Picking the UFC Fight Night 26 bonus winners couldn't have been an easy call. That's probably why the UFC ended up writing a few extra checks Saturday night in Boston:
Crazy event so we're handing out 6 bonuses! Matt Brown & Travis Browne both get KOTN, McDonald & Chael get Sub $, Pickett & McDonald FOTN— UFC (@ufc) August 18, 2013
To the surprise of no one, welterweight Matt Brown nabbed Knockout of the Night honors for his 29-second railroading of Mike Pyle.
But heavyweight Travis Browne joined the mix when he became the second consecutive underdog to shock fallen kickboxing demigod Alistair Overeem, who is now 1-2 and searching for relevance in the UFC. Both Brown and Browne will take home $50,000 KOTN money; insert your own surname joke here.
In the final fight of the preliminary portion of the evening, bantamweight Michael McDonald fought perhaps the best fight of his career.
Once again, the 22-year-old performed beyond his years and, in this case, well above his undercard slot. He battered Brit Brad Pickett nearly to the point of stoppage, only to see Pickett rally and finish the round despite absorbing heavy punishment. McDonald kept pouring it on in the second round, though, and locked on a triangle choke to force the tap at 3:43 of the second stanza.
The choke was good enough to earn $50,000 Submission of the Night honors for McDonald. Partially as a testament to Pickett's toughness, the fight also earned the Fight of the Night bonus; both fighters earned $50,000 checks for that, bringing McDonald's bonus take alone to a tidy $100,000.
But the card wasn't done delivering, and the UFC accountants weren't done with their check-writing. In the main event, Chael Sonnen made short work of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and earned $50,000 as a second Submission of the Night for his first-round submission of Rua.