UFC 168: Predicting the Fight Night Bonus Winners

Sean SmithAnalyst IDecember 24, 2013

Jul 5, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Dana White (center) separates Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman (right) at today's weighs-in for their UFC fight at the Mandalay Bay Event Center. Silva takes on Weidman at the MGM Grand Garden Arena July 6. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Anderson Silva has as many performance bonuses as any fighter in UFC history. At UFC 168, "The Spider" will try to break his tie with Joe Lauzon by picking up another fight night bonus in a middleweight championship bout with Chris Weidman.

Reclaiming the bonus record will be secondary to Silva on Saturday, though.

Much more important to the Brazilian will be regaining his 185-pound crown. In July, he was dethroned by Weidman, who became the first fighter to ever defeat the MMA legend inside the Octagon.

While the focus will be on the results at UFC 168, here is a look at which fighters are most likely to earn performance bonuses over the weekend. 


Fight of the Night

Prediction: Chris Leben vs. Uriah Hall

Although Chris Leben may be in the twilight of his MMA career, he still brings the same brawling attitude that has earned him Fight of the Night honors on two occasions.

Finding himself on the wrong end of split decisions in his first two official UFC appearances, Uriah Hall has not been as entertaining. Still, his preference to stand makes him an ideal opponent for Leben, who will trade with anyone.

In his long UFC career, Leben has only been knocked out three times. With one of those stoppages coming between rounds due to obstructed vision, he owns one of the best chins in UFC history.

Should he stay standing against a knockout artist like Hall, Leben could make things interesting. The veteran might not be as technical as The Ultimate Fighter runner-up, but Leben will bring the fight to Hall and either go out on his shield or add another Fight of the Night bonus to his collection.

Other Candidates: Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva, Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate, Dustin Poirier vs. Diego Brandao


Knockout of the Night

Prediction: Anderson Silva

While Weidman knocked out Silva in their first meeting, many still feel that the Brazilian is the better striker in this matchup.

The Spider has always taunted opponents and carried his hands low. It's become part of his fighting style, but he went overboard at UFC 162 and got clipped with a left hook. Before being floored in that showing, Silva was beginning to find his rhythm and started landing heavy leg kicks.

If he focuses more on attacking than messing with Weidman's head this time around, Silva is capable of extending his UFC record for Knockout of the Night awards. 

Other Candidates: Chris Weidman, Travis Browne, Siyar Bahadurzada


Submission of the Night

Prediction: Ronda Rousey

Following their coaching stints on TUF 18, Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate will meet in a rematch for the UFC Women's Bantamweight Championship.

The last time that they met inside a cage, "Rowdy" mangled Tate's arm to claim the Strikeforce strap. It was one of seven first-round submission wins in Rousey's pro MMA career.

While Tate can work all she wants on stopping Rowdy's dangerous armbar, "Cupcake" knew it was coming the first time around and still had no answer. There's no reason to believe another training camp full of defending armbars will save her from Rousey's expertise at catching foes in the submission hold.

Other Candidates: Chris Weidman, Josh Barnett, Jim Miller