David Branch, Ricky Simon, Merab Dvalishvili and Siyar Bahadurzada took home $50,000 bonuses for their work at UFC Fight Night 128 at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. on Saturday night.
Branch turned the tables on knockout artist Thiago Santos to earn a “Performance of the Night” award in their featured middleweight affair. The former World Series of Fighting two-division champion dropped his Brazilian foe with an overhand right and finished the victory with punches on the ground at the 2:30 mark of the first period. Santos had entered the contest with four straight KO/TKO wins.
Elsewhere, Simon and Dvalishvili received “Fight of the Night” honors for their entertaining and controversial bantamweight tilt. Dvalishvili set the tone early one with his aggression, which included a knockdown in the first round. While Dvalishvili appeared to be on his way to a victory in the third stanza, things changed when Simon ensnared his foe in a mounted guillotine late in the frame. Dvalishvili appeared to fight the submission until the end of the round, referee Liam Kerrigan ruled that the Serra-Longo Fight Team member was unconscious at the conclusion of the fight, giving Simon the win.
Finally, Siyar Bahadurzada captured the evening’s other “Performance of the Night” check for his second-round knockout of Luan Chagas at welterweight. The end came courtesy of a front kick to the liver, which immediately made Chagas double over in pain. Bahadurzada finished his foe off with an uppercut to the temple at the 2:40 mark of round two.