Following last night’s UFC On ESPN 33 event in Columbus, Ohio, the recipients of the evening’s $50,000 bonus awards were announced.
The ‘Fight Of The Night’ bonus on this occasion went to a an absolute war between Bryan Barberena and Matt Brown on the main card.
In the opening round Brown was able to land a few takedowns and enjoy some spells of control on the mat, but Barberena was continually attempting to get back on his feet, and after doing so late in the round he was able to land a big elbow in close that opened a cut to Brown’s cheek.
In the second round the action heated up on the feet and Barberena landed another big elbow that seemed to hurt Brown and continued to throw more heavy blows, forcing Brown into a takedown. By the time the action returned to the feet Barberena was looking like the fresher fighter as Brown started to breathe heavily and looked tired. However, Brown dug deep and came out in the third round with renewed aggression, which Barberena matched, leading to them slugging it out toe-to-toe at times. Late in the round Barberena landed straight punches that seemed to buckle Brown’s legs for a moment, but they continued to fight to the final horn, with Barberena emerging the split decision winner (29-28 x2, 28-29).
One of two ‘Performance Of The Night’ bonuses was handed to Curtis Blaydes, who opted not to utilize his wrestling ability against Chris Daukaus, instead engaging with him on the feet, which paid off early in the second round when he landed a thudding right hand that dropped his opponent, with rapid-fire right hands and elbows on the mat sealing the TKO victory.
Also taking home a performance bonus was Chris Guitierrez, who earned a second round TKO stoppage over Danaa Batgerel after landing a spinning backfist followed up by punches.