The UFC has been handing out more “Performance of the Night” bonuses than usual these days. I’m sure I’m not alone in noticing — and appreciating — that fact. When the promotion puts more money in the pockets of its fighters, it’s something to acknowledge and praise.
With the UFC basking in the glow of the UFC London card on March 19, the promotion awarded a $50,000 bonus to each of the nine fighters who scored a finish. Six fighters on the UFC 275 card finished their opponents. Five of those fighters grabbed a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award, while the other finisher, Jiri Prochazka, was half of the “Fight of the Night” bonus-winning scrap along with his vanquished foe, Glover Teixeira. Like the London event, UFC Austin saw each of the nine fighters who earned a stoppage pocket an extra $50K. Saturday’s UFC Long Island was another event where every finish (save the main event where an injury stoppage ended the bout) saw the victor take home extra scratch. Of the nine finishes, seven earned “Performance of the Night” nods, while an eighth took home “Fight of the Night.”
The UFC did not have to award these additional bonuses. If they had not done so, there might have been some grousing about how this or that fighter was snubbed, but that’s about as far as the hand-wringing would have gone. With that, and the fact that I have been — and remain — a harsh critic of the UFC’s pay structure, I want to praise the UFC for stepping up as of late and rewarding fighters for providing fans exciting and entertaining action on fight night.
Would I like to see the “Performance of the Night” bonuses scrapped in favor of giving every fighter who ended their fight early an additional $50,000 “Stoppage Bonus”? I absolutely would like to see that (and you can read my opinion on why that would be a win for the fighters, fans and the UFC here).
I do criticize some of the practices of the UFC, but I would be remiss in not pointing out when they get something right — and they have been getting the post-fight bonuses more right than wrong as of late, and that deserves notice and praise.
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