The UFC is infamous for rewarding their fighters with lucrative Fight Bonuses at the conclusion of each of their events. Often times, a Fight Bonus will total more than the fighter’s salary and win bonus combined. Anthony Johnson received $18,000 for his win over Kevin Burns, however the additional $25,000 he earned for Knockout of the Night honors made him the night’s highest earner with $43,000. At last night’s “The Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale,” Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero shared the night’s biggest reward, Upset of the Night.
No, they will not be given a $25,000 bonus like Johnson, however they will be rewarded with something much more valuable. The opportunity for long-term security, and stardom in the world’s largest MMA organization.
Not only did both fighters each earn six-figure contracts for their efforts, but last night they emerged as superstars under the bright lights of the UFC’s big stage.
Both fighters put on dominating performances, however you never would have imagined that possibility based on their underdog status entering their respective bouts.
Bader was a little more than a 2-to-1 underdog in his light heavyweight final against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu wizard Vinny Magalhaes, whereas Escudero was a 4-to-1 underdog in his bout against Phillipe Nover.
Without a doubt, if there ever was a night to win the Upset of the Night award, Saturday night was it. A win never meant more, as they kicked open the door to endless possibilities.