The UFC awarded its usual post-fight bonuses after Saturday’s UFC 153 event, which was headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar. UFC president Dana White laughingly told reporters at the post-event press conference that the bonuses would be $70,000 each – somewhat higher than usual – because Stephan Bonnar talked him into raising them.
The “Fight of the Night” bonus was awarded to Jon Fitch and Erick Silva for their back and forth three-round war. Fitch was awarded the judges’ decision in that bout. Him receiving the “Fight of the Night” bonus is particularly noteworthy since he has received widespread criticism from fans for his usual style of fighting, which emphasizes control over aggression or attempts to finish the bout. In his fight with Silva, Fitch fought much more aggressively than he is usually known for doing, appearing close to finishing the bout via submission or referee stoppage on multiple occasions. Although Silva hung tough and made it to the final bell, Fitch has nonetheless received widespread acclaim for his more entertaining approach to their fight.
The “Knockout of the Night” bonus went to Rony Jason for his finish of Sam Sicilia at the end of the second round of their fight. While impressive, some were surprised that bonus was not awarded Anderson Silva for his arguably more impressive KO of Stephan Bonnar. Of course, the fighter on the prelims probably could use the extra cash more than the fighter in the main event.
Finally, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira earned the “Submission of the Night” bonus for his second round armbar on Dave Herman. The fact that the submission came against an opponent who claimed before the fight that jiu jitsu did not work likely made the bonus that much sweeter.