Troyer:

TUFF-N-UFF/BODOG FIGHT MAIN EVENT FIGHTERS
Nick Thompson: $20,000 (defeated John Troyer; no win bonus)
John Troyer: $5,000 (lost to Nick Thompson; no win bonus)

TUFF-N-UFF/BODOG FIGHT UNDERCARD FIGHTERS
Seth Baczynski: $2,000 (defeated Chris Kennedy; win bonus was $1,000)
Chad George: $1,500 (defeated Richard Screeton; win bonus was $500)
Angela Magana: $1,500 (defeated Lynn Alvarez; win bonus was $500)
Bryan Humes: $1,250 (defeated Ryan Murray; win bonus was $500)
Chris Kennedy: $1,000 (lost to Seth Baczynski; win bonus would have been $1,000)
Ryan Murray: $1,000 (lost to Bryan Humes; no win bonus)
Sara Schneider: $1,000 (defeated Kaitlin Young; no win bonus)
Richard Screeton: $1,000 (lost to Chad George; win bonus would have been $500)
Aaron Simpson: $1,000 (defeated Scott Dingman; no win bonus)
Kaitlin Young: $1,000 (lost to Sara Schneider; win bonus would have been $500)
Lynn Alvarez: $750 (lost to Angela Magana; win bonus would have been $500)
Scott Dingman: $750 (lost to Aaron Simpson; win bonus would have been $500)

TUFF-N-UFF/BODOG FIGHT DISCLOSED FIGHTER PAYROLL: $38,750

In other words, Ricardo Almeida made more money for submitting Rob Yundt in 68 seconds at UFC 81 then all of the Bodog Fight payouts combined. No wonder Nick Thompson has been looking elsewhere. He’s arguably the most exciting fighter that Bodog had under contract, and they can’t even hook a brother up with a win bonus? I’m done criticizing Dana White and the Fertittas — it’s time to start hating Calvin Ayre. The man could certainly afford to spend money on attracting/keeping talented fighters and promoting his shows so that people actually care about them. But he’s too cheap, too lazy, or both. So what’s the point of even having an MMA league in the first place?

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UFC 81 Bonus Predictions: Five Figures of Death

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Since it was such a success* last time, we thought we’d take another crack at predicting which fighters will pocket tomorrow‘s end-of-night bonuses. But first we’d like to predict the amount of the bonuses themselves. If you’ve been paying attention, you know that the UFC’s Fight/Submission/Knockout bonuses have decreased from $55,000 to $50,000 to $35,000 over the last three pay-per-view events. After the last drastic reduction, the general opinion was that the amounts were going down to recoup some of the money lost to the UFC’s European expansion effort. Now that the show is back in the U.S., they can be a little more generous. And they will — but just enough to demonstrate improvement and shut people up. We’re saying the bonuses will be $40k each. Now let’s get to the fight card:

MAIN CARD
Tim Sylvia vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (heavyweights)
Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar (heavyweights)
Jeremy Horn vs. Nate Marquardt (middleweights)
Rob Yundt vs. Ricardo Almeida (middleweights)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Gleison Tibau vs. Tyson Griffin (lightweights)
Chris Lytle vs. Kyle Bradley (welterweights)
Marvin Eastman vs. Terry Martin (middleweights)
David Heath vs. Tim Boetsch (light heavyweights)
Keita Nakamura vs. Rob Emerson (welterweights)

Knockout of the Night: Eastman vs. Martin is a battle between two good fighters who have had terrible luck in the Octagon. The winner will prove that he still belongs there; the loser could very well be banished forever. Thus, we expect both men to come out swinging their asses off. We were tempted to give this a Fight of the Night nod, but it feels too much like a first-round-TKO kind of match. Marvin Eastman has been knocked out every time he’s fought in the UFC. Four of Terry Martin’s last five fights have resulted in KO/TKO victories — and we think he’ll do it again tomorrow night, picking up the bonus in the process. Dark horse: Kyle Bradley. If you want to talk about good fighters who have had rough times in the Octagon, Chris Lytle is Exhibit fucking A (34-15-4 MMA record, 3-7 in the UFC). There’s nothing to suggest that his fortunes will improve at “Breaking Point,” and his opponent Kyle Bradley is a guy who has been paying his dues in regional promotions as a knockout artist. His current seven-fight win-streak includes five first-round KO/TKOs, and he could be on his way to adding one more.

