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UFC FN 54 bonuses: Rory MacDonald, Olivier Aubin-Mercier take home $50,000

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

If Rory MacDonald was staying busy before his title shot, he was also collecting some money for a rainy day.

The top welterweight contender MacDonald earned $50,000 for his performance at UFC Fight Night 54 in Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday night. He defeated former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine via TKO (strikes) in the third round to keep his foot in contention in the welterweight division.

"I think it goes without saying I'm next for that title," the 25-year old Canadian told Jon Anik in his in-cage post-fight interview. "I want that title...please give me a shot."

MacDonald was patient in setting up his strikes, and he coolly -- and methodically -- picked his shots against the Belgian fighter Saffiedine. In the third round he caught Saffiedine with a left uppercut that dropped him and signaled the beginning of the end. After a few follow-up shots, referee Herb Dean called a stop to the action.

The official time was at the 1:28 mark of round three. It was MacDonald's third straight victory, and he's now won eight of nine overall. It was his first finish since his UFC 145 co-main event bout with Che Mills.

The UFC also awarded a performance bonus to Olivier Aubin-Mercier, who defeated American Jake Lindsey via second-round submission (inverted triangle keylock). The Fight of the Night went to the preliminary bout between Chris Kelades vs. Irishman Patrick Holohan. Kelades upset Holohan in a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).

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