Since this website is named after the UFC’s ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus awards, what better way to launch it than by taking a look at which fighters have received the most FOTN awards in UFC history.
Finding this out turns out to be more difficult than you might think. As far as I can tell there is no definitive source to finding this information out. Finding out a fighters record is easy, that information can be gleaned from numerous sources but the awards they have received aren’t always so carefully documented.
The best source I could find was via Wiki where someone had attempted to collate the data. This however proved to only be a partial record since they only had information for the awards from UFC 70 onwards (there is evidence elsewhere that the awards were being given out before that time) and had also missed out several of the Ultimate Fight Night and Ultimate Fighter Finale events that occurred during that time.
In the end I have consulted various sources to come up with this list but sadly I can’t claim it be a definite answer to the question. If anyone can dig up any more on this we’d love to hear from you. Along with finding out if anyone else has matched or bettered the fighters mentioned below I’m now intrigued to know when the ‘Fight of The Night’ award was first introduced to the UFC. Anyway, without further ado here’s the results of my research…
3. Clay Guida (LW) / Forrest Griffin (LHW) / Nate Diaz (LW) / Paul Taylor (WW): 3 Fight Of The Night Awards each
As far as I can tell there’s been at least four fighters who have obtained three Fight Of The Night Awards (editors note: since this article was written two more fighters, Thiago Tavares and Matt Wiman have also been found to claim three awards).
The first of them, Clay Guida, has certainly had some memorable wars in the Octagon thanks to his seemingly inexhaustable cardio which allows him to keep up a frenetic pace for the full three rounds. Never was his tireless energy more apparent than his most recent Fight Of The Night award against Diego Sanchez at The Ultimate Fighter 9 finale.
Despite being knocked down in the first round on his way to losing by decision in one of the fights of the year so far, he was seen bouncing up and down during the post-match interview with Joe Rogan and confessed that he was ready to go a couple more rounds if need be!
It’s no great surprise to see Forrest Griffin in the list. From the classic Ultimate Fight Night 1 Finale beat-em-up with Stephan Bonner that propelled the sport to new heights, Griffin’s love of a good old fashioned mano e mano stand-up war has been well documented and won him a legion of fans.
Of course his reputation has taken a knock recently due to his recent humbling at the hands of Anderson Silva at UFC 101. Interestingly enough, despite being rescued by the referee after just a little over 3 minutes of the first round, that match brought about the third of his Fight Of The Night honors to date.
Ultimate Fighter Season 5 winner Nate Diaz is another man to claim three FOTN bonuses. Much like his older brother Nick (who has also brought some memorable fights to the Octagon in his time) Nate was born to fight – in fact I’m certain he entered this world with a scowl and his fists clenched.
His abrasive personality may rub some people up the wrong way but it’s hard not to like his all business approach in the cage and memories of his pre-victory celebration after catching Kurt Pellegrino in a triangle choke (which incidently won him Submission Of The Night but not Fight of The Night at Ultimate Fight Night 13) always raises a smile.
Finally rounding of the list is the UK’s own Paul ‘Relentless’ Taylor. It’s interesting to note that all 3 of his awards have come after being defeated in the Octagon, although a couple of those were closely fought decisions (particularly the Chris Lytle match at UFC 89) that could have went either way. A his nickname suggests Taylor has the kind of non-stop action fighting styles that makes him an instant crowd pleaser and, win or lose, ensures his fights are always eagerly awaited.