UFC 171 brought a stacked card on paper to Dallas on Saturday, and the stellar matchups were even better in execution.
The card featured entertaining, back-and-forth fights from top to bottom, leaving the UFC brass with some tough decisions to make when doling out the Performance of the Night Bonuses.
In the night's main event, Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler waged war and broke records with the frequency and ferocity of their offensive onslaught.
Hendricks broke the UFC welterweight record for significant strikes landed in one fight with 158, and Lawler tossed in 150 of his own, third best in the promotion's history. With 26 combined knockouts between them, these punches, kicks, knees and elbows were truly "significant," and each man landed several shots that would have knocked out a lesser fighter.
Hendricks eventually took home a unanimous decision (48-47 on all judges' cards), but Lawler surpassed all expectations and pushed the newly minted champion to his limits, and the two combatants were rewarded for their efforts with a cool $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus.
Additionally, preliminary fighter Dennis Bermudez took home a performance bonus for his third-round technical-knockout victory of Jimy Hettes, and Ovince St. Preux gained 50,000 reasons to smile after his first-round submission victory over Nikita Krylov in the opening bout of the pay-per-view portion of the card.
St. Preux's finish came via Von Flue choke, a rarity in MMA, so it makes sense that he should be rewarded for his creativity and his successful application of the scarcely seen technique.
FOTN: Hendricks vs Lawler Performance of the night: Bermudez and OSP #UFC171— UFC (@ufc) March 16, 2014
Fight of the Night: Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler
Performance Bonus: Ovince St. Preux, Dennis Bermudez