UFC 105 “Couture vs. Vera” on Saturday set the promotion’s all-time attendance record for a European event, as it drew 16,693 fans to the Manchester Evening News Arena in Manchester, England. The figure -- which resulted in a $2 million gate, according to UFC officials -- eclipses the 16,235 spectators who witnessed UFC 75 in September 2007.
Hometown hero Michael Bisping did not disappoint.
The 30-year-old middleweight rebounded beautifully from his brutal knockout loss to Dan Henderson at UFC 100, as he roared back from an early knockdown and stopped Denis Kang on second-round strikes. The physical encounter, which left Kang battered and bloodied, earned both men $40,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses and put Bisping back on the 185-pound radar.
Meanwhile, Dennis Siver banked a $40,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus after he finished Paul Kelly with a picture-perfect spinning back kick and follow-up punches. Kelly, based out of the same Wolfslair Academy that spawned Bisping, remained down on the mat for a few minutes before leaving the cage, a vomit bucket held in front of him.
Finally, Terry Etim pocketed the $40,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus after he put away Shannon Gugerty with a guillotine choke 1:24 into round two. The 24-year-old Etim has delivered 11 of his 14 career victories by submission, nine of them by choke.