The UFC awarded $420,000 in bonuses alone tonight in one of the most entertaining nights of fights in years. The promotion announced co-”fight of the night” bonuses for Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Wanderlei Silva vs. Cung Le, with “submission of the night” going to Urijah Faber, and Michael McDonald picking up “knockout of the night.” Each fighter earned $70,000 for their efforts.
Dan Henderson vs. “Shogun” Rua was a fight long in the making and the two fighters did not disappoint as the two fighters locked up in a war of wills. Henderson looked to be on his way to a quick victory as he crushed “Shogun” with power shots that have felled many great fighters in the past. A battered, but not broken, Shogun refused to back down however and took control of the final two rounds that had many people ruling the fight a draw. While Henderson was given the unanimous decision it was still one of the closer fights in recent memory. Fights like these tend to shorten a fighter’s career, so the $70,000 in bonuses for each fighter will be appreciated.
Wanderlei Silva proved that he still has fight in him as he rebounded to crush Strikeforce veteran Cung Le with a TKO that reminded many of his PRIDE days. The fight was named co-”fight of the night” and the money was well-earned as Silva gave Le’s nose a twist worse than an M. Night Shyamalan movie.
Urijah Faber was impressive in his fight with former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles. Faber utilized his considerable speed advantage to pick his spots accordingly before dropping Bowles and finishing him off with a rear-naked choke that earned him “submission of the night.” Faber will likely challenge UFC bantamweight Dominick Cruz in a rubber match next.
Michael McDonald may only be 20 years-old but the bantamweight fights like he is much older. McDonald executed the perfect counter to a leg kick, an overhand shot, to start off the beginning of the end for Alex Soto. Soto valiantly tried to recover but was dropped by a big uppercut and knocked out cold by follow-up shots from McDonald. “Mayday” picked up “knockout of the night” and ran his impressive record to 14-1 with the win.
pictured: Wanderlei Silva via UFC.com