If you watched the six-hour UFC Fight Night 32 telecast, which streamed online (Facebook / YouTube) and aired on television (FOX Sports 1), from Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil, it probably only felt more like an hour.
Even on the "Prelims" under card bouts featured fun scraps like rightful "Fight of the Night" winner Omari Akhmedov vs. Thiago Perpetuo, as well as the brutal 40-second knockout featured in the Featherweight showdown between Jeremy Stephens vs. Rony Jason.
If you missed it, watch full fight video highlights here before reading on.
If the initial kick to the chin of Jason didn't immediately seal it for you, surely the follow-up punch and sick facial expression from the man on the wrong end of those strikes did. Even Dan Henderson was impressed (see his reaction here)!
It was so savage, and shocking, it appeared to be a shoe-in for the $50,000 reward given to those who went above and beyond to excite mixed martial arts (MMA) fans in attendance and watching elsewhere. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, with Dana White, Joe Silva and the other UFC shot callers going in a different direction.
Make no mistake, Belfort stopping Henderson via strikes -- the first time that has ever happened in his extensive professional career -- is a big, impressive deal. But, if the bonus was for, "Technical Knockout of the Night," it would have been a more accurate award.
This is where testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) comes in (both "Hendo" and Belfort received exemptions). With all the negative connotations the treatment brings, it obviously brings increased power ... and perhaps even violence. Belfort is clearly a changed man. And while his last three fights have been deserving of the recognition, last night was Stephens' night to be singled out.
"The Phenom" -- who has "big fights" looming -- is, and will be, more than flush. Stephens? Not so much. And why didn't the promotion dish out two bonuses as it has done in the past? In on uncertain terms, UFC is sending a sad message to its roster, rewarding fighters who adopt a controversial medical procedure that is often described as legal performance enhancing.
While I am solely looking out for Stephens losing out on $50,000, Kennedy has a valid argument moving forward. If fighters want to use TRT, perhaps cutting them out of the bonus money would make them think twice about the treatment.
It's seems like a much better idea than rewarding questionable behavior and ignoring surreal, and legitimate, knockout performances.