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TUF 18 Finale Curtain-Jerker Ryan Benoit Makes $100,000 in Bonuses for Losing to Josh Sampo


(First order of business? Getting “RYAN” tattooed on his chest. / Photo via Getty)

Despite getting choked out in the second-round by Josh Sampo, UFC first-timer Ryan Benoit was awarded $100,000 in Fight of the Night bonuses following Saturday’s TUF 18 Finale. Though the FOTN award would normally pocket each fighter $50,000 apiece, UFC president Dana White decided to give both bonuses to Benoit, because Sampo came in 2.5 pounds over his flyweight limit on Friday. As White put it at the post-fight press conference, “it pays to make weight.” (Sampo was fined 10% of his purse for missing weight, half of which went to his opponent, so that’s probably another $600-$800 for Benoit right there.)

Benoit’s hundred-grand windfall is even more surprising because, as the data shows, opening bouts are rarely remembered when it’s time to award bonuses. The Benoit vs. Sampo match had the curtain-jerking spot at the TUF 18 Finale, and was the only fight to be broadcast on Facebook instead of the FOX Sports network. Most likely, you didn’t see it. But in a card marked by underwhelming performances, one-sided beatings, and a brutal disqualification, the Benoit/Sampo fight was at least a competitive scrap.

Ryan Benoit isn’t the first UFC fighter to win two performance bonuses in his Octagon debut; James Krause did it earlier this year when he picked up the Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night awards after coming in as an injury replacement against Sam Stout at UFC 161. But of course, Krause won that fight.

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Fabio Maldonado Receives Sizable Bonus Check for Getting Beat Up at UFC 153


Geez, these XARM events have been getting weird…

It can be argued that no losing fighter has ever deserved one of UFC’s famous locker-room bonus checks than Fabio Maldonado after his downright terrifying loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC 153.

If this was professional wrestling, we’d say this was the fight that got Glover “over” in the UFC. The brutal asskicking that Teixeira dished out transitioned him from MMA’s best-kept secret to a legitimate light-heavyweight contender, causing fans throughout the world to say “Huh, so that’s what a 10-7 round looks like.”

Yet Fabio Maldonado kept fighting back, almost pulling off one of the most insane comebacks in UFC history as he rocked Teixeira near the end of the first round. Maldonado kept coming back for more until the cageside doctor put an end to the fight after the second round. I’m not going to write something cheesy like “it was a moral victory for Fabio Maldonado,” but I would understand why a person would.

The beating that Fabio Maldonado took wasn’t for nothing – at least not financially. Maldonado revealed on his Facebook page that he recently received one of the UFC’s famed locker-room bonus checks, and it was worth more money than his win bonus would have been. Via MMAWeekly:

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“UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage” Bonuses: That Other Diaz Banks 75k


Eat a dick, Steven Seagal. Props: MMAFighting.

Nate Diaz was clearly in a win or go home situation heading into UFC 135. Winning only three times in your past eight fights won’t exactly get you on Dana White’s good side. Especially when your brother is Nick Diaz. Fortunately for Nate, he easily locked in a fight ending armbar in the first round against Takanori Gomi. The 75 grand he pocketed for Submission of the Night honors? Just icing on the cake where he’s from, homie.

The only other fight on the card to end in submission, Jon Jones’ rear naked choke against of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, took home Fight of the Night honors. There really isn’t much else to say about this one, save for a sarcastic comment about how Rothwell vs. Hunt was far more deserving of FOTN honors. But you guys have higher expectations of us than that. Also, Josh Koscheck’s first round knockout over “K1 Hughes” earned him Knockout of the Night honors. This fight marks the fifth time in Koscheck’s career that he’s taken an end of the night bonus from the UFC, and also the second time he’s taken home KOTN honors. He also won Knockout of the Night for his performance against Yoshiyuki Yoshida back at UFC: Fight for the Troops in 2008.

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“UFC 134″ Bonuses: Three Fighters Pocket $100 G’s

I know this hurts right now, Big Nog, but it will all be worth it in a minute. (Pic: UFC.com)

UFC 134 was the outfit’s first return to Brazil in thirteen years, and with plans for four more Brazil-based events in 2012, Zuffa needed to make a lasting impression. The fighters delivered, big time, and for their efforts three of them walked away with a cool $100,000 bonus in their pockets. That’s a lot of Bony Acai.

Much was made of the homecoming to Rio, Royce Gracie’s home, the birthplace of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Yet in the land that helped transform hyper-extending limbs into an art form, there wasn’t a single submission landed. Brazilian fighters have evolved just like the rest of them, and last night they chose to showcase their fists.

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UFC 131 “Dos Santos vs. Carwin” Bonuses Announced

“Hands of Stone”? Yup, that sounds about right. (Pic: UFC.com)

There is so much to love about the UFC’s Fight Night Bonuses. Often times one of these rewards can double, triple, or even quadruple a fighter’s take home pay for the evening. They also serve as bounties for action, encouraging the knockouts, submissions, and exciting fights that we all enjoy. But I love them best for another reason altogether. They give Dana White the opportunity to do what he does best: wield his godlike power with impunity. That sword has two edges of course, one of which has cut us frequently, but when dolling out these bonuses we get to see the best of Dana White. There’s Dana the Vindictive, who snubbed Mir’s poor performance against Cro Cop by denying the night’s only KO a bonus; Dana the Fight Fan, who loves action packed bouts so much that sometimes he can’t bring himself to award only one “Fight of the Night” bonus; and Dana the Merciful, who sets right the grave injustices cast down from the judges table. It was this last Dana who reared his head last night, giving an “unofficial” bonus to Michihiro Omigawa, who lost a unanimous decision to Darren Elkins in the prelims. White felt that Omigawa clearly deserved the victory and awarded him his win bonus for his performance. This fight, particularly one judge scoring it 30-27 for Elkins, is sure to add more fuel to the firestorm that is MMA judging. And now, on to the $70k bonuses…

