UFC 172 certainly surpassed all expectations on Saturday night, as the card delivered an array of finishes and exciting battles which made the promotion's selection of post-fight bonuses an exceptionally difficult one.
TUF 18 veteran Chris Beal made his official UFC debut in the evening's curtain jerker, where he picked up arguably one of the most impressive KO wins of the year so far. Following a good first round against Patrick Williams, Beal found his timing early in the second round and unleashed a devastating flying knee just as Williams was shooting in for a takedown, sending him down to the canvas spread-eagled and unconscious.
No. 2 ranked flyweight Joseph Benavidez withstood a significant amount of pressure from Timothy Elliott early on, and had to defend himself in a variety of awkward position, including a crucifix attempt by Elliott. After working his way out of the tough spot, Benavidez landed a clean body shot and sunk in a beautiful mounted guillotine to secure the tap and an extra $50, 000 to boot.
The Fight of the Night bonus was awarded to the Takanori Gomi vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg match-up, which took place on the Fox Sport 1 preliminary card. It was a typical display from the "Fireball Kid," who battered a valiant Vallie-Flagg en route to a unanimous decision victory. It was easily the bloodiest bout of the evening, with Isaac fighting the better part of two rounds with his right eye sealed shut. This marks Gomi's third UFC bonus and second ‘Fight of the Night' award.
While there were other deserving bonus winners on the card, Dana White did promise that he would be "writing more cheques" after the fantastic night of fights.
Performance of the Night: Chris Beal, Joseph Benavidez
Each competitor won $50, 000 for their efforts.