Bonus Hunters in Hidalgo

ufc-fn94The UFC is a brutal promotion in that they are full of the best fighters in the world and there are almost no fights off for anyone.

Every time someone steps into the octagon there is a legitimate chance of them losing the fight.

That can be devastating for a fighter as they only, at least most fighters, get about three fights a year to help them move up closer to the big paydays and the championship.

Losing one can set them back in a big way as they can win three or four fights in a row and head towards a title shot only to lose one fight and lose all of their momenta.

That is a tougher task and is becoming only tougher as better and better fighters are finding their way to the UFC continuing the build-up of top talent.

Only the best can survive in the UFC and with so many great fighters it can be very tough to find your spot among the big names.

The UFC is in an era right now where they might have grown as much as they can doing what they are doing.

What they seem to need is a stable of big stars that can crossover from fighting to celebrity which can bring in non-fight fans to watch their fights.

They did have the start of that last year with Ronda Rousey, Conor McGregor, Sage Northcutt, and Paige VanZant all fighting well and with plenty of potential to be big outside of fighting.

Then all of them began to lose fights as VanZant was beat up by Rose Namajunas, Northcutt lost a fight to the unknown Ryan Baraberena, Rousey got knocked out with the kick heard round the world by Holly Holm, and McGregor was choked out by Nate Diaz.

The fact was that no matter how much they could crossover the only thing that can keep fighters big is winning fights.

McGregor remained big and gained some of his celebrity back with a win over Diaz last month while VanZant hit reset went on Dancing with the Stars and most importantly got an impressive win in her first fight back.

Northcutt is nowhere near as big as he was even after his latest win and Rousey has yet to fight since being knocked out.

Creating stars is tough but certain fighters get that name and dwarf everyone else in the UFC making it even tougher to make a name for yourself.

Without that name, a lot of fighters can find it tough to stay in the UFC as a few losses mean they are on their way out to another promotion.

There is one way for fighters who aren’t the biggest names can survive regardless of the results of their fights.

They don’t have to be the crossover stars or even championship contenders because all they need to do is go out and leave everything in the octagon.

That seems like an easy thing but there are only a few fighters in the UFC who enter the octagon and leave everything there.

They are the fighters who are scheduled to fight and fight fans get excited because they are almost guaranteed to see a great fight.

It usually doesn’t matter who they are against as they are bonus fighters who have a good chance to win a bonus every time they fight.

They might not get non-fight fans to watch and certainly aren’t the fighters that get everyone excited because they don’t have big names but anyone that watches is rarely disappointed.

At UFC Fight Night 94 there were four fighters in two fights who came into Hidalgo with that ability to get those bonuses.mma-sidebar.fw

Uriah Hall and Derek Brunson were set to face in a match-up of one of the most athletic fighters in the UFC and a powerhouse.

Neither were bonus kings but both had plenty of potential to become just that as Hall had shown that his athleticism can pay-off in a big way while Brunson came into the fight with three straight knockouts.

Before the fight, Hall continued to claim that Brunson was a boring fighter who lays on top of people for wins.

Brunson is a wrestler but through his UFC career that has translated into massive power to earn those KOs.

Brunson showed his power quickly as he landed a big left hand in the first round that dropped Hall and was followed up by vicious ground and pound.

Hall turtled up and the fight was stopped giving Brunson another finish even through the protests from Hall and his side that he was fine.

Brunson would get a challenge for a bonus in the main event though as both Dustin Poirier and Michael Johnson came into their match-up with plenty of experience earning bonuses.

Johnson represented the power in the fight as he had totalled seven knockouts in his UFC career while Poirier simply represented heart.

Poirier has never been a fighter who excels at one aspect as he instead just knows how to fight at every level and he is a fighter that needs to be finished to lose.

Johnson attempted to do that and end his two-fight losing streak while also looking to get one of those bonuses on the night.

Both fighters came out to fight as from the start it seemed like someone was going to earn a bonus and Johnson came through.

After a number of exchanges, Johnson landed a big right hook that dropped Poirier to get the knockout win.

It was a Performance of the Night bonus, Brunson was overlooked, as Johnson ended the losing streak and earned another bonus.

Once again the Fight Night came through and provided plenty of potential bonuses on the night with exciting fighters making good on their reputations.

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