The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to the Omaha Civic Center in Omaha, Neb., on Wednesday night for UFC on Fuel TV 1: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger.
There were several solid performances to choose from when UFC officials awarded $50,000 “of the Night” post-fight bonuses, but there were four fighters that got the nod, going home a little happier and little heavier in the wallet.
Ivan Menjivar and John Albert put on an early contender for Fight of the Night, but the UFC on Fuel TV 1 main eventers went home with the honors.
Jake Ellenberger and Diego Sanchez went toe-to-toe over the course of their three-round fight, Ellenberger edging ahead early. But just as it appeared Ellenberger might just run away with the fight, Sanchez hit the gas pedal in the waning moments.
He turned up the heat on Ellenberger in the final minutes, grounding and pounding him into the mat. Somehow though, Ellenberger, teetering on the edge of being finished, turned the tide again in the final seconds of the fight, which ended in a flurry of fists before a throng of excited fans.
Both fighters go home with bonuses, but Ellenberger also got the unanimous nod from the judges.
There were several contenders for Knockout of the Night, including impressive finishes by Stefan Struve and Jonathan Brookins, but neither could usurp Stipe Miocic for the honors.
While Phil De Fries came out swinging wild, looking for the knockout on Miocic, the Ohioan of Croatian descent had the answer. He went straight up the pike, quickly putting De Fries on the mat and finishing with a flurry in just 43 seconds.
While there were several options for Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night, there was only one option for Submission of the Night. Although John Albert went after several submissions of his own in the three minutes and 45 seconds that his fight lasted, it was opponent Ivan Menjivar that was successful.
Menjivar survived Albert’s early onslaught – including an Omo Plata, arm bar, and heel hook attempts – to eventually take Albert’s back and finish him with a rear naked choke. Menjivar takes home the victory and an additional $50,000.