Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses are no more.
The promotion announced today that the knockout and submission of the night awards will be replaced by two “Performance of the Night” bonuses. The Fight of the Night bonus will remain the same.
According to the UFC, the new bonuses “will reward the athletes who put on the best and most exciting individual performances.” The change will go into effect this Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 36: Machida versus Mousasi.
Here is the full statement from the UFC:
The change has both its pros and cons. On one hand it could be a positive move for the UFC as there have been multiple fight cards where only one submission or knockout occur on the card, leading to that fighter to be entitled to a bonus even if they did not put on as great as a performance as another competitor.
An example of this would be UFC 119. The card’s only knockout came at the hands of Frank Mir who finished Mirko Cro Cop in the third round of a lackluster affair. Mir’s performance did not warrant a bonus but he was technically entitled to it as he was the only fighter to win by knockout.
Mir never received his bonus that night. His money instead went to Joey Beltran and Matt Mitrione as part of a second fight of the night bonus. The move was criticized by many as Mir technically had the “Knockout of the Night.” The new bonus system allows the UFC to avoid this sticky situation.
On the contrary, the move could be seen as devaluing the bonuses. It’s hard to say what exactly constitutes a great performance. Is a quick finish considered a better performance than a three round whooping? Is a fighter who makes a comeback from the verge of defeat more impressive than one who absolutely wrecks their opponent? Only Dana and the UFC brass know, but it opens up a plethora of potential issues that the promotion will have to deal with.
Before we completely love or hate the change, let’s see how it works out this Saturday.
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