A Look Back at UFC 109: Purses and Bonuses
The past UFC gala won?t contribute much reel-wise to the organization?s vault, though it yielded an unexpected shake-up in the MW division as Chael Sonnen turned in a performance that proves he?s worth being given a shot at the title in the near future.
Starting on a high note, the very impressive, and downright gory war between Sonnen and Nate Marquardt really showed how deep the UFC?s MW division is. Sonnen, the heavy underdog, earned a grinding three-round unanimous decision. He also lost a disturbing amount of blood near the end of the 2nd round due to an elbow strike from Marquardt.
Sonnen used his superior strength (superior to Marquardt!) to bully his opponent to the ground where he efficiently neutralized his opponent?s BJJ skills for the majority of the time. Using very short elbows and punches from a very compact dominant position, Sonnen out-strategized and outpaced Marquardt, who didn?t expect to be challenged to the mat repeatedly and successfully.
Most surprising was that Marquardt appeared winded towards the end. Nonetheless, Sonnen fought his best fight and his efforts landed him to share the FOTN award ($60,000 each) with Marquardt, on top of his initial $32,000 salary and $32,000 win bonus. Marquardt earned $45,000.
A possible next fight for Sonnen would be, in appearance, a much less demanding bout (after going three rounds against Marquardt?) against another black belt BJJ who shared the main card billing at 109, Damian Maia. Interestingly, Anderson Silva?s manager has already deflected inquiries towards Maia.
The WW bout opposing Paulo Thiago to Mike Swick proved unsuccessful to Swick, who lost a second fight in a row. Swick wanted to get back on the proverbial horse after his disappointing UD loss to Dan Hardy back in November. Hence, he chose to step in for an injured Koscheck and face a top-10 opponent less than three months after his last fight during which his chin got tested several times.
In a way, he lucked out with Hardy as he could very accurately expect a stand up match. It did, though he didn?t expect to be on the losing end. His punching power, defensive strategy, and timing had room to improve. Over-eager, he accepted a matchup for UFC 109 with a black belt BJJ guy who stood with Jon Fitch for three rounds and managed to walk out of the Octagon earning a round in the exchange.
From the beginning Thiago?s BJJ put Swick at an immediate disadvantage, the striker?s main focus consisting of avoiding the fight to drop to the ground. Though Thiago gave him enough time to wind up and pepper him a few times, Swick couldn?t really find his range against the Brazilian.
Early in the second, Thiago landed a punch that made Swick?s knees buckle. Thiago pounced on him as he fell and ended up choking him. The Brasilian earned $90,000, including $30,000 for his win and $60,000 for being awarded the Submission Of The Night bonus. Swick netted $43,000.
The masterclass men's 40+ exhibition opposing Randy "The Natural" Couture to Mark "The Hammer" Coleman hopefully came to spell a decisive end for "The Hammer" and his career in arenas fighting on pay-per-view billings. The guy was great. He should take great pride for trailblazing for the many others who have followed.
As for contending for LHW credentials in the UFC, he should move on. Coleman looked heavy on his feet, landed one good shot, and for the remainder of the fight (about five minutes out of six and change) got beaten up against the cage, on the ground, and while exchanging on his feet. In addition, he looked tired halfway in the first round. Couture netted $250,000 (no win bonus) while Coleman received $60,000 for losing very badly.
The MW bout opposing Damian Maia to Dan Miller turned out to be somewhat of a boring fight, as Miller?s recently awarded black belt BJJ skills were effective and frustrated Maia, who resorted to display his much improved boxing. He did enough to win a UD, losing a round on his way there. Maia earned $62,000, including a $31,000 win bonus, for his evening?s work while Miller got $15,000 for showing grit through all three rounds.
Lastly, the WW bout pitting Matt Serra to Frank Trigg gave MMA fans another opportunity to witness two guys who have already fought their best fights. This time, Serra KO?ed Trigg, adding to Trigg?s collection of KOs and SUBs sustained in the first round. That?s six losses out of 27 fights, for those who care to count.
Serra received $150,000, including a $75,000 win bonus, as well as the KOTN award worth $60,000 for his effort. Insisting to remain in the UFC, no matter what the evidence says, fetches $30,000 nowadays. Ask Frank Trigg.
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