The Ultimate Fighting Championship handed out $75,000 fighter bonuses for in-Octagon performances following UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen II on Saturday. Middleweight champion Anderson Silva, Forrest Griffin and Tito Ortiz took home bonus checks.
Fight of the Night honors went to co-main event fighters, Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin. The trilogy between the two former light heavyweight titleholders ended in a decision. Ortiz secured an early takedown in opening round and the fight was beginning to look lie their first meeting at UFC 59 in 2006. Griffin worked his way back to his feet and out worked Ortiz, throwing double the volume of strikes than his opponent.
Ortiz landed a right hand that knocked Griffin down in the second round, but Griffin again battled back. He won the exchanges and set a blistering pace with his barrage of kicks and punches. In the final round, Ortiz rocked Griffin, knocking him down again. He won his final five minutes inside the famed Octagon but fell short on the judges’ scorecards. All three judges scored the bout 29-28 for Griffin.
Knockout of the Night was awarded to the middleweight champion Anderson Silva for his second round technical knockout of Chael Sonnen in the main event. Sonnen shot across the cage at the opening bell and immediately put Silva on his back. The first round looked a lot like the first four rounds when they faced off UFC 117 in 2010. Sonnen mounted Silva in the closing moments of the round clearly winning the first stanza.
Sonnen secured an early takedown in the second round but Silva worked his way back to his feet. Sonnen’s next two takedown attempts were fended off by the champion. In an exchange, Silva knocked Sonnen down with a right hand. He delivered a knee to the chest of Sonnen and finished the fight with a series of punches on the ground that forced the referee to call a stop to the action.
There wasn’t a Submission of the Night award given following UFC 148. The total sum of bonus cash awarded totaled $225,000.