Tony Ferguson (file photo) pocketed an extra $40K with his UFC contract. | Photo: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com
Four fighters walked away from the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas with an extra $40,000 in their pockets Saturday, as Kyle Kingsbury, Fabio Maldonado, Tony Ferguson and Reuben Duran were each awarded post-fight bonuses at “The Ultimate Fighter 13” Finale.
Kingsbury and Maldonado took home “Fight of the Night” honors, while Ferguson and Duran were awarded “Knockout of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” for their respective wins over Ramsey Nijem and Francisco Rivera.
Kingsbury and Maldonado traded from start to finish, with the American locking up a Thai plum on several occasions and digging in knees. However, each time Kingsbury secured the position, his Brazilian opponent would counter with cracking body punches to even the score. Both men scored points on the floor, as Kingsbury hit several takedowns while Maldonado threatened with guillotine chokes. In the end, however, it was Kingsbury who had his hand raised, walking away from the Octagon with a unanimous nod.
Ferguson captured the title of “Ultimate Fighter” with a single punch, as he knocked Nijem stiff with a crushing left hook in the first round. Though Ferguson scored an early takedown, Nijem managed to scramble to his feet. The pair exchanged fairly evenly in the standup before Ferguson rushed his foe with a combination, finishing with the fateful left hook. As Nijem’s legs buckled and he crashed to the canvas, referee Josh Rosenthal pulled off the pouncing Ferguson to save Nijem from further punishment.
After two competitive periods in the first contest of the night, Duran took care of business in round three, taking the fight to the floor and immediately transitioning to side control. When Rivera attempted to escape, “The Future” seized the opening and took his foe’s back. After sinking in his hooks, it was only a matter of time before Duran found the required leverage to finish the fight, forcing Rivera to submit to a rear-naked choke at 1:57 of the final frame.