The UFC's debut card in the heart of the Mormon Corridor went off without a hitch, bringing 4 finishes and 8 decisions in an entertaining night of fights. Here's the breakdown of who earned the $50,000 bonus checks.
Fight of the Night: Yair Rodriguez vs. Alex Caceres
Performances of the Night: Ishihara, Tybura.
Two of the UFC's most unorthodox and exciting strikers put on a back and forth brawl full of spinning stuff in tonight's main event, and deservedly take home an extra $50,000 each. Rodriguez was able to just about outstrike Caceres in each round, but Bruce Leeroy's ability to get the occasional takedown made the fight a closely contested affair. The split decision was probably a little generous to Caceres, but the right man, and the fans, ultimately won.
Marcin Tybura managed to land a mythical strike - a heavyweight high kick KO. Channeling prime Mirko Cro Cop, he landed a massive left kick to the dome of Viktor Pesta, sending him straight back like a felled redwood. The scary KO left Pesta stiff, with only his rapidly expanding and contracting stomach moving following the massive strike. Fortunately, he seems fine. Tybura picks up his first UFC victory to accompany his $50k bonus check.
The other performance of the night bonus went to extolianthic Japanese prospect and Team Alpha Male representative Teruto Ishihara. Judging by his pre-fight comments in a Bloody Elbow interview, he'll probably be spending some of his $50k bonus trying to impress some ladies. I'm not sure he'll find what he's looking for in Utah, but it's amusing to think about the potential hijinx if he tries.
He looked good in his bout against Mexican Horacio Gutierrez, his brash personality translating into an aggressive and fearless fighter inside the cage. The first round knockout, courtesy of a beautiful counter-left, will likely put Ishihara on the radar of both the UFC brass, and the top 15 of the featherweight division.