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UFC 179 post-fight bonuses: Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes pocket ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus for thriller

The thrilling title fight main event between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes won ‘Fight of the Night’ honors, while

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Following a three-week hiatus, MMA's top promotion returned to action with the first PPV event in the Brazil since August 2013. The event, which featured a highly anticipated title fight rematch between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes, was a typical Brazilian fight card - it featured a wide array of slick submissions and vicious knockouts to send the crowd home satisfied.

On a fight card deemed top-heavy, featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes produced an easy ‘Fight of the Year' candidate in their main event match-up. The contest was enthralling from the get-go and featured a wide range of momentum shifts and interesting incidents to keep the action compelling.

Mendes produced a far better showing than his first fight against Aldo, and pressured the champ while peppering him with various combinations on the feet. Aldo, however, managed to weather the early storm and take command of the fight soon afterwards. While Mendes had several more flurries later on in the fight, he was unable to turn the tide in his favour and ultimately lost a unanimous decision.

In one of the feature fights of the evening, Fabio Maldonado rallied back from a disappointing opening round to defeat Hans Stringer via TKO. The finish came midway through the second round via vicious ground and pound.

Gilbert Burns maintained his undefeated professional record and extended his UFC streak to 2-0 with a late opening round submission victory over Christos Giagos. His arm-bar finish earns him an extra $50,000 pay check.

Performance of the Night: Fabio Maldonado, Gilbert Burns

Fight of the Night: Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes