Nate Diaz, Lavar Johnson, Louis Gaudinot and John Lineker each banked $65,000 bonuses Saturday night at UFC on Fox 3.
Diaz and Johnson took home “Submission of the Night” and “Knockout of the Night,” respectively, while Gaudinot and Lineker shared “Fight of the Night” honors for their flyweight bout at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Diaz put forth arguably the best performance of his career in the evening’s main event, walking through opponent Jim Miller’s early low kicks to consistently find a home for his jab. After flooring the New Jersey native with a stiff one-two midway through the first, Diaz finished the job in round two, lacing his forearm around Miller’s throat and flipping him onto his back. Diaz tightened the screws on his guillotine choke from the mount and coaxed a tap from Miller, who had not been finished in 24 previous fights.
Despite giving up a takedown to Pat Barry early in round one, Johnson managed to return to his vertical base and pin his man against the cage, unloading with a flurry of devastating hooks that spelled disaster for “HD.” Though Barry tried to defend the onslaught, Johnson hit Barry’s sweet spot and dropped him to the canvas for a technical knockout victory at 4:38.
Gaudinot and Lineker wasted no time in showing why the UFC’s newest division is regarded by many as its most exciting. The 125-pounders each launched a hailstorm of punches to start the contest, but Lineker’s thudding body attack appeared to make the difference in the first frame. Round two looked to be a replay of the first frame until the American locked up Lineker’s neck in a guillotine choke and jumped into guard, gradually tightening his squeeze until the Brazilian lost consciousness.