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Affliction: Banned attendance and payroll figures revealed

dsc_1576.jpgWhile a speculative pay-per-view buyrate for “Affliction: Banned” likely won’t be available for several weeks, the California State Athletic Commission has released some of the initial financial indicators for the clothing-maker’s first-ever MMA event from this past Saturday.

According to figures released by CSAC, Affliction: Banned’s total attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. was 14,832. The total revenue drawn from the gate is listed as $2,085,510. The live gate numbers are very respectable and look even better when you consider that the promotion did not have to do any heavy papering. The paid attendance for the show was 11,242 with 3,590 complimentary tickets issued for the event.

The total comps for the show is nothing to be proud of, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of either. Considering that the event was held in the Los Angeles area and Affliction has many corporate partners through its clothing line, the number could have been worse.

It should be noted that reports of the event being a sellout were erroneous. According to the CSAC report obtained by, a total of 740 tickets went unsold.

CSAC also released a report yesterday that contained the official salary numbers for the fighters that competed at “Banned.” While some media outlets had speculated that Affliction’s payroll for their first ever event could exceed $5 million, that’s not the case, according to CSAC. According to the commission, the payroll for “Banned” was $3.3 million. However, it should be noted that the salary figures released do not take into account signing or other special bonuses that may have been awarded to key fighters at their time of signing on for the event.

In the case of new WAMMA heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, he is only shown with a guarantee of $300,000 for the event. Considering that his management had been seeking a contract that would pay Fedor between $1.5-2 million per fight, it wouldn’t be surprising if he received additional compensation prior to the event.

The highest listed compensated fighter on the card was former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia, who received a $800,000 guarantee in spite of losing in just 36 seconds.

Other big financial winners from the event include Vitor Belfort, Josh Barnett, Andrei Arlovski, and Ben Rothwell.

Fedor Emelianenko: $300,000 (no win bonus) def. Tim Sylvia: $800,000

Andrei Arlovski: $750,000 (includes $250,000 win bonus) def. Ben Rothwell: $250,000

Josh Barnett: $300,000 (no win bonus) def. Pedro Rizzo: $70,000

Mark Hominick: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus) def. Trenell “Savant” Young: $7,000

Renato “Babalu” Sobral: $90,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus) def: Mike Whitehead: $50,000

Matt Lindland: $300,000 (includes $75,000 win bonus) def. Fabio “Negao” Nascimento: $20,00O

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: $50,000 (no win bonus) def. Edwin Dewees: $15,000

Mike Pyle: $20,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus) J.J. Ambrose: $5,000

— ** Ray Lizama: $3,000 vs. Justin Levens: $6000: This bout was canceled due to time constraints, however, both fighters were still compensated.

Vitor Belfort: $140,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus) def. Terry Martin: $30,000

Paul Buentello: $80,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus) def. Gary Goodridge: $25,000

Five Ounces of Pain has also learned that Goodridge was not originally contracted to fight as an alternate as has been reported by some web sites. Goodridge was at the event to watch as a fan and was only approached about fighting after it was learned that CSAC would not license Aleksander Emelianenko.

Photo of Fedor Emelianenko for Five Ounces of Pain by: Reid Watanabe

  • LiuLang says:

    I hope we can all agree that 300k for Fedor is nowhere near the number he received for the fight. Which likely means that their payroll was in the 4.5-5 million dollar range. In fact, it was likely larger then that, when you take into account other undisclosed pay as the article mentions.

  • Jackyl says:

    It may not have been an actual sellout bet 700 tickets left for a venue of that size is not much. The fact that they had over 10,000 paid tickets and a 2 million live gate is pretty impressive for a first show. This was also done with ticket prices similar to a UFC event.

  • Neil says:

    I would certainly hope that Fedor’s payday was greater than 300k… Sylvia making almost three times that it just absurd; he’s a very marketable fighter, but he’s not worth that much. Period.

