After one of the most memorable performances in UFC history, the new bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw not only took his new gold accessory back to Sacramento, but $100,000 in bonus money.
Dillashaw beat reigning champion Renan Barao -- who hadn't lost a fight since 2005 coming into Saturday night -- via TKO in the fifth round of UFC 173's main event. It was enough to earn the Team Alpha Male fighter Fight of the Night honors. He also took home a Performance of the Night bonus for showing up as a 7-to-1 underdog and taking it to one of the best pound-for-pound fighters on the UFC's roster. The end result was a shocker. And it was emphatic.
Dillashaw dominated the fight from the opening bell, and caught Barao with an early shot that dropped him cold in the first round. That set the tempo for the rest of the right. UFC president Dana White said afterwards that he thought that the 27-year old Barao was never the same after that early barrage. The end came in the final round, when Dillashaw landed a head kick and followed that up with a series of punches before referee Herb Dean called a stop the action.
Each bonus netted Dillashaw $50,000. Barao, who was taken to an area hospital immediately after the fight for evaluation, took home the other half of the Fight of the Night bonus.
The other recipient for Performance of the Night honors went to Canadian fighter, Mitch Clarke, who scored a come from behind victory over New York's Al Iaquinta. The Serra-Longo fighter Iaquinta was having his way with Clarke through the first round and into the second, but things changed in a hurry when Iaquinta went to transition to mount. He got snared in a D'arce choke, and within a few moments was choked out.
The emotional Clarke also took home $50,000 in bonus money.