fight night 57

Fight Night 57 draws 903,000 viewers on FS1

Fight Night 57 on November 22nd drew an average of 903,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1. The show aired from 10pm ET to 1:15am ET and was headlined by Frankie Edgar submitting Cub Swanson in the fifth round. It was FS1’s most watched show on Saturday. It was 13% above the average viewership of 799,000 for a Fight Night show on FS1 during 2014.

The prelims drew an average of 777,000 viewers. They aired from 8pm ET to 10pm ET on FS1. With adults 18-49, the prelims drew an average of 445,000 viewers. This was 66% above the 468,000 average that Fight Night prelims have done on FS1.

The peak quarter hour for Fight Night 57 was 1,021,000 viewers.

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UFC Russia

UFC Russia a Possibility in 2015

UFC Chief Global Brand Officer Gary Cook recently appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss UFC’s global business strategy. He mentioned that the UFC plans on entering Russia in 2015 with a UFC Russia event and is close to finalizing a television deal in that country.

“We’re just about to announce a television deal in Russia. 55 million households,” Cook said regarding UFC Russia.  “We’ve never done an event in Russia. The growth is all of that, a global business is how you make sure you create relevant content in the U.S., relevant content for all the other markets, (…) creating more content, creating local heroes, national fame.”

When asked about venturing a UFC Russia event, Cook said, “We’re gonna be on television in Russia. Eventually, there will be a show in Russia, but we don’t know if that will be next year. Poland, we’ve got some plans there. They have been calling us for having an event in Poland.”

Dana White has talked about UFC Russia in the past.

“We’ve got to go there first,” White said back in 2013 regarding running a UFC event in Russia. “We’re going to talk to the right people and we’re going to figure whether we’re going to do this or not.”

The Russian UFC event never materialized, either in 2013 or 2014 despite UFC’s expanded international schedule. “We’re not as far along on Russia as I thought we would be. Obviously it’s a huge market for us and we’ll see – we’ll figure it out,” White said in May.

The top MMA promotion in Russia is M-1 Global, which is co-owned by Vadim Finkelstein and Fedor Emelianenko and run by Finkelstein. M-1 is making their debut in China at the MasterCard Arena in Beijing tomorrow night. Beijing is another location UFC is interested in running, but hasn’t been able to get into yet.

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Frankie Edgar

UFC Matchmaking: Frankie Edgar or Conor?

Coming off his dominant, fifth-round submission win over Cub Swanson at Fight Night 57, there would normally be no doubt that Frankie Edgar is next in line for a Featherweight title shot against Jose Aldo. But the situation at featherweight going into 2015 is abnormal with Conor McGregor establishing himself as an emerging star and if not a future champion, a future box office champion at featherweight.

McGregor is set to face Dennis Siver on January 18th in Boston. McGregor is heavily favoured to win. Should the expected outcome happen, the debate will be about granting the next shot at Aldo’s title to McGregor or Edgar.

Conor McGregor or Frankie Edgar?

The choice between the two has been framed as being about business versus sport. From the business perspective, McGregor might have the chance to make box offices move and the best way for him to do that would be to headline a stadium show in Ireland challenging Aldo for the title next summer.

Frankie Edgar, on the other hand, will not be headlining any stadium shows in the future. But he is probably the better fighter compared to McGregor, and has certainly defeated better competition on his way to trying to get a rematch with Aldo, who beat Edgar in a close decision over the title in February 2013.

Being a business, UFC has to do what is best for the box office first. No revenue means no company. There are some that argue that granting McGregor the title shot is actually bad for business because it will cause resentment among fans who clearly see Frankie Edgar as the top contender, especially after his dominant performance against Swanson. That is hardly the case, as Edgar can easily sit and wait for McGregor to get his shot against Aldo and then fight the winner late next year.

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fight night 57

Fight Night 57 Draws 10,131 in Austin

UFC Fight Night 57 drew an announced attendance of 10,131 to the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, TX on Saturday night. The live gate was $670,022, as announced by the UFC at the post-fight presser. The show was headlined by Frankie Edgar defeating Cub Swanson via fifth-round submission with only 4 seconds left in the fight.

