Several of the evening’s fighters made a splash during the UFC’s return; chief among them was Takanori Gomi. Once the king of MMA in Japan, Gomi has gone 3-3 in his last six fights, losing his UFC debut to Kenny Florian, but making up for it on Sunday night against Tyson Griffin.
Griffin is a tough, in your face fighter, but that backfired on him when Gomi sent him face first to the canvas with a punch combination and then finished him off with strikes. The win earned “The Fireball Kid” the Knockout of the Night award and a bonus check for $40,000.
After a tough fight with Phil Davis, Brian Stann may have been thinking “here we go again” when Mike Massenzio repeatedly took him down on Sunday night. Although he had a difficult time stopping the takedowns, Stann did show that he now has a counter to the wrestlers being thrown at him, finishing Massenzio with a triangle choke late in the fight. Both men’s efforts were enough to score then Fight of the Night honors, each of them taking home their own checks for $40,000.
Brazilian Charles Oliveira made an immediate statement in his Octagon debut, submitting Darren Elkins in less than a minute. The armbar victory not only improved Oliveira’s unblemished record to 13-0, it also scored him the Submission of the Night bonus.