MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Unfinished Business

“Unfinished Business” Fighter Salaries Released

Antonio Bigfoot Silva EliteXC MMA
(Antonio “Bigwallet” Silva does work. Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)

The California State Athletic Commission has released salary figures for EliteXC’s “Unfinished Business” event on July 26th. The numbers are below, and don’t include undisclosed bonuses, sponsorship payments, or deductions for insurance and taxes.

Antonio Silva: $200,000 ($100,000 to show, $100,000 to win)
Robbie Lawler: $90,000 ($45,000 to show, $45,000 to win)
Nick Diaz: $60,000
Jake Shields: $45,000 ($35,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Nick Thompson: $25,000
Justin Eilers: $20,000
Rafael Feijao: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Scott Smith: $14,000
Thomas Denny: $8,500
Shayna Baszler: $8,000
Cristiane “Cris Cyborg” Santos: $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Anthony Ruiz: $5,001 ($2,001 to show, $3,000 to win)
Wilson Reis: $5,000 ($2,500 to show, $2,500 to win)
Travis Galbraith: $5,000
David Douglas: $4,000 ($3,500 to show, $1,500 to win)
Carl Seumantafa: $4,000 ($2,000 to show, $2,000 to win)
Drew Montgomery: $3,000 ($1,500 to show, $1,500 to win)
Marlon Mathias: $2,500
Jeremy Freitag: $2,500
Brian Caraway: $2,000
Brandon Tarn: $2,000
Mike Cook: $2,000
Total: $533,501

Underpaid: Theoretically, it’s nice that Jake Shields gets the majority of his salary guaranteed, but since he never loses he’s basically being screwed out of twenty grand every time he fights. Hopefully Scott Smith is getting a locker-room bump for starring in two title fights on CBS within seven weeks, and hopefully Cris Cyborg — who’s now the most buzzed-about female fighter in MMA — can renegotiate her contract to something respectable after her demolition of Shayna Baszler.

Overpaid: Antonio Silva is certainly worthy of a large payday, but it’s strange that he took in so much more than everyone else, considering he’s still not a popular draw and was stuck on a barely-watched Showtime undercard. Props to his manager, I guess.

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Epic Fail: EliteXC’s Live Gate

Robbie Lawler EliteXC MMA
(Robbie Lawler does his best Joe Stevenson impression at EliteXC: Unfinished Business. Photo courtesy of Esther Lin via Fightlinker.)

The California State Athletic Commission has released figures on the attendance and gate revenue for Saturday’s “Unfinished Business” show, and good Lord are they awful. Of the 8,541 seats available for the event, only 2,871 — or 33.6% — were purchased by fans. Of the remainder, 3,701 were given away as comps, and 2,023 went totally unused. The 2,871 paid tickets brought in $268,715 in revenue, which is less than the dollar value of the tickets that were given away ($340,960).

So, not only was “Unfinished Business” a ratings disappointment, but its live attendance (6,752 Stocktonites in total) was destroyed by other major MMA events held in California recently. For example…

Affliction: Banned — 14,832 total attendance, 11,242* paid (Anaheim, 7/19/08)
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson — 7,288 total, 6,750 paid (San Jose, 6/27/08)
WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver — 12,001 total, paid figure unavailable (Sacramento, 6/1/08)
Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Le — 15,192 total, 14,710 paid (San Jose, 3/29/08)
UFC 76 (their most recent event in California) — 13,770 total, 11,817 paid (Anaheim, 9/22/07)
* figure is debatable.

Back in May, EliteXC’s “Primetime” card — held at Newark’s Prudential Center and starring Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano — drew a respectable 8,033 spectators. EliteXC plans on holding their next CBS show in October at the 20,000-seat BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. Of course Kimbo is going to be a big draw in his home state, but unless EliteXC likes hearing the echo of thousands of empty seats, they might want to think about scaling back a little.

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UFC to EliteXC: Suck It

Cris Cyborg EliteXC Cristiane Santos
(There’s really no reason for us to post this picture except that holy shit is Cris Cyborg terrifying.)

From an amusing new press release just sent out by Spike TV:

SPIKE TV’S RE-BROADCAST OF UFC 84 DRAWS MORE YOUNG MEN THAN A LIVE PRO ELITEXC CHAMPIONSHIP FIGHT ON CBS

Need proof the UFC is the preeminent mixed martial arts brand in the world? On Saturday, July 26, more men 18-34 watched a repeat…a repeat…of a UFC event on Spike TV than a LIVE telecast of a Pro EliteXC championship card on CBS. Despite being available in over 17 million more homes [ed. note: I think they mean over 17 million less homes?], Spike TV drew 27% more Men 18-34 for a re-broadcast of “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” from (9:00-12:00am ET/PT) than CBS’s live show (9:00-11:00pm). Spike TV’s telecast tallied 433,000 Men 18-34 to CBS’s 341,000.

