The men competing Saturday night in Newark, New Jersey as part of “UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones” took the region’s infamous association with “fist-pumping” to a new level inside the Octagon at the event with five flattenings dished out on the card including those to a handful of fighters who had never previously fallen in a similar manner. As a result and likely assisted in part by the absence of a single submission on the card, the UFC handed out two “Knockout of the Night” awards with Brendan Schaub and Eric Koch coming away with the shared honor as well as an attached $70,000 for their efforts.
News of the bonuses were announced at the post-event press conference.
Schaub earned the distinction after bypassing the urge to ride out what likely would have been a decision win against Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic, attacking to the point a clean shot landed late in the third ultimately ending the PRIDE icon’s evening with a separation from consciousness. The result marked the second consecutive time Filipovic has lost by way of knockout, while Schaub has gone 4-0 since losing the Ultimate Fighter Season 10 crown to Roy Nelson including three TKOs and a unanimous outpointing of Gabriel Gonzaga.
In the case of Koch, his devastating knockout of opponent Raphael Assuncao set the tone for UFC 128 by opening the show up in highlight-reel fashion. The loss was the first TKO of Assuncao’s twenty-fight career and only the third strike-based win for Koch who has found most of his in-ring success on the mat.
Finally, “Fight of the Night” and $70,000 a piece went to lightweights Edson Barboza and Anthony Njokuani for their three-round display of heart and technique. The undefeated Barboza’s decision victory featured a number of fearless exchanges from both, as well crisp stand-up and an impressive spinning head-kick landing almost perfectly at the conclusion of the fight’s final frame.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC