For years now the UFC has had three official bonus awards after each event – ‘Fight Of The Night’, ‘Knockout Of The Night’ and ‘Submission Of The Night’, but they have now announced that they are reworking the system.
The ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus is staying, but the two other bonuses will now be known as ‘Performance Of The Night’, earned by “athletes who put on the best and most exciting individual performances.”
Those two performance awards will replace the existing knockout and submission awards, so it’s a significant change, though the $50,000 reward for each remains the same as it was previously.
It’s an interesting decision. On one hand it gives the UFC more flexibility to pick and choose who deserves a bonus, and it also removes the problems that arise when, for instance, there’s no submissions on a fight card.
On the other hand, often the ‘Fight Of The Night’ also turns out to have the two best performances of the night – Jones Vs Gustafsson and Hunt Vs Big Foot immediately spring to mind from last year for instance.
It’s also debatable whether the lack of KO and submission bonuses might affect a fighters strategy in the Octagon.
We’ll get a chance to see what, if any, influence the new changes have on the fights for the first time this coming Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 36 in Brazil.