UFC 172 was a really, really fun event. It had three-round barnburners alongside slick, quick submissions. The UFC brass had a tall order deciding who to give a little extra money to Saturday night.
So who ended up with a bonus check? Find out right here!
Performance of the Night: Joseph Benavidez
Tim Elliott made it exciting early. He chased Joseph Benavidez around, got him into weird, awkward positions on the ground and looked pretty damn good in the process. Then Benavidez said "enough of that."
Benavidez got mount, trapped both of Elliott's arms and sunk in a guillotine choke that had his hairy opponent kicking because he couldn't tap with his hands. It was crazy, shocking and pretty damn scary.
Performance of the Night: Chris Beal
The The Ultimate Fighter 18 competitor got the night started off right. After a back-and-forth first round that can only be labeled as "explosive," Chris Beal spotted how Patrick Williams kept ducking into strikes against the cage. So what did he do? Only one of the prettiest flying knees you'll see in MMA.
The knee knocked Williams out cold and earned him a big check for his efforts. It's the first UFC win for a TUF18 competitor since the show's finale (Julianna Pena and David Grant have both withdrawn from bouts due to injury, and Raquel Pennington lost to Jessica Andrade).
Fight of Night: Takanori Gomi vs. Isaac Vallie-Flagg
On a night of impressive finishes, Takanori Gomi and Isaac Vallie-Flagg wound up getting the Fight of the Night award. Gomi has always been known and beloved his swing-for-the-fences style, and it was on full display in Baltimore. While he seemed to tire very, very early on in the fight, Gomi displayed both heart and inimitable veteran savvy.
Vallie-Flagg, for his part, weathered a serious storm and a broken orbital bone to survive to the judges' decision. Still, the bout was almost all Gomi, and man, it was a fun one.