The UFC awarded Josh Neer, Mac Danzig, Cain Velasquez, and Joe Lauzon “Fight Night” bonuses of $30,000 on an individual basis for their performances during Saturday’s night UFC Fight Night 17 event at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.
An aggressive Neer pushed the pace in his Spike TV televised bout against Danzig, the winner of the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Danzig absorbed a great deal of punishment while dishing out a fair share of his own. However, Neer’s relentless pace became too much and the veteran fighter submitted Danzig with a triangle choke at 3:36 of round 2. Both Neer and Danzig were awarded for their efforts with the “Fight of the Night” honor.
Velasquez, an undefeated heavyweight prospect who was a two-time All-American wrestler at Arizona State, earned his 30K bonus by recording the “Knockout of the Night” bonus against newcomer Denis Stojnic. Instead of relying on his wrestling base, Velasquez worked his standup against the Golden Glory kickboxer and delivered a wide array of punches, elbows, and knees. The fight went to the ground in the second, where Stojnic was the recipient of a barrage of strikes. Determining that Stojnic was not intelligently defending himself, the referee called a stop to the match at 2:34 of round 2 and awarded Velasquez the TKO victory.
Lauzon competed in the night’s main event against Jeremy Stephens, a late injury replacement for Hermes Franca. The Massachusetts native and former TUF 5 castmember received the “Submission of the Night” award by finishing a game Stephens with an armbar at 4:43 of round 2.