"Fight of the Night" was never a question. In the aftermath of Dan Henderson and Mauricio Rua's legendary main event at UFC 139, UFC President Dana White confirmed the two battered warriors would each receive an additional $70,000 for their five-round instant classic on Saturday night.
"All I've got to say is, that guy can take an effing punch," a drained Henderson remarked after the final bell. "It started out strong for me, but he hung in there with great heart, like a champion should."
In the spirit of the holidays, White surprised everyone by awarding an additional "Fight of the Night" bonus to middleweight co-headliners Cung Le and Wanderlei Silva. For two rounds, the seasoned strikers engaged in an all-out brawl before a massive right hand from Silva paved the way to a brutal TKO victory.
"This is an amazing moment for me. Just to know what happened in my life in the past years," Silva gratefully explained as blood ran down his cheek. "Never give up."
Urijah Faber and Michael McDonald also left the HP Pavilion with a fatter wallet, each earning an additional $70,000 for "Submission of the Night" and "Knockout of the Night" honors. After dominating Brian Bowles in the opening frame, Faber seized a fight-ending guillotine choke early in the second to reclaim his status as the 135-pound division's number-one contender. The 20-year-old McDonald made even quicker work of his opponent, crushing Octagon-newcomer Alex Soto with a monstrous right hand after less than a minute inside the cage.