A trio of bouts stood out amongst the lot entering UFC 126 including champions of past, present, and perhaps future, and if the event’s performance bonuses were any indication the show clearly lived up to any “Super Bowl Weekend” hype.
Headlining middleweight champ Anderson Silva walked away with not only one of the most memorable finishes in MMA history but $75,000 and “Knockout of the Night” for his front-kick to the face of challenger Vitor Belfort. The victory marked Silva’s fourteenth consecutive win including thirteen in the Octagon and eight straight title defenses.
Fellow main-card competitor Jon Jones exited the Mandalay Bay Events Center with “Submission of the Night”, as well as the attached money, in addition to an unexpected opportunity to face 205-pound champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 128 due to an injury suffered by originally scheduled opponent Rashad Evans. Jones tapped the formerly undefeated Ryan Bader late in the second stanza via Guillotine Choke to earn the crack at Rua’s belt and bonus.
Meanwhile, “Fight of the Night” went to former WEC fighter Donald Cerrone and Paul Kelly for their preliminary match-up seeing “Cowboy” emerge with his hands raised due to a second-round submission. The win improved Cerrone’s record to 14-3 and was his third in a row. Both men also received $75,000 for their efforts.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC