It wasn’t the main event the UFC originally intended, but Thiago Santos and Eryk Anders put on one heck of a show in Sao Paulo.
The middleweights — competing in a light heavyweight bout — earned “Fight of the Night” honors and $50,000 apiece for their spirited scrap in the UFC Fight Night 137 headliner at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on Saturday night. Ultimately, a barrage of elbows from Santos following an Anders takedown resulted in the bout being halted following the conclusion of the third frame.
Elsewhere, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira returned to the Octagon for the first time in two years, earning a $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award for his second-round stoppage of Sam Alvey in a featured light heavyweight affair. “Minotouro” finished the fight off with a big left hand over the top that took Alvey’s legs out from under him, and a few follow-up punches on the mat brought an end to the bout 60 seconds into round two.
Finally, Charles Oliveira made history and got a little boost to his bank account in the process. With his second-round tapout of Christos Giagos, “Do Bronx” passed Royce Gracie for most submissions in UFC history and he also garnered the evening’s other $50,000 “Performance of the Night” bonus. The end came courtesy of a rear-naked choke at the 3:22 mark of the period.