The Ultimate Fighting Championship Tuesday announced a major change to the way they hand out post-event bonuses.
Traditionally, the promotion has handed out bonuses for Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night and Knockout of the Night. In the past, the bonuses ranged from $20,000 all the way up to $120,000, but the company announced in 2012 that all bonuses would be $50,000 going forward.
Here's the full statement found on UFC.com provided to Bleacher Report:
The Ultimate Fighting Championship announced today a modification to its live event bonuses. Effective immediately, UFC will award Fight of the Night Bonuses to each of the fighters in the best fight of the night, as well as additional Performance of the Night Bonuses to the two best individual performances on the card. The bonus amounts will remain $50,000. The Performance of the Night bonuses will reward the athletes who put on the best and most exciting individual performances.
With the new structure, there are no more bonuses for Submission of the Night and Knockout of the Night. Instead, the promotion will continue to award a bonus to each competitor involved in the best fight of the evening. They will also award bonuses to two other fighters deemed to have given the "Performance of the Night." The bonuses will remain at $50,000.
This doesn't mean fighters won't be rewarded for stunning knockouts or crafty submissions because both of those can fall under the gray area known as Performance of the Night. What it means is that the UFC has options; instead of handing out bonus checks for best knockout or submission, they also have the option of rewarding fighters for having exciting fights.
This is an interesting decision, but it's also a good one. Head injuries in sports are a hot topic at the moment, and directly rewarding someone for making someone unconscious probably isn't a good public relations move from a company that is now heavily involved in research that will hopefully stem the tide of fighter brain injuries in the future.
After all, coming out and supporting brain research and the health of your fighters while also rewarding your fighters for actually causing brain injuries isn't the best idea.
This also gives the UFC some options when fight cards end up having no knockouts or submissions. And it goes without saying that it might spur some fighters to try and have exciting fights and claim an extra $50,000 at the end of the night.