  • matt says:

    they had to have lost money on this show if you realize that Fedor was paid 1.2 million before hand. They also didn’t have any recognizable sponsors. I dunno…seems like for the fun of having your own event, this was probably the biggest money burner ever.

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:

    Tim Sylvia made $800 grand for that pathetic showing? RIDICULOUS. HE should be BANNED from MMA for that.

    They paid Matt Lindland $300 grand? Talk about a bad investment. I thought Donald Trump was involved with this thing? Matt Lindland seems like an ok guy but watching him fight is like watching paint dry. B-O-R-I-N-G.

    Arlovski, Fedor, Rothwell, Barnett, and Vitor put on good fights.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    MMA SKOOL is right.

    No one is their right mind should pay Lindland 300K for anything.

  • Ian says:

    800k to get knocked silly for 36 seconds isn’t bad.

    300k official listing for Fedor is Russian for “I’m not paying American taxes.”

  • Jon says:

    WOW~!~! I called the official number for Fedor on the DOT! If you check out one of my previous posts, I stated $300K for the fight. Then again, he got paid to show up and fight.

    These salaries never include gate %, or promotional revenues to the fighter. My opinion on these:

    Fedor – makes money elsewhere
    Sylvia – Paid Loser, but he was a UFC champ … calling all UFC VS Pride lovers
    Barnett – More then I expected, but I like him as a fighter
    Rizzo – I would have expected less for a 50/50 fighter since 2003
    Lindland – overpaid for just showing up … i could understand like $100K
    Arlovski – well worth it for the show he put on compared to Sylvia

    The rest of the guys I don’t particularly follow.

  • S. Harris says:

    If they did 100K PPV buys at $40 – they’ll take half of that – that $2M will cover the rest of the salaries. That means whatever sponsorships they did have covers the arena, and all of the merchandising is profit – which is probably fine with them – he is the ‘T-Shirt Guy’

  • ultmma says:

    100 K buys is still very, very generous. I know MMA in 2008 is a completely different world than MMA 07 or 06 but

    the WFA did horrible on PPV, Bodog flopped on PPV, shamrock vs. Gracie didn’t make a blip on the radar screen

    and finally Pride barely came within shouting distance of 100k

    if they pull 80k or 90k than props to Affliction for marketing the event.

  • ACK! says:

    I, for one, am happy to see so many fighters walk away with good money.

  • MMAStation says:


    I also think it is a stretch to think they did anything over 100k buys, but you have to realize WFA was almost two years ago, Bodog didnt have the roster and Shamrock vs Gracie was Strikeforce? was that on PPV?

    The drawing power of this card appealed to casual fans and hardcore fans alike with former UFC fighters for the casual fans and other great fighters the hardcore fans wanted to see.

    I do think they will come close to 100k buys but not go over, something like 90-95k or so

  • DocWagner says:

    Why are so many up in arms? These guys are the top in their sport…compare the income to boxers, NFL players, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, Racing…etc.

  • MMA SKOOL™ says:


    Compared to the other sports it would be nice if MMA athletes made more money as a whole, but relative to MMA at this point, $300k seems like a lot of money to pay Matt Lindland.

  • Sergio G. Hernandez says:

    “compare the income to boxers, NFL players, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, Racing…etc.”

    That’s ridiculous.

    The revenue stream for MMA pales in comparison to the NFL, NBA, and even NHL.

  • neijia says:

    800k for losing in 30 seconds? Good job, Tim. Yow.

    Don’t forget MLB. Alex Rodriguez made $22 million in 2007. How about 2008? Mma is a stupid sport for elite athletes from a salary perspective.

    Tiger Woods will top a billion…

  • Sam Caplan says:

    I think one thing some people overlook is the preparation going into the fight. Yes, the fight only lasted 36 seconds, but Sylvia had spent hours in the gym training for the fight and did a lot of media for the event. The compensation in reality is for more than just the fight.

  • Sergio G. Hernandez says:

    “Mma is a stupid sport for elite athletes from a salary perspective.”

