Ross Pearson (left) and Edson Barboza engaged in UFC 134’s “Fight of the Night.” | Photo: Sherdog.com
Three fighters walked away from Rio de Janeiro’s HSBC Arena with an extra $100,000 on Saturday night, as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Edson Barboza and Ross Pearson each earned post-fight bonuses at UFC 134.
Nogueira took home “Knockout of the Night” honors for his first-round finish of Brendan Schaub, while Barboza and Pearson earned “Fight of the Night” honors for their hard-fought lightweight contest. Since no fights ended by way of submission, no “Submission of the Night” bonus was awarded.
Returning from an 18-month layoff during which he underwent hip and knee surgery, Nogueira appeared to be one step behind his younger opponent in the early going. However, the Brazilian veteran quickly turned the tables with one well-placed combination, blasting Schaub with a straight right hand and following with a vicious flurry of sledgehammer-like shots that relieved “The Hybrid” of his consciousness.
Barboza and Pearson fought tooth-and-nail for three rounds, with both lightweights landing clean shots. The stockier Pearson bulled forward, using slippery head movement to close the distance and land straight punches, while his lankier opponent tried to keep him at bay with kicks and looping hooks. In the end, it was Barboza who saw his hand raised, taking home a split decision and maintaining his undefeated record.