Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Tag: performance bonuses

UFC Changes Fight-Bonus Structure, Introduces “Performance of the Night”

(“Don’t matter whatcha call the dang things, just gimme the dang money. [*spits dip-juice, crashes new boat*]” / Photo via @CowboyCerrone)

Goodbye KOTNs and SOTNs. Hello…POTNs? WTF?

Yesterday, the UFC announced a significant change to the way it awards end-of-night bonuses. Although Fight of the Night bonuses will still be awarded to both fighters in the best scrap of each event, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night have now been eliminated in favor of a pair of general “Performance of the Night” bonuses, which will go to the two fighters “who put on the best and most exciting individual performances.” All bonus amounts will remain at $50,000.

While the generic POTN awards might not sound as exciting as the previous awards for gnarly stoppages, they allow the UFC a little more freedom to reward its fighters. For example, the promotion no longer has to give a fighter a Submission of the Night award by default simply because there were no other subs on the card. And theoretically, the UFC could award a fighter a POTN for impressively beating the crap out of his/her opponent for fifteen minutes, even if the fight itself is too lopsided to win Fight of the Night.

Our sources also indicate that the UFC’s undisclosed “locker-room bonuses” will now be paid in the form of Camel Cash. So what do you think of the UFC’s new bonus-system? Good, bad, or who gives a damn?


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.


CagePotato Databomb #14: The Rise, Fall, and Flattening of UFC Bonuses

(Click on the chart for the full-size version. For previous Databombs, click here.)

By Reed Kuhn, @Fightnomics

In March I made the trip to Montreal for UFC 156 and was puzzled by a financial observation. If the $50,000 Fight Night bonuses for that card sounded small for a pay-per-view event, well, that’s because they were. At least they were “low” when put into historical context, and they’ve been that way ever since.

But let’s start with the big picture with our first DataBomb to have dollars as a unit of measure. The chart above displays the official Fight Night Bonus amount published for Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night, and Submission of the Night for numbered UFC events since UFC 61 in 2006 through UFC 162 earlier this month. Like Chael Sonnen closing a Skype interview: Kaaaaa…boom.

The Rise of the UFC in the Mid-2000’s

Let’s put this in context. The end of 2006 was a great time for the UFC. In addition to seasons three and four of the smash hit reality series The Ultimate Fighter, the promotion closed out the year with a defining moment in UFC 66. Headlined by future hall of fame superstars Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, the event drew more than one million pay-per-view purchases, a first for the still maturing organization.

It may then come as a surprise that Liddell and Ortiz each only received a $30,000 bonus for their Fight of the Night performance. But not really, because we should all know that there’s a lag between success and financial reward. These same fight night bonus amounts would double by UFC 81 just over a year later when they hit $60,000 for the first time. For part-time fighters on the undercard only making “three and three” back then (i.e., $3,000 to fight and another $3,000 for a win), a windfall $60,000 bonus was potentially life-changing. And bonuses weren’t done growing yet.


Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier ‘Fight of the Night’ Video Highlights

(Props: FoxSports)

The main event of last night’s UFC on FUEL TV 3 event blew past its already high expectations. “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung and Dustin Poirier set a frenetic pace for over three rounds, with Jung dominating the fight both in the standup and on the ground. In the end, Jung rocked Poirier with punches and a flying knee, and put “Diamond” to sleep on the mat with a d’arce choke at the 1:07 mark of round four. You can check out highlights from their scrap above, including an excerpt from Jung’s astounding grappling clinic in round two.

The match earned both men $40,000 Fight of the Night bonuses, and Jung picked up an additional $40k for the event’s Submission of the Night (“What about meeeeeeee?!” – The McKenzietine). Knockout of the Night went to Tom Lawlor, who celebrated his birthday then starched Jason MacDonald in just 50 seconds.

After the jump: Dustin Poirier gets emotional in a post-fight interview with Ariel Helwani, and full results from UFC on FUEL TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier.


TUF 14 Finale Bonuses: Diego Brandao Picks Up an Extra $80,000, Will Be Able to Buy His Mom That House

(Aw man, he’s a Mormon? We just assumed he was a *normal* insane Christian, like Diego Sanchez. / Props: MMAJunkie)

From what we hear, Brazilian real estate is a buyer’s market right now. That’s good news for Diego Brandao, who earned enough bonus money last night to get his beloved mother a decent ranch house near all the good favelas. The UFC handed out $40,000 performance bonuses to the following TUF 14 Finale competitors:

Fight of the Night: Diego Brandao and Dennis Bermudez for their dramatic one-rounder, in which odds-on favorite Brandao started strong, then nearly got TKO’d, then pulled an armbar directly out of his ass with nine seconds left in the round.

Knockout of the Night: John Dodson, for generating an incredible amount of torque from that tiny body and smashing TJ Dillashaw in under two minutes.

Submission of the Night: Diego Brandao again, for armbarring victory out of the jaws of defeat.

And as we mentioned in yesterday’s liveblog, $25,000 “Best of the Season” bonuses were also awarded to these TUF 14 Finale competitors…


‘UFC Live’ Video: Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry Fight Highlights

(Props: ESPN via MMAMania)

Greatest comeback knockout in UFC history? Last night‘s main event clash between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry is certainly up there with previous shockers like Scott Smith vs. Pete Sell and Mike Russow vs. Todd Duffee, considering how close it came to being stopped. Kongo earned himself a $50,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for his efforts. The other performance bonuses went to Joe Lauzon, who picked up the Submission of the Night award for his first-round kimura over Curt Warburton, and Nik Lentz and Charles Oliveria, who were awarded the Fight of the Night despite the fact that an illegal knee from Oliveira near the end of the match may result in the fight being declared a no-contest.

After the jump: An excerpt from the night’s other epic battle — Rampage vs. Ariel.