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UFC 90: Sherk, Griffin, dos Santos, and Fisher all earn $65,000 “Fight Night” bonuses; UFC does record $2.8 million house at Allstate Arena

UFC officials revealed to the media in attendance last night in Rosemont, Ill. for UFC 90 that the event drew a sellout 15,359 fans for a $2.8 million house at the Allstate Arena. If the attendance and house figures become official, it would make UFC 90 the highest-grossing event ever in the venue’s history, breaking the previous record set by Wrestlemania XXIII in 1997.

The strong house allowed the UFC to ramp up its “Fight Night” bonuses from last week’s UFC 89 event, which paid out $40,000 per bonus. Last night, Sean Sherk, Tyson Griffin, Spencer Fisher, and newcomer Junior dos Santos were all UFC 90 “Fight Night” bonus recipients and each received $65,000 in addition to their guaranteed pay.

Coming into last night’s heavyweight clash with dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum appeared to be in the heavyweight title mix. In fact, UFC President Dana White went so far as to publicly guarantee Werdum a title shot following his first round TKO over Brandon Vera at UFC 85 this past June. Those plans were altered upon heavyweight champion Randy Couture’s decision to return to the UFC and after last night’s tilt vs. dos Santos, those plans may be a distant memory.

Based largely on his world glass jiu-jitsu credentials as well as his vast experience competing in big fights for both the UFC and PRIDE, Werdum entered last night’s fight as the heavy favorite. However, dos Santos stunned Werdum and the odds-makers after landing a vicious right uppercut and finishing Werdum at 1:21 of round 1. The punch earned dos Santos the 65K “Knockout of the Night” bonus.

Fisher’s lightweight battle vs. Shannon Gugerty was not a part of the main card, however, his triangle choke with just one minute and four seconds remaining in the fight was good enough to earn him “Submission of the Night” honors.

Sherk and Griffin both are known for being outstanding wrestlers, which led some to believe that there was a possibility that the two might not be able to come together for an exciting fight. However, both Sherk and Griffin chose not to test each other’s mat skills and instead worked their kickboxing for virtually the entire 15 minutes of their fight. While it was Sherk who walked away the winner with the unanimous decision victory, both fighters walked away with “Fight of the Night” honors. The bonus marked the fourth time in seven career UFC fights in which Griffin has earned the FOTN honor.

  • KTru says:

    Even with the record breaking numbers, I still hope they do not return to the “Windy City”.

  • David Andrest says:

    Yes, I would agree. It didn’t appear on television that they enjoyed the fight card very much. They booed the entire night, it was really strange.

  • JollyDV says:

    The crowd was super loud. I believe that the crowd was so loud at the end of the Alves/Koscheck fight that the fighters didn’t hear the bell sound. They weren’t booing at that time though. So the loud booing we heard may have been amplified just as the applause. Regardless, they booed some of winning fighters all the way through their post fight interview with Joe Rogan. They weren’t too picky either. Just about every fight got booed except maybe Junior’s KO over Werdum and the Sherk/Griffin fight.
    I would love to hear from someone that attended the live show.

  • Ft. Dub says:

    In addition to the booing being annoying on the broadcast, can we get some new refs? All of them except Herb Dean seemed to be inexperienced. Werdum was allowed to get hit about three or four times too many (due to bad positioning) and other fighters were pressed to “do something” over and over again when they were clearly advancing and mixing it up on the ground.

    I don’t agree with Rogan that the fighters should never be stood up, but some of these refs seemed like they were discouraging any competitive wrestling/jiu jitsu

  • Stan the Caddy says:

    Horrible crowd, horrible reffing.

  • JollyDV says:

    Herb Dean was the only referee that I recognized. The four referees that I am not familiar with were Mike Reid, Todd Fredrickson, Dr. David Smith and Mark Fennell. I plan on researching them today to see how long they have been refereeing MMA fights.