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UFC 80 Is Upon Us: Bonus Predictions

Munny

Start gathering the beer and microwavable pizza rolls: “Rapid Fire” goes down tomorrow night in Newcastle (3 p.m. ET, noon PT). We’ll be liveblogging the event with round-by-round updates, so be sure to swing by if you don’t want to shell out the money for pay-per-view.

Speaking of money, we’d like to be the first in the MMA blogosphere to make official predictions on who will be taking home the UFC’s traditional end-of-night bonuses, which were a hefty $50k/apiece at UFC 79. To refresh, here’s the lineup:

MAIN CARD
B.J. Penn vs. Joe Stevenson (lightweights)
Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Fabricio Werdum (heavyweights)
Marcus Davis vs. Jess Liaudin (welterweights)
Jason Lambert vs. Wilson Gouveia (light heavyweights)
Kendall Grove vs. Jorge Rivera (middleweights)
PRELIMINARY CARD
Antoni Hardonk vs. Colin Robinson (heavyweights)
Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor (welterweights)
James Lee vs. Alessio Sakara (light heavyweights)
Per Eklund vs. Sam Stout (lightweights)

Fight of the Night: Expect a relentless, violent war from Marcus Davis and Jess Liaudin. Not only are both men total sluggers, but they’re both riding significant win streaks that they’ll want to protect at all costs. One more win for Davis and he’ll start getting higher-level competition. One more win for Liaudin and people will finally know who he is. And it’s never a good idea to bet against Kid Bonus. Dark horse: Gabriel Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum, if they’re firing on all cylinders tomorrow night. Both are coming off of terrible performances in embarrassing losses, and are looking to prove themselves. As for the main event, we see it going one of two ways: Penn wins by early submission (likely), or Stevenson grinds out a relatively boring decision (somewhat less likely). Either way, it won’t be Fight of the Night.

Submission of the Night: Penn, probably. Though if he beats Stevenson with just a simple armbar or rear-naked without any flash to it, the bonus may go to James Lee, a King of the Cage veteran who’s making his UFC debut at “Rapid Fire.” In his last 11 fights, Lee has racked up 10 wins with one no contest, and nine of those wins have been by submission. Known primarily as a boxer, his opponent Alessio Sakara will almost certainly be eating a tap-out loss.

Knockout of the Night: They don’t call him “Hands of Stone” for nothing. Though Sam Stout’s UFC record has been spotty, he was known for his knockouts in the Canadian MMA organization TKO, and we see him coming out on top of Eklund. Dark horse: Gabriel Gonzaga. If he could murder Cro Cop with a headkick, he could do it to anyone.

Make sense? Shoot us your own predictions in the comments section…

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Fighters Make a Killing at ‘Nemesis’; $50k Bonuses Should Be Reconsidered

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MMAJunkie has obtained salary figures for UFC 79′s fighters. The numbers are below; keep in mind that every winning fighter’s figure represents a doubling of their base salary, except for Chuck Liddell, who apparently earns half a million dollars per fight no matter what the outcome is.

MAIN CARD
Georges St. Pierre ($160,000 + $50,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus) def. Matt Hughes ($100,000)

Chuck Liddell ($500,000) def. Wanderlei Silva ($150,000) — both fighters received an additional $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus

Eddie Sanchez ($46,000 + $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus) def. Soa Palelei ($5,000)

Lyoto Machida ($60,000) def. Rameau Sokoudjou ($40,000)

Rich Clementi ($28,000) def. Melvin Guillard ($10,000)

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