Patterns developing in UFC Performance of the Night bonus awards

USA TODAY Sports

If UFC fighters want a piece of the Performance of the Night bonus budget, they need to end fights – and end them early

On February 11, the UFC announced it was scrapping the Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night bonus awards and replacing them with two Performance of the Night bonuses.

The announcement the UFC released at that time stated that the Performance of the Night bonuses "will reward the athletes who put on the best and most exciting individual performances." Since that announcement that UFC has held six events, awarding 12 Performance of the Night bonuses for a total of $600.000.

Performance of the Night has only been in existence for a brief amount of time, but some patterns are already developing in how the awards are doled out by the UFC.

First of all, despite the fact that the majority of the 64 contests on the last six fight cards have gone the distance, none of those 38 fights were awarded a bonus. In fact, the odds of earning a Performance of the Night bonus seriously decrease if the fight goes past the first round, as seven of the winners ended their fights in the first stanza.

If a fight ends by submission the odds are also against winning a Performance of the Night bonus. Of the 12 bonuses doled out, only three have been awarded to fighters that ended their contest by way of submission, the other nine ended by knockout or TKO.

Fight placement has also played a role in who takes home extra cash. Of the 12 bonus winners, only two have fought on the preliminary card. Of the 10 remaining winners, four have fought (and won) in the main event.

Yes, it's early in the Performance of the Night bonus process, but not too early to discern that a very clear pattern has developed regarding what type of fights the UFC is going to award extra cash.

Performance of the Night Bonus Award Winners
Card Winner Method Round Time
Fight Night 36 Erick Silva TKO 1 0:52
Fight Night 36 Charles Oliveira Sub 3 2:40
UFC 170 Ronda Rousey TKO 1 1:06
UFC 170 Stephen Thompson TKO 1 3:43
TUF China Matt Mitrione KO 3 1:02
TUF China Dong Hyun Kim KO 1 4:59
Fight Night 37 Alexander Gustafsson TKO 2 1:18
Fight Night 37 Gunnar Nelson Sub 1 4:36
UFC 171 Ovince St Preux Sub 1 1:29
UFC 171 Dennis Bermudez TKO 3 2:57
Fight Night 38 Dan Henderson TKO 3 1:31
Fight Night 38 Godofredo Castro KO 1 2:39
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