Travis Browne and Andrei Arlovski had a memorable one-round scrap. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
UFC middleweight king Chris Weidman had a few seconds of fright against Vitor Belfort in the co-main event of UFC 187, but the New York powerhouse proved his championship meddle and earned a fat bonus to boot.
Weidman wound up turning the tides against the Brazilian, and when he did, it was a cascade of punishment. Weidman scored a sensational first-round stoppage to successfully defend his 185-pound title for the third time. The tempest of elbows and punches awarded “The All-American” a “Performance of the Night” bonus of $50,000.
Also nabbing a “POTN” prize was Daniel Cormier, who captured the vacant light heavyweight title with a decisive pummeling of Anthony Johnson. “DC” withstood some early abuse on the feet and, after wearing down “Rumble” with destructive wrestling, Cormier latched on a rear-naked choke and forced a tap in the third. Not only did he win the title and call out stripped champ Jon Jones, the part-time studio analyst also pocketed $50,000.
The real story of UFC 187 was the unfathomable war between heavyweights Andrei Arlovski and Travis Browne. The two big men tore into each so violently that, even though it lasted less than a round, the fight is already being hailed as MMA’s version of Hagler-Hearns.
Former UFC heavyweight champ Arlovski badly rocked Browne over and over, only to almost be knocked out late in the round. Arlovski had already inflicted so much punishment on Browne that the Hawaiian couldn’t capitalize and was forced into a dangerous slugfest where he was eventually stopped. $50,000 for what will likely be the “Round of the Year” certainly will certainly lessen the sting for “Hapa.”