UFC announces new post-fight bonus structure based on fighter performance
UFC fighters no longer will be beholden to a submission or a knockout if they want a fight-night bonus.
Effective with this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 36 in Brazil, the promotion has a new bonus structure. A “Fight of the Night” bonus still will be handed out to the event’s best bout. But instead of “Knockout of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” bonuses, the UFC now will hand out a pair of “Performance of the Night” awards to “the two best individual performances on the card.”
UFC officials made the announcement on Tuesday night. The bonus awards still will be a standard $50,000 each, a figure which was set in 2013 (though the UFC reserves the right to bump it up, and has done so, under unique circumstances).
The UFC began awarding fight-night bonuses in 2006 with UFC Fight Night 3. On several occasions, fighters have been awarded dual checks for “Fight of the Night” and a submission or knockout performance.
Now if a card features no knockouts, but a handful of solid submissions, UFC officials will have a little more wiggle room with who gets the bonuses – two submission victors could get “Performance of the Night” awards instead of just the one submission winner in the previous incarnation of the honor structure. Or if there are no finishes on the card, the UFC still can single out two individual efforts outside of the current submission and knockout limitations.
Earlier this month at UFC 169, none of the fighters on the card earned a victory via submission, so “Fight of the Night” winners Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner earned $75,000 paydays. Trujillo also banked $50,000 for “Knockout of the Night,” upping his additional pay to $125,000.
Two fighters remain tied as the greatest beneficiaries of UFC-exclusive fight-night bonuses: Ex-middleweight champ Anderson Silva and lightweight Joe Lauzon, who are deadlocked at 12 bonuses apiece. Both have earned well into the high six figures as the result of the pay bumps. Lightweight Nate Diaz trails the pair with 11 bonuses.
But when it comes to combined bonuses under the Zuffa banner of both the UFC and now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting, Donald Cerrone rules the roost. “Cowboy” took the lead at 13 this past month with his “Knockout of the Night” bonus at UFC on FOX 10 in Chicago.
UFC Fight Night 36 will be the first event with the new structure. The show takes place Saturday at Arena Jaragua in Jaragua do Sul, Santa Catarina, Brazil. The event’s main card airs live on FOX Sports 1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass.
(Pictured: Donald Cerrone)