Josh Samman knew before he even got word from the UFC.
"I think I just wrote the check," he told reporters Saturday night after his incredible head kick knockout of Eddie Gordon at UFC 181.
Yeah, he was right. Samman won a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for the highlight-reel finish. Gordon was out before he reached the ground and took almost five minutes to come to in a scary scene. Samman said it was the hardest he has ever hit anyone, but he was primed for a head kick knockout from training. This one was a switch kick with his left shin landing near Gordon's ear.
The Pettis brothers also came away from Las Vegas with some loot. Anthony Pettis won the other Performance of the Night bonus for his second-round guillotine finish of Gilbert Melendez in the co-main event. Pettis retained his UFC lightweight title with the victory. It was his first bout in 16 months and his first title defense. The choke came after Pettis dropped Melendez with a hard right hand.
Sergio Pettis, Anthony's younger brother, and Matt Hobar took home Fight of the Night for their back-and-forth bout on the Fight Pass prelims portion of the evening. Sergio Pettis was dropped very early in the first round only for him to mount a comeback in the second and third frames. Hobar was very game, though, and hung in the fight for the duration, taking plenty of blows to the face.