In a night filled with some less-than-thrilling matchups, at least Anderson Silva and BJ Penn remembered that they were in Philly — and for that, they were rewarded handsomely. Silva earned a $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus for cleaning Forrest Griffin‘s clock in the first round of their light-heavyweight feature at UFC 101, while Penn scored a Submission of the Night bonus in honor of his fourth-round rear-naked-choke of Kenny Florian. Somewhat suprisingly, additional $60,000 Fight of the Night checks went to Silva and Griffin for their match, even though it wasn’t much of a fight. UFC 101 drew a sold-out crowd of 17,411 spectators for a live gate of $3.55 million, a combat sports record for Pennsylvania. Reportedly, almost 11,000 of those fans were already in their seats by the time the first preliminary match started.
During the post-fight press conference, UFC president Dana White announced that the UFC was looking to host an event at Boston’s legendary Fenway Park by next summer; the Massachusetts state senate passed a bill to regulate MMA last month. White also said that the UFC could add another event to its schedule in October, in addition to UFC 104 (October 24th, Los Angeles). Since Fedor Emelianenko is slated to make his Strikeforce debut sometime in October, the counter-programming motives are fairly obvious here. Game on…
White also addressed the next opponents for night’s conquering heroes. As expected, Diego Sanchez will likely get the next shot at BJ Penn’s lightweight belt. (Hey, wasn’t that dude supposed to get in Penn’s face after the main event? Did they even show him sitting ringside?) Anderson Silva’s next appearance will probably be a middleweight title defense against Dan Henderson, who has vowed to beat Silva up. When Silva was asked if he would ever challenge Lyoto Machida for the light-heavyweight belt, Dana White interrupted, saying "If Anderson gets to that point where he starts taking out 205-pounders, I’ll make that fight. I promise you, I’ll make that fight.” As usual, Silva stonewalled: "Lyoto’s my friend. He’s my brother, and there’s no way that fight will happen…And also not just because (Lyoto’s) my friend. (Lyoto would) be a big problem for me.”
As for Tito Ortiz, who was sitting ringside with baby-mama Jenna Jameson last night, White announced that the former UFC light-heavyweight champ will next face off against Mark Coleman. Though Ortiz respects Coleman’s wrestling and described the Hammer as someone he looks up to, he still referred to the match as "a warm-up fight."