The bar for “Fight of the Night” at UFC 199 was set high right off the bat on Saturday night, and the UFC rightfully awarded the opener between Marco Polos Reyes and Dong Hyun Kim with that award at the end of the night.
The $50,000 bonuses were announced after the event, with Reyes and Kim earning theirs in the first fight of the night, while Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson received “Performance of the Night” awards for their efforts on the main card.
Bisping’s shocking first round knockout over Luke Rockhold was one of the great surprising moments in UFC history, proving once again that anything can happen in the sport. Rockhold showed little respect for Bisping, which proved to be his downfall when he got in close with hands down and chin up, allowing Bisping to crack him with a left hand counter-strike, immediately following up with another, and finishing it off on the ground.
As for Henderson, the oldest fighter in the game put together another highlight-reel finish for fans, surviving a near stoppage in the first round to knock Hector Lombard out in the second. The finish was incredible, as Henderson landed a brutal short back elbow to the temple after missing a strike in close, following up with a couple of ridiculously brutal elbows on the ground.
Reyes and Kim earned well-deserved bonuses in the first bout on the card, putting on an absolute war for just over two rounds. Kim hurt Reyes first, but got stunned and staggered shortly thereafter, leading both to stand in front of one another trading vicious strikes at a furious pace. There was no defense to be had, and both fighters were taken immediately to the hospital afterward; Reyes scored the win in the third round with a fantastic finishing sequence of punches, but he was entirely drained himself in victory.
[Photo (c) Jake Roth via USA Today Sports]
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