    I wouldn’t go that far.

    I mean, what else is a collegiate wrestler supposed to do with his talent save for teaching?

  • Jason says:

    If Affliction makes money on this event it will be a miracle.
    What they are doing with these inflatted salaries is going to put themselvesout of business. Due to the entirety of MMA the profit margins dont dictate that kind of payout to the fighters. This is a bad move for MMA. Fighters will flip -flop companies where the money is and this will end up staying a second-rate sport. You dont see a NFL 2 or NBA 2.

  • stevefiji says:

    $5 to 6 million for fighters is the real figure
    then there’s the marketing budget – BIG
    the paying of the staff – they gotta earn too!!!
    the paying of the venue – you wanna rent out that place for a wedding? not me..
    the paying of payola (don’t think for a moment that plenty of people were comped swag and $$$ for promotional purposes)

    on the positive side… they probably did sell 3 or 4 of those stunning signatures T-Shirts of Babalu and Sylvia and admittedly a few 1000 of the Emperor’s Clothes

    Affliction lost their shirts…literally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lost in Translation:
    Midnight Oil’s MiniMe spinning this thing as though they succeeded beyond their expectations…that is a joke. If Fedor didn’t dominate, they’d never have even tried a second show. He could be Affliction’s version of the Griffin/Bonnar transcendence or just a finger in the dike. I vote we give him the finger :-)

    If Randy is held out of action for another year or two…. Affliction will be afflicted with Alzheimer’s because we will forget about them quickly … other than Fedor vs. AA they do NOT have a card people will pay $40 for, never mind $1,000 to sit ringside beside Don Johnson.

    Cheers Mates

  • HexRei says:

    @#19 Keep in mind most startups run in the red for at time, especially startups in a highly competitive market like MMA. As long as Affliction is making money on the backend from their apparel and other merchandising, they can probably obtain investments to stay afloat even if their next couple of shows are a net loss as well.

  • stevefiji says:

    I stand corrected… by myself.

    Even I will pay $40 to see Tito get his ass kicked by AA or Fedor and I’ll laugh when ‘The Donald’ in the front row wipes Tito’s blood off his shiny yellow tie. Good times there!

  • biggmoney21 says:

    Hey Sergio G. Hernandez, “what else is a collegiate wrestler supposed to do with his talent save for teaching?”.

    What is a collegiate swimmer, lacrosse player, etc. supposed to do? Certainly they have no expectations of big paydays after graduation like the big revenue sports like football or basketball (not so sure about swimming but I know that professional lacrosse players make next to nothing). Call me crazy but maybe these college athletes can become doctors, lawyers, or whatever they went to college for? What were my options after college? As much as I would have liked to go rip bong hits professionally, I’m pretty sure nobody was going to pay me for it (and if you know of anybody, my price is very reasonable).

  • Sergio G. Hernandez says:

    My comment was in reference to athletes who wished to use their talents and skills, like I said, in what they choose as a profession. It wasn’t meant for everyone going to college who happens to play sports.

    Nice try, though.

  • batman says:

    i can’t wait to see the pay per view buys. I know that some bars showed the fight so they made money off that. Also the after party at the grove, they also made a lot on merchandise like t-shirts.

  • Tomholo says:

    All this cash!!! I think they’ve made a statement just by out paying the UFC. Fighters will recognize that and will be affliction bound. That is, if they haven’t bankrupt themselves on their first event.

    $800,000 for Tim Silvia??? Hmmm… I’d fight him for $100,000. But I wouldn’t fight Fedor for less than $18 million. That’s for retirement, as I’d be crippled, reconstructive surgery, and general incentive to continue to live, as I believe he would beat the will out of me.

  • maddog says:

    #26-you sure are brave.

  • mike wolfe says:

    24% of the tickets were comps–given away. Is that an unusually high percentage for such a big MMA event? Were they given away to ensure there were bodies in the seats for the sake of appearances?


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