The UFC returned to Sacramento, Calif., on Saturday night. UFC on Fox 9 took place at the Sleep Train Arena with company officials handing out the usual $50,000 post-fight bonuses.
There were no surprises in awarding the Submission of the Night honors, as co-main eventer and hometown fighter Urijah Faber was the only fighter on the card to secure a submission finish.
Faber was aggressive throughout, taking the fight to the Michael McDonald, 12 years his junior. Faber rocked McDonald several times in the second round, eventually dropping him to the canvas and then securing the fight-ending guillotine choke.
The Knockout of the Night was nearly as clear-cut, although UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson had some competition from preliminary fighter Abel Trujillo for the honors.
Considering how dramatic Johnson’s finish was, however, it was no contest. He came out and hit Joseph Benavidez on the button with a right hand that sent him crashing to the canvas just 2:08 into their fight. Johnson dropped on top of his downed opponent, unleashing a few more punches before the referee could pull him off, but there was no doubt that Benavidez was out.
UFC on Fox 9 Fight of the Night honors went to a fight that most didn’t see going the distance, and it nearly didn’t. The Fox Sports 1 preliminary bout between Edson Barboza and Danny Castillo nearly ended on several occasions.
Castillo almost finished the fight nearly as soon as it started, rocking Barboza with a right hand in the opening frame, but unable to find the finish. Barboza returned the favor in round two, dropping Castillo with a left hook, and attempting a guillotine choke. Like Castillo in the opening round, Barboza couldn’t secure the finish.
The fight ended with both men getting shots in on the other in the final frame, but it was Barboza that walked away the victor with a majority decision nod.
The UFC handed out $200,000 in UFC on Fox 9 fighter bonuses in total.