It was UFC’s second visit to Austin. The first was Fight Night 22 on September 15th, 2010. That show drew 7,724 spectators to the Frank Erwin Center paying $595,900. That show was headlined by Nathan Marquardt stopping Rousimar Palhares in the first round.

The gate for Fight Night 57 was a 12.4% increase compared to UFC’s last visit to Austin. The attendance was a 31.2% increase. The Frank Erwin Center can seat up to 17,900 depending on configuration of an event.

The reason for the increase is likely due to Fight Night 22 having taken place on a Wednesday night as a lead-in for the season debut of The Ultimate Fighter 12 on Spike TV. UFC shows held on Wednesday nights typically do not draw well, or at least as well as compared to shows held on Friday or Saturday nights.

That Fight Night 57 only increase its gate by 12.4% compared to Fight Night 22 in Austin when Fight Night 22 was held on a Wednesday night makes this only a minor victory at the live gate, considering Fight Night 57 was held on a Saturday. It also means that the average ticket price for Fight Night 57 was $66.14 , down 14.3% from Fight Night 22’s average ticket price of $77.15.

UFC has four more events scheduled for 2014. The next show is UFC 181 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on December 6th with Johny Hendricks defending the Welterweight title against Robbie Lawler. There is also The Ultimate Fighter 20 Finale on December 12th with the finals of the Women’s Strawweight tournament and then UFC on Fox with Junior dos Santos vs Stipe Miocic on December 13th. The final show of the year is December 20th in Brazil, for another FS1 Fight Night headlined by Lyoto Machida vs CB Dollaway.

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Fight Night 57

Fight Night 57: Five Takeaway Points

UFC Fight Night 57 took place Saturday, November 22nd at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin Texas. It was the second show UFC has held in Austin, the first being Fight Night 22 back in 2010.

Here are the five biggest stories immediately coming out of Fight Night 57.

Frankie Edgar dominates Cub Swanson and looks ready for a title shot

Edgar was considered by some as an underdog going into his fight at Fight Night 57 against Swanson. With this fight Edgar, 33, surpassed Tito Ortiz for third ever in total fight time in the UFC, behind GSP and BJ Penn. Edgar was coming off two wins in a row after losing a decision to champ Jose Aldo in his featherweight debut last year, but Swanson, 31, seemed like the fresher of the two fighters. Swanson was on a six-fight winning streak and had only lost once in the UFC, in his promotional debut in Ricardo Lamas back in 2011.

Edgar proved any doubters wrong at Fight Night 57, dominating a five-round fight before choking Swanson out with 4 seconds left in the fifth round, setting a UFC record for latest finish in a fight at 24:56 match time. Edgar continually took Swanson down, clearly winning every round of the fight before locking in the finishing choke in the dying seconds of the fifth round. Edgar was able to land 7 of 13 takedown attempts and outstruck Swanson in significant strikes 93 to 31.

Swanson is no slouch. Besides the long undefeated streak going into this bout, Swanson was ranked second at featherweight. Edgar was ranked third. Swanson had claimed before the fight that he was promised a title shot against Aldo with a win here. The title picture at featherweight is a bit murky, as the best thing for business right now would be to give the title shot to Conor McGregor should he defeat Dennis Siver in January since McGregor is hot and it is a chance to capture lightning in a bottle at the box office.

Edgar, however, proved at Fight Night 57 that he also deserves a title shot. Edgar has fought and lost to Aldo in the past, but it was a close decision and a rematch between the two could go either way. If McGregor loses in January, Edgar will surely get the next shot against Aldo. But if McGregor wins, a lot will depend on UFC’s scheduling for next year. If they plan on running a stadium in Ireland during the summer, they will need McGregor challenging Aldo for the title. That means Edgar will have to wait. It is feasible that Edgar could get the shot first and then McGregor faces the winner, but McGregor might be the next big draw for the UFC and they need to give him that chance.

The next title shot will all be sorted out after January, no matter.

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