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UFC 170 headliners react to post-fight bonus changes

Esther Lin photo

There are different ways to look at the UFC's changes to their post-fight bonus system.

Undefeated Sara McMann, who challenges Ronda Rousey for the women's bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 170 on Feb. 22 in Las Vegas, views at it as a world of new possibilities.

Under the old structure, $50,000 bonuses were given out to the participants in the fight of the night, as well as those who had the evening's best knockout and submission. Under the new system, $50K still goes out to the fight of the night participants, and the other two will be given out for the performances of the night, rather than earmarking them for a knockout or submission.

"It probably will open up some different aspects for the other fighters," McMann said on a Wednesday media teleconference. "Like saying, if you only have one knockout on the card, that will obviously get out knockout of the night. But if you open it up to performance of the night, it really opens it up to anybody who does anything spectacular or something that people can talk about or something great."

The way McMann sees it, if one card features one run-of-the-mill knockout and two spectacular submissions, the UFC is no longer obligated to give a bonus for the KO, and can instead reward someone more deserving.

"You don't have to give it more to someone who has the knockout whether it is spectacular or not," McMann said. "You can get performance of the night and go out and have a great show."

Rousey, who took home two bonuses at UFC 168, winning both fight of the night and submission of the night for her win over Miesha Tate, interprets the new bonus structure to mean she won't be able to pocket any more double wins.

"I think it will be harder to get a double bonus now," Rousey said. "You can't get fight of the night and performance of the night, but you can get fight of the night and submission of the night, I found that out. You know, that's the only thing I think is really going to change, I think they're going to encourage the fighters to go out there and have great matches."

Still, Rousey doesn't anticipate changing her style just to fit the UFC's bonus structure.

"I never go in there thinking ‘I'm going to go get this bonus tonight,'" she said. "I go in there thinking about winning and I always want to win in the most exciting way possible."

As for Daniel Cormier, who meets Rashad Evans in the co-main event, as far as he's concerned, until he sees otherwise, this doesn't concern him.

"I haven't even gotten a bonus yet, so I don't think that even applies to me," Cormier said. "I just go out there and fight the best that I can. I would love a bonus, but my fight purses are more than, they're fine for me, I don't want to cross that bridge until I get there."

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