Las Vegas — With eight of the ten fights booked for UFC 94 going to the judges’ scorecards, UFC officials had few knockouts and no submissions to choose from when deciding which fighters would be named recipients of its $65,000 “Fight Night” bonuses.
With only two TKOs to choose from, light heavyweight title contender Lyoto Machida not only improved to 14-0 during the night’s co-main event, but he earned an additional $65,000 on top of his regular pay thanks to his first round TKO over Thiago Silva.
Staying out of Silva’s range and closing the distance when he saw an opening, Machida was able to use combinations to score two knockdowns against the formerly undefeated Brazilian fighter. The second and final knockdown occurred at the end of round 1 with Machida heading back to his corner.
However, after referee Yves Lavinge checked on the downed Silva, it became obvious that there wasn’t going to be a second round. Replays showed that Silva was almost completely out after being hit by a punch that knocked him off his feet and was completely out after receiving a followup strike.
Unable to award a “Submission of the Night” bonus, the promotion elected to award two “Fight of the Night” bonuses. Both John Howard and Chris Wilson received $65,000 each for their non-televised preliminary fight that saw the newcomer Howard win via split decision while Clay Guida and Nate Diaz also received bonuses for their pay-per-view opening contest in which Guida was declared a split decision winner.
Despite giving up height and reach to Wilson, Howard showed no signs of being nervous in his first-ever Octagon battle. Escaping a guillotine submission attempt in the first round, Howard displayed great power with several takedown attempts during the bout. The East Coast-based fighter hit another takedown in the third round and used a body triangle to help deliver strikes to WIlson’s head in an attempt to sink in a rear naked choke.
Howard never secured the submission but he showed the judges enough to win two of their scorecards by a 29-28 margin. A third judge scored the fight 29-28 in favor of Wilson.
Giving up a tremendous amount of reach, the high-octane Guida preservered and handed Diaz his first-ever loss inside the Octagon. Nicknamed “The Carpenter,” Guida absorbed multiple punches early in the contest that were delivered by the southpaw Diaz. Using leg kicks and takedowns to help neutralize Diaz’s reach advantage, Guida won the fight after receiving scores of 29-28 from two judges with Diaz winning one scorecard by a total of 29-28.