Gerald Harris benefitted from a lean night of finishes in his UFC debut.
The International Fight League veteran pocketed a $30,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus after he stopped fellow Octagon newcomer John Salter with third-round elbows and punches at UFC Fight Night 20 on Monday at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. The event drew 8,500 fans for a $370,000 gate.
After an even first round, Harris gained a foothold in the bout in the second. By round three, his athletic ability took over. He grounded Salter with a double-leg takedown and punished him from inside the guard, ultimately finishing his bloodied opponent with shots from the top 3:24 into the final round. Harris has won eight consecutive fights, seven of them by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
The only other man to produce a finish at UFC Fight Night 20 also left the arena with some added weight to his wallet.
Unbeaten and unheralded Evan Dunham banked a $30,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus after he coaxed a tapout from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero in the third round of their lightweight co-main event. A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Dunham survived a harrowing first round in which Escudero rocked him repeatedly with punches.
Finally, Aaron Simpson and Tom Lawlor earned matching $30,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses in wake of their competitive and controversial three-round affair. Simpson weathered a first-round barrage from Lawlor to take a split decision and remain unbeaten.