  • dpk says:

    Ft. Dub, I completely agree with you on the refs. They kept telling to fighters to work, when they were already working for submissions, or working for dominate position, At least they didn’t act on it and stand them up, but it was annoying to keep hearing it.

  • Nick Merra says:

    Jolly DV, you did an excellent job. Thanks so much for making this feel like a satellite radio ppv. You did great….

  • Nick Merra says:

    were the refs and crowd really that bad??

  • Nick Merra says:

    i hear big john is coming back. Any truth to that?

  • Cathedron says:

    I think some of the refs were actually intimidated by the crowd. That might be why they were constantly pushing for action. Chicago is just a rude city with no real MMA fan base. Half the people there were so drunk they probly thought they were watching hockey. Fuck ’em. I wish the UFC would head three hours west and come to the Quad Cities. We don’t have a huge venue, but I guarantee it would be a sellout. The percentage of MMA fans here is gigantic. Pat Miletich is like a god here. Plus we love wrestling so you wouldn’t be hearing us boo whenever a fight went to the ground.

  • Patrick says:

    Am I the only one that was on the edge of my seat during Maynard/Clementi?

    That was some seriously awesome groundwork by Maynard, and Clementi tried damn near every trick in the book. I enjoyed every fight they broadcast, even enjoyed Silva toying with Cote until the whole knee popping acl terribleness. Good fight card, bad crowd.

  • matt says:

    silva was being a disrespectful asshole and everything silva had cote had an answer cote was winnig the fight and if he hadnt had knee reconstruction in the past he couldve decisivly won

  • Shatner says:

    The Maynard ground work was awful he was making no effort to finish the fight he treated it as a wrestling match as if he had outpointed Rich and was riding out a victory he did the same thing against Frankie Edgar.Trust me I thought the crowd was terrible booing some decent fights and a very good Sherk Griffin fight,but I am in no rush to see Gray Maynard fight again anytime soon.When you say you were on the edge of your seat during that fight you sound like you’re trying to sound cool like you appreciate ground fighting and no one else gets it.I do enjoy watching a good grappling match and it was not there during Maynard’s fight last night it was awful.

  • glock says:

    I’m a little late to the thread, but I’m happy to see everyone here feels the same way about the fans and refs last night.
    That was REALLY annoying.

    I almost forgot about the reffing too.
    Guess I’ve been trying to repress the memory that I was yelling at the TV like a moron myself “LEAVE ‘EM ALONE, LET ‘EM FIGHT “!!! and “SHUT THE [email protected] UP!! … IDIOTS”….!!

    what hell were they doing threatening to stand them up all the time??

    …. not very professional generally, when the drunken crowd can influence the refs and/or judges.

  • ACK! says:

    I’m with Shatner… I’ll never boo a fight or a fighter but Maynards lay-and-pray fight style was just garbage. He did absolutely nothing to try to finish the fight other than constantly attempt to improve his position. Pathetic standup, no submission attempts, very little ground and pound (you don’t have to have a guy mounted to start pounding him… Maynard did nothing in guard, half-guard, or even side control other than a few innoculous body shots). What did he really do to win that fight other than hold Clementi on his back?

    Fights like this are why I miss the days of Pride when decisions were based on who worked harder to finish the fight.

  • warcry says:

    Cote was getting his ass whipped. I was annoyed that Anderson just didn’t finish him. He could’ve ended the drama in the 1st Round.

  • experience says:

    That ref David Smith was truly terrible. He was telling Spencer Fisher to work to improve his position when Fisher had a submission locked in tight. Sure, that was very annoying to the viewer, but on a more serious note that is distracting and misleading to the fighters, and could change the outcome of a fight!

    Imagine if you have a submission locked in and the guy is about to tap, but the referee is yelling in your face to do something else, so you give up on the move and that changes the outcome of the fight. Granted, I don’t think that actually happened, but I could easily see a fighter changing strategy because the the ref is saying nonsense. Let the fighters fight.


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