UFC officials revealed to the media in attendance last night in Rosemont, Ill. for UFC 90 that the event drew a sellout 15,359 fans for a $2.8 million house at the Allstate Arena. If the attendance and house figures become official, it would make UFC 90 the highest-grossing event ever in the venue’s history, breaking the previous record set by Wrestlemania XXIII in 1997.
The strong house allowed the UFC to ramp up its “Fight Night” bonuses from last week’s UFC 89 event, which paid out $40,000 per bonus. Last night, Sean Sherk, Tyson Griffin, Spencer Fisher, and newcomer Junior dos Santos were all UFC 90 “Fight Night” bonus recipients and each received $65,000 in addition to their guaranteed pay.
Coming into last night’s heavyweight clash with dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum appeared to be in the heavyweight title mix. In fact, UFC President Dana White went so far as to publicly guarantee Werdum a title shot following his first round TKO over Brandon Vera at UFC 85 this past June. Those plans were altered upon heavyweight champion Randy Couture’s decision to return to the UFC and after last night’s tilt vs. dos Santos, those plans may be a distant memory.
Based largely on his world glass jiu-jitsu credentials as well as his vast experience competing in big fights for both the UFC and PRIDE, Werdum entered last night’s fight as the heavy favorite. However, dos Santos stunned Werdum and the odds-makers after landing a vicious right uppercut and finishing Werdum at 1:21 of round 1. The punch earned dos Santos the 65K “Knockout of the Night” bonus.
Fisher’s lightweight battle vs. Shannon Gugerty was not a part of the main card, however, his triangle choke with just one minute and four seconds remaining in the fight was good enough to earn him “Submission of the Night” honors.
Sherk and Griffin both are known for being outstanding wrestlers, which led some to believe that there was a possibility that the two might not be able to come together for an exciting fight. However, both Sherk and Griffin chose not to test each other’s mat skills and instead worked their kickboxing for virtually the entire 15 minutes of their fight. While it was Sherk who walked away the winner with the unanimous decision victory, both fighters walked away with “Fight of the Night” honors. The bonus marked the fourth time in seven career UFC fights in which Griffin has earned the FOTN honor.