The UFC returned to Cincinnati on Saturday night, offering up Fight Night 40 for sports fans looking for an alternative to the Reds or a time-filler before Bengals camp opens up.
Headlined by an out-of-this-world scrape between Matt Brown and Erick Silva, the card was the first in the Queen City since 2007 and delivered a series of chaotic upsets that had many in the sport baffled.
There were numerous impressive performances along the way, so many in fact that a portion of the population couldn't believe the UFC would be locked in to handing out only a couple of Performance of the Night bonuses and a single Fight of the Night bonus.
But it was, and the choices the UFC decided on were hard to argue.
For his role in the main event, an instant classic by any imaginable metric, Brown picked up $100,000 by way of a Performance of the Night bonus and half of the Fight of the Night. Obviously his dance partner, Silva, went home $50,000 richer as well for his part in the bout.
Johnny Eduardo, coming off a two-year layoff to starch Eddie Wineland on the first televised prelim of the evening, also earned a $50,000 Performance of the Night cheque.
Attendance: 6,143 Gate: $415,000 FOTN - Brown/Silva Performance Bonuses: Eduardo, Brown #UFCFightNight— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) May 11, 2014
Overall, it was a night full of wild action in the Octagon, with perhaps a half-dozen fighters who could have laid claim to a post-fight bonus. Soa Palelei, Daron Cruickshank and Costas Philippou all had violent stoppage wins, and Philippou's opponent, Lorenz Larkin, helped him to provide fireworks that might have won them a bonus on another night.
Still, with Brown and Silva blowing the roof off in a legendary showing and Eduardo's upset win coming so spectacularly under the circumstances it did, it's easy to see the line of thought for the UFC as it handed out the cash.
Next up: UFC 173 in Las Vegas in two weeks' time, where Renan Barao defends his title against TJ Dillashaw in the main event.