Stephen Thompson had the shortest night of his UFC tenure against his toughest opponent to date, and that was enough to earn “Wonderboy” a nice little bonus check.
Thompson received a $50,000 “Performance of the Night’ bonus for his first-round knockout of Johny Hendricks in the UFC Fight Night headliner in Las Vegas on Saturday night, his sixth straight win in the welterweight division.
Hendricks, a former welterweight champion, was never really competitive. Thompson kept his foe at bay with a versatile arsenal before dropping his man with a left cross near the fence. A volley of follow-up punches brought a halt to the contest 3:31 into the period.
Meanwhile, Mike Pyle and Sean Spencer captured “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their competitive welterweight scrap. Spencer dropped the 40-year-old veteran in the initial stanza, but Pyle ultimately rallied, taking control over the second half of the bout before finishing his opponent with a series of knees and elbows at the 4:25 mark of round three.
Finally, Diego Rivas authored a remarkable come-from-behind victory over Noad Lahat, garnering a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus in the process. After a first round in which Lahat mounted his foe repeatedly and threatened with multiple submissions, Rivas connected with a devastating flying knee at the outset of the second stanza. A few follow-up hammerfists ended the contest 23 seconds into the frame.