Recapping Last Night’s UFC 173 Bonus Award-Winners

00ClarkeUFC 173 was live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas last night (May 24, 2014) and produced great action from top to bottom, including one of the biggest upsets in UFC history in the evening’s main event. After the event concluded, the UFC awarded $50,000 to two fighters for Performance of the Night and two fighters for Fight of the Night. One fighter, however, took home $100,000 for taking both Performance of the Night and Fight of the Night bonuses. The lines to wager on these props were available at Several Bookmakerss. TJ Dillashaw earns Performance of the Night (formerly, Knockout of the Night) Challenger TJ Dillashaw outstruck and dominated Champion Renan Barao for over four rounds, knocking the Brazilian out in the fifth to become the new UFC Bantamweight Champion. He had given Barao a severe beating over 20 minutes, nearly finishing him multiple times. The Nova Uniao product did not have much left to offer in the fifth and final round, and Dillashaw kept moving and putting his combinations together, ultimately putting Barao away. It was a great finish for Dillashaw, who takes home the first championship to Team Alpha Male in Sacramento. Noteworthy T/KOs: – Tony Ferguson outboxed Katsunori Kikuno and nearly finished him multiple times, but the veteran kept hanging on. “El Cucuy” ultimately sent him to the canvas with a punch, knocking him out cold. The slow-motion replay showed Kikuno’s head bounced off the matt not once, but twice when being dropped. It seems the first bounce put him out, and the second one brought him back to consciousness. The fight only lasted a few minutes and was very one-sided, but it was very exciting because Kikuna never stopped throwing leather. Mitch Clarke earns Performance of the Night (formerly, Submission of the Night) Clarke was being dominated by his opponent Al Iaquinta for every second of their bout, until the very moment in the second round where Clarke got a hold of Iaquinta’s neck from bottom position and applied the D’arce choke. The Serra-Longo product did his best to escape, as he attempted to properly defend the submission by moving to his back. Clarke moved with him and the choke got tighter. The referee moved in to check on Iaquinta, who immediately turned blue in the face and went unconscious. The referee quickly called off the action, and Clarke celebrated the biggest victory of his professional mixed martial arts career. I have never seen a fighter’s face, or anybody’s face get as blue as Iaquinta’s got. I don’t think that image will ever leave me. Noteworthy Submissions: – Daniel Cormier outwrestled and dominated Dan Henderson for over two rounds, putting him to sleep with a rear naked choke in the third. While this submission was not technically impressive, I only consider it noteworthy because of how tough Dan Henderson is to finish, be it by T/KO or submission. It was also the only other submission on the entire 12-fight card. Renan Barao and TJ Dillashaw earn Fight of the Night TJ Dillashaw had the fight of his career. He looked better than ever, and was a whole different fighter than we had ever seen before. He left a lot of jaws on the floor with his performance, and fight fans cannot wait to see him defend his title. This fight was all TJ Dillashaw. Nobody thought there was anybody in the bantamweight division who could do that to Renan Barao, there was talk of him having to move up to featherweight. Dillashaw certainly ended that noise. The only reason this was a great fight because of how great Dillashaw looked, and how unexpected his performance was. If Dillashaw were a -450 favorite heading into this bout and that was the fight we saw, I don’t think this fight would have gotten ‘Fight of the Night’ honors. Other fights: – Takeya Mizugaki defeated Francisco Rivera by unanimous decision in a scrap that saw both bantamweights have their moments. They had each other in trouble at times, but it was Mizugaki who did the most damage, as well as controlling the grappling. It wasn’t very exciting when the fight hit the mat, but every moment when they were standing and trading, I was on the edge of my seat. – James Krause defeated Jamie Varner via TKO due to injury, when Varner would fail to start the second round because of his broken foot. Though it lasted just five minutes, I think this was a very fun fight, especially because it looked as if a one-footed Varner was actually going to manage to finish Kraus with the bombs he was throwing. I look forward to seeing both lightweights back inside the Octagon. It was rumored that the winner of this bout would face Takanori Gomi. I would have liked to see Gomi vs. Varner, but I am not a fan of Gomi v. Krause. I think it is stylistically a very easy match-up for Krause, because is his huge length and reach advantage, as well as his advantage in Jiu-Jitsu. – The aforementioned Ferguson v. Kikuno bout.

Written by Gabe Killian

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