Last night the much-awaited UFC 103 vs Floyd Mayweather, Jr. went toe-to-toe on PPV.
If you’re a fan of MMA or boxing, unless you’ve been asleep or underground somewhere, you know UFC 103 was in direct competition with boxing on PPV. And you know the trash talk spewing out of the mouths of Mayweather and Bob Arum. MMA fans writing on the forums are not much better or kinder to boxing.
What’s interesting to me is Mayweather’s short memory. Only 2 years ago, he was actually seriously considering a move to MMA, and was in negotiations with Mark Cuban!”
“Floyd is considering fighting with HDNet Fights,” Cuban told ESPN.com in 2007. “We are going to let him visit some gyms to talk to some folks about what it would take to learn. He knows it won’t be easy. But he is getting involved with MMA and HDNet Fights one way or another. He is pumped about it. He wants to go on to the next big thing. Floyd is a brilliant marketer. He follows the money.“
Hmmm…Personally I think this online competition between MMA and boxing is moot. Boxing is just that – boxing. It has its fans and serves a purpose. I think it’s one dimensional, but maybe I just don’t understand the thrill involved in doing nothing more than hitting your opponent in the face and body over and over until he’s left bleeding, cut open, unconscious and his brains are rocked.
MMA is a different sport. It’s “mixed martial arts” – and includes one or more of the following: muay thai (a type of martial art Thai boxing), judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, and karate, and any variation of these martial arts. Oh – and boxing.
So – it doesn’t really compare. MMA to boxing is like football to baseball. There are competitors. There are balls used in the game. The ball gets thrown to/from the competitors and/or other players. But the similarities kind of end there.
Moving forward, let’s talk about earnings for MMA vs. Boxing. First we need to consider that boxing has only about 1 to 2 major fights a year. By major I mean boxing matches most fans care to pay to watch. MMA has anywhere from 1 to 2 a month, depending on the promotion (UFC, XFC, and fights on HDNet). So it’s not accurate to compare one Boxing event a year to one MMA event.
That said, let’s compare! One of the best sources for comparison of MMA vs. Boxing earnings is the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) website. I’d use New York’s, but they only keep track of boxing, because it’s not as violent as mixed martial arts (say what??). So they don’t allow MMA in New York. (By the way, New York – I often see people in the front row of a boxing fight covering themselves in plastic. Since we don’t use that in MMA, what is that for exactly?)
The top boxing gate was way back in 2007: FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR vs. OSCAR DE LA HOYA. Including the MGM gate and PPV, this event brought in $18,419,200.00.The top MMA event was way back in 2006: CHUCK LIDDELL vs. TITO ORTIZ II. Including the MGM gate and PPV, this event brought in $5,397,300.00.
So at first glance, one could say boxing trumps MMA as far as earnings. Now let’s take a second glance.
The total income for boxing in Nevada for 2009 to date is: $8,832,950.00. That’s for one fight, because that’s all they’ve had in Nevada.The total income for MMA in Nevada for 2009 to date is: $5,101,740.00, $4,290,020.00, and $3,265,450.00 for a total of $12,657,210.
Per Dana White: “Floyd talks like everybody loves Floyd Mayweather, like everybody’s a big Floyd Mayweather fan.” “People want to see him get his (butt) kicked. Every time you buy a Mayweather fight, the guy doesn’t fight. He (expletive) runs around. People don’t want to see that (expletive).” White has said he doesn’t plan on getting caught up in which event draws more pay-per-view buys last night. He knows MMA already has surpassed boxing, and one night won’t change that. He’s probably right.
Last night, both UFC 103 and boxing showcased live fights and aired them live on PPV. But while this is probably “it” for boxing in 2009, MMA will still be bringing us fights in October, November and December. At an average of $4mil per event, that’s an additional income of $12mil for the balance of the year, and 3 more months of viewing pleasure to satisfy the pugalists’ need for combat!
Boxing fans – you can sit there and wait until something comes up next year, or join us MMA fans at the local sports bar. We’d be happy to explain the techniques and “art of fighting” to you, and you’ll get your fix, if you just give MMA a chance.
Oh – and I really do think Mayweather’s worried about the sport of boxing. Per my recent article, he should be at this point.
Word to Dana White: thanks for the free undercard show tonight.