File Photo: Sherdog.com
Jason Brilz’s decision to accept a bout with the world-ranked Antonio Rogerio Nogueira on short notice did not result in a career-changing victory, but it turned into quite the financial windfall for the unheralded 34-year-old.
Brilz and Nogueira were awarded matching $65,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses after their main card matchup at UFC 114 “Rampage vs. Evans” ended with a controversial split decision in front of 15,381 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. All three judges scored it 29-28, two of them for the favored Nogueira.
A heavy underdog, Brilz outmaneuvered the Brazilian for much of the fight, only to come up short on the scorecards. Nogueira swept the Omaha, Neb.-based light heavyweight twice and trapped him briefly in a backside crucifix in the final round. The effort clinched his seventh consecutive victory and positioned him for an eventual run at the UFC light heavyweight crown.
Meanwhile, Mike Russow landed a $65,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus after he waylaid the previously unbeaten Todd Duffee with a crackling right hand in the third round. Duffee -- who debuted in the UFC with a record-setting seven-second knockout in August -- bombarded Russow for two rounds with a heavy diet of right uppercuts but wound up flat on his back 2:35 into round three. His night’s work was erased in a matter of seconds.
Finally, Ryan Jensen pocketed a $65,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus after he coaxed a tapout from Jesse Forbes with a first-round guillotine choke. The submission came 66 seconds into round one, as Jensen won for the second time in six Octagon appearances.