More than 9,000 miles from home, Chris Lytle turned a transcontinental trip into a profitable business venture.
Lytle dusted off his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and banked a $50,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus after he finished Brian Foster with a first-round kneebar at UFC 110 “Nogueira vs. Velasquez” on Saturday at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. The event drew a sold-out crowd of 17,431 for a $2.5 million gate -- a record for the venue, according to UFC officials.
Lytle, who won for the third time in four fights, hyperextended Foster’s knee and coaxed the tapout 1:41 into their preliminary welterweight tilt. Known for his willingness to throw caution to the wind, Lytle has earned a performance bonus in seven of his last nine Octagon appearances. A finalist on Season 4 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” the 35-year-old had not won by submission since he stopped Matt Brown with a guillotine choke at a United Fight League event in August 2007.
Meanwhile, undefeated heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez pocketed a $50,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus after he destroyed Brazilian legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in the main event. The American Kickboxing Academy standout dropped Nogueira with a two-punch combination before he forced the stoppage with a five-punch volley on the ground 2:20 into the opening round.
Finally, George Sotiropoulos and Joe Stevenson were awarded matching $50,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses after their spirited three-round battle ended in a unanimous decision victory for the Australian. Sotiropoulos, 32, showcased his well-rounded skill set, as he posted his sixth straight win.