The UFC has officially started to hand out ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses, which replaces the old format where the promotion gave away ‘Knockout of the Night’ as well as ‘Submission of the Night’. The idea was that because there are some fight cards where there are no knockouts or no submission, the UFC is leaving money on the table that could be going back to the fighters so this new system allows for the bonuses to go out no matter how many crazy finishes there are (or aren’t) during a show.
For many years, however, the ‘Knockout of the Night’ and ‘Submission of the Night’ bonuses were a staple of the post fight awards structure. Now that the tradition is dead and gone, there are two men who will live forever immortalized as the biggest bonus winners of all time in each category and ironically enough they also stand alone for the most post fight awards in history.
First up in the ‘Knockout of the Night’ award category, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva shuts the door on the competition with his seven bonuses for rendering his opponents unconscious better than anybody else on the fight card. Silva’s seven awards for ‘Knockout of the Night’ stands two better than his closest competitor, Vitor Belfort, who had five awards for the same honor.
Anderson Silva’s seven KO of the Night bonuses:
UFC Fight Night 5: Chris Leben – via first round TKO (knee)
UFC 64: Rich Franklin – via first round TKO (knees) – also won the UFC middleweight title
UFC 72: Nate Marquardt – via first round TKO (punches on the ground)
UFC 77: Rich Franklin – via second round TKO (knees)
UFC 101: Forrest Griffin – via first round KO (punch)
UFC 126: Vitor Belfort – via first round KO (front kicks and punches)
UFC 142: Chael Sonnen – via second round TKO (knee to the body, punches)
As for ‘Submission of the Night’ those honors will forever belong to former Ultimate Fighter competitor Joe Lauzon, who racked up six awards during his time with the UFC. Lauzon’s devastating style inside the cage was usually complimented as opponent after opponent tapped out as opposed to watching the Massachusetts’ area native go home with their limb in addition to the post fight bonus.
Joe Lauzon’s six Submission of the Night bonuses:
Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale: Brandon Melendez via second round submission (triangle choke)
UFC Fight Night: Lauzon vs. Stephens: Jeremy Stephens via second round submission (armbar)
UFC 118: Gabe Ruediger via first round submission (armbar)
UFC Live Kongo vs. Barry: Curt Warburton via first round submission (triangle kimura)
UFC 136: Melvin Guillard via first round submission (rear naked choke)
UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera: Jamie Varner via third round submission (triangle choke)
Silva and Lauzon will now stand alone as the biggest bonus winners in their respective categores, and as of now the two fighters also happen to hold the honor of the most post fight bonuses in UFC history as well. Silva and Lauzon are currently tied at 12 total awards each with Nate Diaz the next closest with 11 awards.
Silva’s on the shelf right now dealing with a broken leg, but he promises to be back while Lauzon and Diaz are both still very active in the UFC’s lightweight division so there’s plenty of time for all of them to extend the lead they’ve established.