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Dramatic UFC 117 headliner named event’s “Fight of the Night”

Perhaps deserving a bit of bonus pay for the pre-bout build, if not for the eye-popping conclusion, UFC 117’s main event between Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva earned both middleweights an extra $60,000 in pay after being named the show’s ”Fight of the Night”.

Silva, who was dominated by Sonnen’s takedowns and ground control throughout the majority of the match’s four-plus rounds, was able to procure a hybrid triangle-armbar submission from his back and earn the tap-out with less than two minutes remaining in what would have been a championship-losing performance.

News of the bonus was announced at the post-event press conference.

Though Silva’s last-second slickness could have easily earned the evening’s ”Submission of the Night” as well, the distinction was deservedly shared with Matt Hughes for his still-to-be-officially-named choke of Gracie-trained jiujitsu whiz Ricardo Almeida in the opening round of their bout. The submission loss was the first of Almeida’s MMA career, while Hughes hadn’t won in such a manner dating back to his kimura of Joe Riggs in November 2005.

Stefan Struve’s comeback TKO win against the previously undefeated Christian Morecraft likely earned him a lot of respect in the eyes of fans/peers, but it also netted him ”Knockout of the Night” and an extra sixty-thousand dollars. The 6’11″, 22-year old is now 4-2 in the UFC with a trio of finishing performances.

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