The UFC handed out $40,000 performance bonuses to five fighters following UFC Fight Night: Marquardt vs. Palhares, including two separate "Submission of the Night" awards. The honorees are:
Knockout of the Night: Brian Foster, for his 67-second storming of Forrest Petz, which was the lone stoppage on the preliminary card. Petz now drops to 0-2 in his current UFC stint, and will most likely be shown the door.
Submission of the Night (1): Cole Miller, for dropping Ross Pearson with punches in the second round of their fight, then icing him with a rear-naked choke. Miller has scored the SotN award in three of his last five appearances, and officially enters the UFC Performance Bonus Leaderboard.
Submission of the Night (2): Charles Oliveira, who pushed his record to 14-0 with a huge win over TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero, secured via standing rear-naked choke in the third round. Though he had trouble getting Escudero to the mat in the first two frames, Oliveira showed off his tenacity in the victory, as well as some impressively unorthodox striking.
Fight of the Night: Kyle Kingsbury and Jared Hamman, for their fast-paced three-round brawl in the prelims. Despite a third-round rally from Hamman, Kingsbury’s domination and damage in the first two frames secured him 29-28 scores from all three judges.
Some other notes on the fights…
— After officials cleared Nate Marquardt of the greasing claims that tainted the main event, Rousimar Palhares was apologetic, telling MMA Junkie "I’m very sorry for the accusations I made. Nate Marquardt did not cheat in any way, and I’m very sorry to him and his team for my actions in the fight…I congratulate Nate on his win. I learned another lesson for my career in the fight, and I apologize to Nate, his team and the UFC for any issues I contributed to."
As Palhares’s Brazilian Top Team trainer Murilo Bustamante put it, "He should have never stopped. Nate won fair and square and did exactly what he should have. Rousimar knows it’s imperative to protect yourself at all times, and he failed to do that." Palhares’s manager Alex Davis added, "Rousimar has had to deal with opponents greasing before. I truly believe it’s turned into a paranoia for him."
— After disposing of Toquinho, Nate Marquardt is ready for the next step. "I think a guy like Vitor, a guy like Wanderlei, or anyone else at the top would be a great matchup," Marquardt said during the post-fight press-conference. "A guy like Bisping, or Okami too…I feel like I’m still at the top of the division, and I proved it tonight, and I want to earn the title shot, and…one fight with a top contender and I should be there."
— After collecting $80,000 in bonus money since his August 1st UFC debut, Charles Oliveira already has plans for his new windfall: "I’m hoping to soon buy a new house for my family. We have a large family of eight people, including my grandmother, and I want to make sure and take care of them."
Oliveira also has no hard feelings for Efrain Escudero, despite the fact that Hecho en Mexico came in way over the 155-pound limit, then landed a devastating knee to Oliveira’s balls in round three: "First, I’m a professional. I came here ready to fight. It doesn’t matter if he makes the weight or not. I do my job. I’m ready to fight regardless….He hit me with the knee, and I felt it very much. Efrain made a mistake, but it doesn’t matter to me. I just want to fight. I was very focused on my trainers, who told me to take it easy and recover. When I felt good, I started again. I did the right thing. I waited, I recovered, and I returned to the fight."
How could you not love this kid? Any ideas for who the 20-year-old submission machine should get next? And did anybody else hear the dumb-ass referee trying to give Oliveira instructions in Spanish while he was nursing his nuts? Sometimes these things happen in Texas…