TUF China Finale: Predicting the Fight Night Bonus Winners

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2014

Dec 15, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Roy Nelson (left) is punched by Matt Mitrione (right) during their heavyweight bout in the Ultimate Fighter Finale at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Nelson won by KO. Mandatory Credit: Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports
Josh Holmberg-USA TODAY Sports

The Ultimate Fighter: China makes a race to the finish this weekend, as the finale takes place from Macau. Though the finale has lost one of the tournament finals bouts in the featherweight division between Jianpiang Yang and Guangyou Ning, it still has the main event and the welterweight final.

The event is headlined by the Korean judoka Dong Hyun Kim and British grinder John Hathaway. Both are dark horses of the division who could really elevate their stock with a win in this fight.

There are three bonuses up for grabs as usual. Let's predict who will win each, with the two "Performance of the Night" bonuses likely going to the best knockout and submission.


Performance of the Night No. 1: Wang Sai

For the first performance of the night, we look at who has the potential for the best knockout of the night. In looking at the matchups, one has to think that welterweight finalist Wang Sai could be the one to fit that bill.

Sai, a heavy favorite from the onset of TUF: China, has a bevy of experience compared to most fighters from the show and should still be considered a favorite over Lipeng Zhang. He has worked with AKA Thailand for this training camp, so his muay thai should be tightened up.

Sai is known to earn some stoppages via knockout. He could earn one against Zhang and end up with an extra bonus check in his bank account.

Also in the running: Tuerxun Jumabieke, Matt Mitrione-Shawn Jordan winner


Performance of the Night No. 2: Hatsu Hioki

For the other performance bonus of the night, we look at who has the potential for the best submission. Given the circumstances that he won't be taking a long flight to the United States and he is a nifty grappler, Hatsu Hioki could take this bonus.

Hioki is a wizard on the ground but has struggled against dominant wrestlers who hold him down. He will not be facing that in Ivan Menjivar, so he should be able to get some good looks at submission attempts.

If he grabs a neck, arm or leg, it could spell trouble for Menjivar. Hioki is tough to shake on the ground, which could pay handsomely if he secures the submission.

Also in the running: Yui Chul Nam, Dong Hyun Kim


Fight of the Night: Matt Mitrione vs. Shawn Jordan

Two hard-hitting former football players who are extremely athletic and are large heavyweights? That sounds like a recipe for Fight of the Night.

Matt Mitrione and Shawn Jordan are both desperate for wins here, and sometimes desperation can turn regular fights into dog fights. Given both men's styles, which is brawling with a heavy dose of power punches, this fight has the recipe for a good time in the fans' eyes.

Assuming this isn't a sub-minute finish, which is possible, this could turn into a fun little heavyweight scrap. For their efforts, "Meathead" and "The Savage" should be able to earn one of the coveted bonuses.

Also in the running: Nam Phan-Vaughan Lee, John Hathaway-Dong Hyun Kim