The pair of $50,000 checks handed out after Saturday’s event was one of four performance bonuses of the same size awarded by the UFC.
After getting dropped twice by punches in the second round, Valiev battled back and outworked Barcelos to capture a majority decision. Valiev paid tribute to his coach and mentor Frankie Edgar – known for similar comebacks – before demanding bigger opportunities from UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby.
The other bonuses handed out were “Performance of the Night” awards. Kennedy Nzechukwu also fought back after early trouble in a bout against Danilo Marques in a prelim headliner, earning a third-round TKO for his second straight UFC bonus. And Marcin Prachnio weathered the early storm of Ike Villaneuva to get revenge with a body kick that produced an immediate finish.
Noticeably absent from the announced bonus-winners was Jeremiah Wells, who sent veteran Warlley Alves face-first to the canvas with a powerful right hand in the preliminary card bouts. As MMA Fighting previously has reported, the UFC often awards discretionary bonuses that are not announced to the public.