Overall, “UFC 84: Penn vs. Sherk” drew higher ratings than Pro EliteXC in Men 18-49 (1.5 to 1.3) and Men 18-34 (1.5 and 1.0).

Reminiscent of the XFL’s rating collapse years ago, the CBS telecast was 69% lower in Men 18-34 and 57% lower with Men 18-49 than its initial broadcast on CBS in May featuring the “He Hate Me” of MMA, Kimbo Slice.

Garbling the competition’s name as “Pro EliteXC” is an awesomely passive aggressive touch, as is comparing EliteXC to the ill-fated XFL. We’re not sure what’s up with referring to Kimbo as “He Hate Me,” though it sounds vaguely racist, and Spike Lee is probably preparing an infringement lawsuit as we speak.

Anyway, sending out a press release on your competition’s weak ratings is a barrel of laughs, but maybe the joke’s on Spike.

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“Unfinished Business”: The Aftermath

Nick Diaz EliteXC MMA Stockton
(“I’d like to say fuck you to all my fans, fuck you to everyone at Cesar Gracie Jiu-Jitsu who helped me train for this fight, a huge fuck you to my brother, fuck you to my sponsors Chase Chevrolet and Stagr…” Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

If CBS’s latest “Saturday Night Fights” card proved anything, it was that the EliteXC brand isn’t strong enough yet to pull in viewers without its marquee fighters. “Unfinished Business” drew 2.62 million sets of eyeballs according to f4wonline.com, and while that’s not a ratings disaster, it does represent almost a 50% drop from the “Primetime” show in May, which was headlined by Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano. Getting the ratings back on track will be priority #1 for EliteXC’s next show; during Saturday’s broadcast, it was announced that “Saturday Night Fights III” (actual title TBA) will go down October 4th at the BankAtlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Mr. Ferguson and Ms. Carano have been booked to fight.

Now the question is, who will they be fighting? We previously mentioned that Kelly Kobald was being discussed as the next opponent for “Crush/Conviction,” but Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos had a star-making performance this weekend with her double-homicide of Shayna Baszler, and a Carano/Cyborg matchup would probably be the biggest fight in women’s MMA right now. As for Kimbo, who freakin’ knows. Brett Rogers is still the most obvious choice for Ferg’s next opponent, but EliteXC has been cagey about confirming it, leading some to wonder if Rogers is being saved for Antonio Silva’s first heavyweight title defense. Regarding a Slice/Rogers match, EliteXC’s Head of Fight Operations Jeremy Lappen said “I’m not sure if that’s the fight fans want to see right now,” telling Sherdog that EliteXC is now looking at four or five potential candidates for Slice’s next opponent. He wouldn’t name names.

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CBS Promises More Action, Less Disrobing of Phil Baroni

Phil Baroni EliteXC
(Sorry, guys.)

As great as the ratings were for CBS/EliteXC’s first “Saturday Night Fights” broadcast in May, it was one the most criticized MMA events in the sport’s history. Both hardcore MMA fans and first-time viewers had bones to pick with everything from the choice of main event fighters, to the unsatisfying stoppages, to the slow pacing (which helped carry the bloated affair nearly an hour past its scheduled runtime), to the regrettable music-video vibe provided by the dancing girls and pyrotechnics. Without the mainstream draws of Kimbo Slice and Gina Carano on the card, CBS knows that they have to cater to the discerning MMA fan with “Unfinished Business,” which kicks off this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET/PT. As CBS senior executive vice president Kelly Kahl tells Yahoo! Sports’s Kevin Iole:

“To be perfectly honest, I think there was more of a wrestling element to that [first] show and I didn’t like it. I’d much rather present them as great athletes and warriors, which they are, but it got a bit clownish and that didn’t do us any favors.”

For tomorrow night’s event, Iole reports that all those cheesy elements (“such as when Phil Baroni ambled slowly to the cage and had women disrobe him”) will be 86′d. Also, cutting out downtime will be a top priority. Whereas “Primetime” featured just two minutes and 12 seconds of fighting in the first 71 minutes of the show, Kahl said that “Unfinished Business” is going to be “commercial, fight, commercial, fight.”

Still, even with the planned changes, CBS and EliteXC are aware that matching the ratings of their blockbuster debut — which peaked at 6.51 million viewers during the Kimbo Slice/James Thompson fight — is far from likely. Said ProElite executive chairman Doug DeLuca:

“We certainly are managing all of our expectations. It is summer. And we did have a number of good PR items going for us on the first event. It was the first event on primetime network television. That alone drummed up a huge amount of press for the event and a lot of people were interested in seeing (it). But, look, I’m confident in our fight card. I’m confident in mixed martial arts and I’m confident at what we can do at EliteXC in terms of producing events…We understand the numbers might not be as big as the first time, but (still) we’re all expecting to do some good numbers.”

Sure, we’re all still recovering from the MMA onslaught of last weekend, but the second chapter of the great MMA-on-network-television experiment should be a must-see for fans. Will you be watching?

(Props: MMA Junkie)

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