Guida, a member of the “Fight Wing” HOF class for his 2009 war with Diego Sanchez, picked up an extra $50,000 for surviving the onslaught of Santos to wrestle his way to a win by rear-naked choke in the second round. The win put him back in the win column after a split call loss in his previous outing and arrived four days before his 40th birthday.
UFC Vegas 44 took place Saturday at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. The entire event aired on ESPN and ESPN+.
There were four other $50,000 bonuses handed out on Saturday night, most of which centered around highlight-reel finishes. Among those to receive the extra check: Rafael Fiziev, who wowed the crowd with a third-round wheel kick knockout of his friend and training partner Brad Riddell in the co-headliner; Jamahal Hill, who starched fellow light heavyweight Jim Crute with his right hand in the first round; Chris Curtis, who stopped Brendan Allen in the second round via TKO; and strawweights Cheyanne Vlismas and Mallory Martin, who went the distance in an action-packed fight that Vlismas won by unanimous decision.
Main eventers Jose Aldo and Rob Font did not receive bonuses for a five-round slugfest that entertained from start to finish, though the bantamweights were primed to receive an off-the-books boost from UFC President Dana White.