Ronda Rousey took care of business again on Saturday. In UFC 170's main attraction, the women's bantamweight champion stopped Sara McMann with a knee to the body.
Having beaten all her other opponents by armbar, Rousey scored her first-ever knockout victory. While she showed some defensive holes, she could be coming into her own as a striker, which would be a scary idea to rising contenders who were hoping they could take advantage of her inexperience in the stand-up.
She had one of the most memorable outings at UFC 170, but Rousey was not the only fighter to put together a strong showing on Saturday. The following fight night bonuses were handed out to UFC 170's top performers.
Fight of the Night
Winner: Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Rightly so, Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia walked away with the UFC 170 Fight of the Night bonus for their entertaining bout on the main card.
In what was the second most meaningful matchup over the weekend, MacDonald and Maia went back and forth over three rounds before their fight was decided by the judges. The Brazilian utilized his ground game to take the first stanza, while the Canadian bounced back with a strong second frame by using his jab and kicks to stay on the outside and avoid takedowns.
Maia scored another takedown in the third round, but MacDonald earned an important escape and was able to stay standing for most of the action-packed round. The strong finish was enough to give "Ares" the win and some extra cash.
Performances of the Night
Winners: Ronda Rousey and Stephen Thompson
Since no submissions occurred at UFC 170, the new bonus structure, which replaced Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night with two Performance of the Night awards, has already done its job by forcing the UFC to hand out more money to fighters than it would have had to previously.
It is very likely the UFC brass will still use these bonuses to award finishes, though.
There were five knockouts at UFC 170, and the awards were distributed to a pair of fighters who were involved in those finishes. Because Daniel Cormier and Erik Koch were involved in significant mismatches, Ronda Rousey and Stephen Thompson edged Mike Pyle for the Performance of the Night bonuses.
With her stoppage coming in the feature bout, Rousey was going to take home some bonus money unless multiple undercard fighters did something spectacular.
Thompson and Pyle scored impressive wins, but neither finished with what would be described as a highlight-reel knockout on Saturday. Since "Wonderboy" scored his knockout in the opening round, his victory was probably viewed as cleaner and more deserving of the newly named Performance of the Night award.
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