Even though there were still two fights to go, it would have been near impossible not to award Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez the Fight of the Night honors the instant the final horn sounded for their bout at UFC 166 on Saturday night.
UFC officials agreed, and were so pleased with Saturday night’s event overall, they awarded Melendez and Sanchez each a $60,000 bonus for their jaw-dropping performance at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Melendez walked out of the Octagon with another W on his record, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that would call Sanchez a loser after that fight.
The former training partners threw everything they had at each other, but Melendez seemed to stay half a step ahead all the way and opened a huge gash over Sanchez’s left eye that likely sealed the deal on the scorecards.
The Submission of the Night was another no-brainer. The only submission at UFC 166 was Tony Ferguson’s first-round D’arce choke finish of Mike Rio. The bout was Ferguson’s first in nearly a year and a half, but very rewarding with the $60,000 bonus.
There were several knockouts to choose from, but flyweight contender John Dodson got the nod for the Knockout of the Night. He proved that even the lighter weight fighters – he checks in at 125 pounds – can pack a punch, as he did in knocking out Darrell Montague in the main card opener.