Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently announced that it would restructure its "Fight Night" bonus system by doing away with the "Fight of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" awards and replace them with two "Performance of the Night" awards per event.
While the Las Vegas, Nevada - based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion didn't give a detailed reason for the change, some of the more pertinent details were revealed on a recent edition of "UFC Tonight."
The UFC announced that they were changing its bonus structure. No more "Knockout of the Night" or "Submission of the Night." It's now "Fight of The Night" and "Performance of the Night." They are giving out four bonuses for every card. This year alone, they're going to have 49 events from January to December. And if you total all of the bonuses they are going to give out, it will total $9.8 million. Dana White [said] they want to ensure that the money is going to go to the fighters. Sometimes, there isn't a KO, or at least a good KO. There isn't a submission so they can't give out these bonuses. That's why they got rid of those and they just made these "Performance of the Night." Also, guys can still win two awards. Like, you can win the "Fight of the Night" and "The Performance of the Night." So that still plays well to obviously make a lot of money, $50,000 goes to each bonus winner. And they just want to make sure that everyone gets this money. They've already allotted it, so why not make sure, that's why they are getting rid of the KOs and submissions, just going with "Performance of the Night."
Indeed, there have been plenty of instances where a "Submission of the Night" or "Knockout of the Night" may have been awarded by default since it was the only one on the event, though maybe not too impressive. In some cases, UFC didn't award either bonus at all.
For a detailed breakdown of those occurrences, click here.
The news comes on the heels of a dreadful UFC 169 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which UFC President Dana White described as "10-decision record-breaking catastrophe." Perhaps the new structure may motivate fighters to put on a more spirited performance in hopes of earning some extra coin and avoid feeling the wrath of the Las Vegas fight boss, in the process.
On the flip side, while UFC officials want to make sure the money allotted specifically for "Fight Night" bonuses gets handed out to fighters, what if there happens to be another catastrophic event like UFC 169 -- sans Jamie Varner vs. Abel Trujillo -- or UFC 149 for that matter?
Will Dana White and Co. then be forced to start dishing out bonuses by default, again?
Time will tell.