Following last night’s UFC Fight Night 196 event the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
Earning ‘Fight of The Night’ honors was a preliminary card scrap between Gregory Rodrigues and Jun Yong Park.
Rodrigues looked to be in real trouble of being finished early in the second round after Park rocked him with punches and looked to pour on the pressure, but Rodrigues didn’t give up and instead continued to engage, which paid off for him as a flurry of punches concluded with a right hook that sent his opponent staggering backwards.
Rodrigues then continued to unleash hard-hitting strikes that essentially leave Park out on his feet against the cage, which results in the ref rushing in to end the fight for a KO finish.
One of two ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonuses was claimed by main event winner Marvin Vettori, who had to show off his remarkable durability against Paulo Costa, who had forced the bout to be fought at 205lbs instead of 185lbs due to weight-cutting issues and was throwing every strike with potentially fight-ending power throughout the fight.
Vettori absorbed the punishment without complaint however, even fighting through a clean head kick at one stage, and continued to apply pressure, landing a much higher volume of strikes than Costa, even if he wasn’t able to generate quite the same power. While Vettori did start to slow in the final round he was able to survive a late onslaught from his opponent to secure a hard-earned unanimous decision victory.
Also earning a performance bonus was Alex Caceres, who was coming off second-best in the striking exchanges with Seung Woo Choi, who had a clear power advantage.
However, mid-way through the second round Caceres saw an opportunity to switch things up, managing to spin around to Choi’s back and then hop up onto him, before working for a rear-naked choke that would see his opponent sink to his knees and then ultimately tap out, handing Caceres his fifth win in a row.