UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson didn't just pick up another win with his fifth-round submission over Kyoji Horiguchi on Saturday night, he also earned an additional $50,000 with a Performance of the Night bonus at UFC 186. The awards were announced by UFC President Dana White at the event's post-fight press conference.
Johnson won all four rounds on the judges' scorecards before the fifth-round submission, but Horiguchi made him work for it. 'Mighty Mouse' wasn't able to get much going striking in close or on the outside and was forced to rely on relentless pressure and takedowns to have any effect. Through the first four rounds, the takedowns admittedly came easier and easier to the champion, but many were either stuffed or the Japanese contender was able to get back to his feet.
By the fifth round, though, Johnson secured a double leg takedown towards the end of the frame. He easily passed to side control and was able to lock up a mounted crucifix. Horiguchi struggled mightily to get free, so rather than trying to hold him down, Johnson isolated the nearside arm, which he used to spin into an armbar. The end came officially at 4:59 of round five, the latest stoppage in UFC history.
Also earning $50,000 a Performance of the Night bonus was Brazilian bantamweight Thomas Almeida for his first-round stoppage of Yves Jabouin. The two strikers slugged it out early, with the Canadian scoring a strong double leg takedown early in the first round. However, the combinations and hand speed of Almeida were simply too much for Jabouin, who succumbed to a blitzing by Almeida that all began with a stinging right hand that sent Jabouin reeling. The end came officially at 4:18 of round 1.
Earning Fight of the Night honors - and $50,000 each - were Chad Laprise and Bryan Barberena for their preliminary card back-and-forth contest. Laprise looked sensational early, easily catching Barberena with all manner of striking combinations from either side or level. But by the second round, and especially into the third, Barberena's perseverance and distance closing took away many of Laprise's early weapons and advantages. By the third round, Barberena had taken Laprise's early momentum and was bullying him with forward pressure and inside fighting. In the end, the judges awarded the bout to Laprise via unanimous decision, 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27.
UFC 186 took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main card aired on pay-per-view.