Stefan Struve file photo: Sherdog.com
After engaging in one of the most memorable encounters in UFC history, middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen banked matching $60,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses in wake of the UFC 117 headliner on Saturday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.
Silva, who had lost each of the first four rounds, submitted Sonnen with a fifth-round triangle choke to retain his middleweight crown and his place as the world’s top pound-for-pound fighter. The end came with a Sonnen tapout 3:10 into round five. The finish earned Silva an additional $60,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus.
The win improved the 35-year-old Silva to 12-0 inside the Octagon, though he spent nearly the entire fight underneath Sonnen.
Meanwhile, UFC hall of famer Matt Hughes earned a second $60,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus, as he choked Ricardo Almeida unconscious with a modified anaconda choke in the first round of their welterweight matchup. Almeida, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Renzo Gracie, had never before been submitted.
Finally, the 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve pocketed a $60,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus following his second-round, come-from-behind stoppage against Christian Morecraft. Struve survived a harrowing first-round assault that resulted in a bloody lip, as he put away Morecraft with a three-punch combination and follow-up strikes on the ground 22 seconds into round two.