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‘The Ultimate Fighter 13′ Finale Bonuses Announced


And to think, Tony Ferguson is the asshole of the group. Image via yfrog

Winning The Ultimate Fighter may no longer signify that you’ll be a force in your division for years to come. Or even a relevant name in your division. Or even that you have job security. But it does mean that you now have a six figure contract with the UFC, and if you happen to knock the other guy out in the process, you’ll pocket an additional 40k for “Knock Out of the Night” bonus. See? The show hasn’t completely lost its luster.

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Torres and Mizugaki Given $10,000 Bonuses for Fight of the Year

(Torres discusses his war with Mizugaki in the post-event press-conference. Props: MMA Mania)

Yes, it’s only early April, but last night’s WEC main event between Miguel Torres and Takeya Mizugaki established itself as a 2009 Fight of the Year front-runner that might not be touched in the next nine months. (We’ll post the video as soon as it turns up, but the Internet is failing us right now.) Honestly, Torres/Mizugaki made Torres/Maeda look like Lashley/Guida. And the fight was a lot closer than the scorecards (or Frank Mir‘s biased, nuthugging commentary) would suggest.

Mizugaki shocked the crowd by fearlessly outstriking Torres in the opening round and keeping up an inhuman pace through 25 minutes; wisely, he avoided following Torres to the ground when the champion baited him. Torres may have had the edge in the later rounds, but he was never able to put the tough-as-nails challenger in danger of being finished. Still, he fought relentlessly, and once again proved himself the rightful owner of the 135-pound crown. His next thrilling victory will likely be in August against currently-sidelined #1-contender Brian Bowles.

For their efforts, both Torres and Mizugaki picked up $10,000 Fight of the Night bonuses. (That’s the best you can do, WEC? Now we know why Miguel wants to chase larger paydays in ill-advised weight classes.) Also taking home the extra 10 G’s were Anthony Njokuani for his Knockout of the Night over Bart Palaszewski, and Rani Yahya for his Submission of the Night (via first-round rear-naked choke) over Eddie Wineland.

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UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Kampmann — Videos + Bonuses


(Carlos Condit vs. Martin Kampmann)

Last night’s "Condit vs. Kampmann" card brought in a live gate of $626,077, thanks to its 10,267 spectators — which made it the most well-attended Fight Night show in UFC history. $120,000 was re-distributed to the fighters in the form of $30,000 end-of-night bonuses. Taking home the extra cash were…

Fight of the Night: Tyson Griffin and Rafael Dos Anjos, as mentioned earlier. Don’t ask us why their sloppy slugfest got the nod over the technical back-and-forth battle of the main event.

Knockout of the Night: Aaron Simpson’s first-round stoppage of Tim McKenzie in the night’s opening bout turned out to be the only TKO on the card, so he scored the bonus by default.

Submission of the Night: Rob Kimmons earned the bump with his first-round guillotine choke victory over Joe Vedepo, which put Vedepo to sleep for the second time in his short UFC career. It was nice knowing you, buddy.

More videos from the main card after the jump…

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Maia, Thiago, Sanchez and Stevenson Pocket UFC 95 Bonus Cash


(Uh-oh…. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

With all the quick knockouts and ‘holy shit!’-style finishes at UFC 95 in London, selecting one for Knockout of the Night couldn’t have been easy.  

Evan Dunham and Dan Hardy both put their opponents away with a certain emphasis on unconsciousness, but it was Brazilian newcomer Paulo Thiago who earned the $40,000 bonus for his knockout of Josh Koscheck.  It might have helped that the uppercut which floored Koscheck came immediately after Joe Rogan criticized Thiago’s woefully inept striking skills.  It’s all in the timing.

Submission of the Night, also known as the Demian Maia Award, predictably went once again to Demian Maia, who made short work of Chael Sonnen using a a triangle choke he set up from the mount.  

And you guessed it, Fight of the Night went to the main event pairing of Diego Sanchez and Joe Stevenson.  It may not have been the most thrilling war we’ve ever seen, but it was longer than most of the matches at UFC 95, even if we learned everything we needed to know about how it was going to turn out in the first round.  Hopefully Nate Marquardt and Wilson Gouveia got a little something extra for their efforts too.

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Ben vs. Ben: UFC 95 Edition


(Diego will try anything to get to 155.  Anything.)

With UFC 95 (which we’ll be liveblogging) just a day away, we took some time to berate one another regarding some of the more pressing issues surrounding the UFC’s trip to London.  Okay, so there’s essentially no main event here, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still have some fun with a night of free fights on Spike.  Plus, there are Chael Sonnen’s ridiculous claims to discuss, and so much more…

What are Diego Sanchez‘s chances as a lightweight contender? Who has the skills to beat him?

BG: His chances are freakin’ excellent. Sanchez was already the fifth best welterweight in the UFC by my count (after GSP, Alves, Fitch, and Koscheck), and he’s looked incredibly dangerous in his last two wins over David Bielkheden and Luigi Fioravanti. I was particularly surprised to hear that he was dropping to lightweight because it seemed like he was gathering steam for a title shot at welterweight. Think about it: Fitch and Kos have already been dominated by St. Pierre, and if Alves can’t beat the champ this summer, who else is ready?

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