UFC 66 Breaks Records

Saturday, January 06, 2007 - by Ivan Trembow - MMAWeekly.com

"Last weekend's UFC 66 event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada generated $5,397,300 in gross ticket sales, which is more than any other event in UFC history.

Prior to UFC 66, there had been three events in UFC history that drew more than $3 million in gross ticket sales: UFC 57 (headlined by Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture), UFC 61 (Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock; and Tim Sylvia vs. Andrei Arlovski), and UFC 62 (Liddell vs. Renato "Babalu" Sobral).

The live gate figure of $5,397,300 that was announced by Zuffa after UFC 66 is indeed the legitimate live gate figure. However, Zuffa's claim that the building was sold out with 14,607 fans in attendance is not accurate.

The actual number of fans in attendance, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, was 13,761. Of the 13,761 fans in attendance, 12,191 of those fans paid for their tickets, while the remaining 1,570 people in attendance had free "comp" tickets.

The UFC's all-time record for highest paid attendance is still held by UFC 59, for which 13,060 tickets were sold. In addition, the UFC record for the highest total attendance still belongs to UFC 60, which had a total of 14,765 fans in attendance (although 4,418 of those fans had free "comp" tickets).

Nonetheless, the amount of the live gate is far more important from a business standpoint than the number of fans in attendance, and UFC 66 simply blows away every other UFC event in history when it comes to gross ticket sales. The event that previously held the all-time record was UFC 57 (with gross ticket sales of $3,382,400), and UFC 66 surpassed that mark by more than $2 million.

Just over a month prior to UFC 66, a fight between Matt Hughes and Georges St. Pierre headlined UFC 65 in Sacramento, California. The event drew a live gate of $2,138,020, making it the ninth highest-grossing UFC event in history (including UFC 66).

Both events took place in California and both events featured a Matt Hughes fight in the main event, but UFC 65 (with Hughes vs. St. Pierre) drew approximately $550,000 more in gross ticket sales than UFC 63 (with Hughes vs. BJ Penn).

However, the public claims that 15,350 fans were in attendance at UFC 65 are false. The legitimate total attendance was 14,666, with 12,362 of those fans paying for their tickets and the other 2,304 fans receiving free "comp" tickets..."


I always thought they had been missing the boat by not havig NYE live event every year instead of doing the best of UFC taped event.

Especially seeing how sccessfull their Pride cptitor had done overseas.

But maybe it had something to do with NYE not being on an actual weekend like it lined up like this year.

CAn you imagine if they did a free televised NYE UFC on free TV or free cable.

"Pay the fighters more."

There's certainly room for improvement, but no other mma organization pays more than the UFC.

ufc pays the fighters who put asses in the seats. if you wanna give away
money to your favorite curtain jerkers buy their t shirts hell buy 2 the ufc
is just using nfl and boxing model- pay draws $$$$ pay less important

"Pride pays their lower stars more than UFC pays their lower stars."

"UFC pays their higher stars more than Pride pays their higher stars."

The second statement is true, but I've seen nothing to support the first statement.

The smaller names on card are not being paid enough.

Published: Thursday, January 04, 2007

Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell and Tito Ortiz received a combined US$460,000 in purse money for their UFC 66 mixed martial arts title bout in Las Vegas on the weekend, according to figures provided by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Liddell, the light-heavyweight champion, received $250,000 for his third-round TKO while Ortiz earned $210,000. Both fighters are expected to make considerably more from the show, through bonuses and a slice of the lucrative pay-per-view revenue.

The UFC does not detail fighter pay but president Dana White said before Saturday's show that Liddell and Ortiz were due record MMA paydays. The Las Vegas Review-Journal pegged Liddell's paycheque as more than $1 million.

Liddell's basic purse of $250,000 is the same listed by the commission for his win over Renato (Babalu) Sobral in August.

Canadian Jason MacDonald's purse for his submission win over Chris (The Crippler) Leben was $10,000 but - because he is a foreigner-$3,000 of that went to taxes. The middleweight from Red Deer, Alta., is now 2-0 in the UFC. Leben earned $7,000.

Like most UFC fighters, MacDonald's basic purse ($5,000) was bolstered by a win bonus ($5,000). Liddell's basic purse did not involve a win bonus, according to the commission.

The card was expected to be the most lucrative in the history of the UFC, which announced a live gate of $5.397 million from the soldout crowd of 14,607 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. White had hoped for pay per view sales numbers of 1.2 million, which at $39.95 a shot translates into some $48 million.

That adds up to revenue of more than $50 million.

Total purse for the 18-fighter card was $767,000, according to the athletic commission figures. But since all of the fighters are under contract to the UFC, they can get bonuses and other payments that are not listed on the official purse for the card.

Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski was the other big winner on the night, collecting $90,000 plus a $55,000 bonus for his win over Marcio Cruz. The Brazilian's purse was $5,000.

Other purses:

-Keith Jardine made $14,000 for beating Forrest Griffin, who earned $16,000.

-England's Michael Bisping collected $24,000 for stopping Eric Shafer ($4,000).

-Thiago Alves earned $22,000 for his win over Tony DeSouza ($7,000).

-Gabriel Gonzaga picked up $18,000 for beating Carmelo Marrero ($5,000).

-Japan's Yushin Okami made $16,000 for defeating Rory Singer ($5,000).

-Christian Wellisch got $6,000 for downing Australian Anthony Perosh ($3,000).

In related news, the commission said Liddell has to have his left hand and knee cleared by an orthopedic surgeon or else be barred from fighting until June 30. Liddell reportedly injured knee ligaments in training prior to the fight.

The UFC, meanwhile, confirmed that UFC 68: The Uprising will take place March 3 in Columbus, Ohio, at the Nationwide Arena. The card will feature heavyweight champion Tim (The Maine-iac) Sylvia along with former title-holders Rich Franklin and Matt Hughes, although there was no word on their opponents.

UFC 67 is slated for Feb. 3 in Las Vegas.