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UFC Atlantic City bonuses: David Branch, Siyar Bahadurzada cash in with nasty KOs

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David Branch
Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

David Branch was rewarded handsomely for knocking out arguably the middleweight division’s most feared knockout artist.

The former World Series of Fighting two-division champion received a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus at UFC Atlantic City on Saturday at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., where he defeated Thiago Santos by first-round KO. It was “Marreta” who came into the fight with the reputation as a lethal striker, but Branch surprised the Brazilian with a right hand before finishing with hammer punches.

Welterweight Siyar Bahadurzada picked up the other Performance of the Night bonus for his wicked body shot finish of Luan Chagas. It was the second time Bahadurzada was rewarded for a dramatic knockout. He won Knockout of the Night back in April 2012 when he debuted with an upset victory against Paulo Thiago.

The Fight of the Night award went to bantamweights Merab Dvalishvili and Ricky Simon, the latter of whom was competing in the Octagon for the first time. It was the closing seconds of the fight that will be the topic of much dicussion, as Simon was rewarded with a controversial and confusing TKO-win when officials ruled that Dvalishvili had passed out in a guillotine choke at the very end of the fight.

Officials announced the post-fight bonuses following the conclusion of Saturday’s event.